This can be an especially worrying time for small business owners and the self-employed who don’t have loads of sick/vacation days or months of cash in the bank to ride out the potential loss of business as our community shuts down. Here are a few creative ideas to help you survive through this uncertain time:
First take a deep breath. Stress blocks creativity and innovation – which is what we all can use more of right now.
Understand that this is the best time for small business to innovate. Because you don’t have a big staff to consider you can pivot and be nimble enough to make adjustments more easily.
If you have a product, think—can you switch to a delivery service or work with one already in place? We already are seeing lots of people doing this. Get the word out via your website and social media channels with clear communication on how you will be receiving orders. Set schedules for delivery areas for maximum efficiency.
If you are in the restaurant business and outside the Sargasso App delivery area, consider a drive-thru collection point at your front door or consider starting delivieries. Best if you can do both! A restaurant in NYC switched into a grocery and started selling jars of their famous sauces, soups, etc. Can you do something similar?
If you teach anything, can you move your classes to an online version? What programmes, microphones, etc, do you need for maximum quality? Time to research and upgrade!
If you are a service provider, share with your customers what steps you’re taking to protect them and to prevent the spread of the virus. The community is anxious and anything you can do to prove that you are proactive and caring will go a long way to reinforce their trust in you and your brand.
If you are a performer, can you set up a live virtual concert from your living room like John Legend did? People will quickly crave entertainment and you can be their saviour! Set up online watch parties and see how quickly they grow. Imagine how good that will be for community morale and you’ll be remembered for it long after this crisis passes! Win-win!
Most of all, be kind to yourself and your community. This is a stressful, uncertain time for everyone and the more we work together to help each other and stay positive the better we all will be in the long term. We are all in this together!
If you have any great ideas to share or want to tell everyone what your business is doing to innovate during this time, please let us know in the comments....