Tips for Small Business Owners During the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Mariann Roberts, Staff Writer
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the globe, people are drastically changing their everyday lives in order to stop the spread. Some large-scale retailers, such as Adidas and American Eagle, have decided to close all stores until further notice. Many offices and agencies have decided to pack up their desks and work remotely from home. But where does this mean for small business owners? Here are a few steps you can take to help prepare yourself during the pandemic.
Set up an online store
If you haven’t already, setting up an online store can be a saving grace for your business. As non-essential storefronts begin closing more frequently, it is wise to have a secondary, safer measure for people to still purchase your goods. Shopify is an excellent tool to help you set up your live website and efficiently run your e-commerce.
Try a few tips from Mark Cuban
Billionaire entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, recently took to LinkedIn to answer questions for small business owners during the pandemic. This article by CNBC outlines three pieces of advice from Cuban:
Experiment with new ideas. Now is the time to brainstorm and discover new services to offer to your clients. Cuban says brainstorming with your competitors as well as your peers can be a helpful way to connect with your industry.
Get to know your employees. Getting to know your staff and understanding their personal circumstances will help you better decisions based on each employee.
Work on aspects of your business you haven’t had time for. Fill the gaps in your schedule by improving areas of your business that were neglected or put on the back burner. “This is also a good time to clean up all the little messes every small business has. Everyone has things they wish they could re-do,” Cuban writes. “Now is the time to make those changes.”
Utilize government funding and payment deferrals
The Alberta government has implemented immediate funding and support for local businesses, employees and employers during the pandemic. You may also be able to apply for payment deferral on loans and lines of credit if you are unable to currently make payments due to the emergency. Click here for full details.
Stay connected with your customers
Don’t leave your audience in the dark. It is essential to remain connected with your clients during the pandemic. Continuous, open and honest communication is key when addressing your clients. Make regular posts and stories on social media and send newsletters with frequent updates, messages of support, and company plans and strategies. Be honest with how you are feelings during the emergency. Remain professional, but keep it real. Your clients will appreciate your honesty, and they will be grateful you kept them informed. For help with templates and messaging, visit our COVID-19 Response Package.