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New Strategies for Finding Customers for Your Small Business in the Post-Pandemic World
Posted by Lagerquist Accounting & Advisory
As the world comes to terms with the long-haul outlook of COVID-19, it’s important to consider what a post-COVID-19 world is going to look like for small businesses. The pandemic has sped the world into the digital realm, and many online businesses now have more clout. But it’s more important than ever for businesses to understand the new priorities of their customer base after a period of uncertainty, strife, and loss. These factors are influencing what products customers choose as well as how they go about choosing. New customer journeys need to reflect these changes in customer preferences and behaviors.
As we forge our way through the pandemic and get ready for its end, there are a number of ways that businesses can strategize to make the most of their situation. Read on to find five tips that can help guide your small business to find new customers in a post-pandemic world.
1. Reconsider Your Offering
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered pretty much every aspect of our daily lives. You can’t ignore this when it comes to your customers. They might find certain products completely irrelevant while others might be more important than ever. Consider your offering. Are there any products and services you offer that might not have the same appeal to your customers anymore?
Even if you have been selling certain products during the pandemic, evaluate whether or not they still have relevance to your customers. Once things start shifting back to a state of normalcy, customers might not need some of your products anymore. For example, products such as face masks and cozy, stay-at-home fashion might not sell as well as they did before. Ask yourself which products you can sell now that might be more relevant to customers and promote business growth.
2. Start Planning Ahead
If you didn’t have a crisis plan in place pre-pandemic, then your business, like many others, might have suffered when it hit. It’s a good lesson to start planning how you want to approach the rest of the pandemic and future catastrophes, both small and large. This pandemic has been mostly unpredictable, and lockdowns still continue to start and end without business owners being able to plan for specific dates. But you can still look at what your business is doing right and address any weak points you find.
Take an audit of your business and figure out where you are losing sales, where you are gaining sales, and where sales have plateaued. Try to determine how COVID-19 has impacted your business and your sector overall and take measures to address things like your brand response to the pandemic, remote employee productivity, staff and customer needs, etc.
3. Bolster Your SEO
If you have a strong online presence, you are likely already optimizing for search engines. During and after the pandemic, it’s extra important that your business appears high on search engines for customers who are searching for your products. With less foot traffic these days, business owners need to balance out that decreased point of contact by increasing online traffic.
Small businesses need to improve page and site load speed to make it easier for customers to quickly navigate to your store and find the products they need without any hassle. If you can come up with any search terms related to COVID-19, that will be extremely helpful in targeting a wider audience. Creating and posting evergreen content on your website and social media pages will also help boost your authority and build trust with your audience.
4. Adjust Your Marketing Strategy
If you haven’t already done so, go through your existing marketing messaging and remove anything irrelevant or inappropriate. It’s possible that scheduled social media posts, email marketing, and other types of messaging might need to be tweaked or cancelled. You can also look for ways to integrate timely messaging about health safety, social distancing, etc. into your current marketing. Make sure you are also cautious about the tone you’re using with customers — your messaging should be sympathetic, kind, accurate, and clear.
Also, be sure that you’re never using the pandemic as an excuse to advertise your products or brand. Think of ways you might be able to offer assistance through your services rather than exploit a tragic situation.
5. Support the Desire for Connection
People have a strong desire to connect after more than a year in lockdown. Many small businesses have found creative ways to help people stay connected during the pandemic. Small businesses such as theaters and live venues have been hosting livestream performances and movie screenings during the pandemic to offer viewers a chance to engage with others. Netflix even offers a shared-screen option so people can watch movies with loved ones who live elsewhere. Get creative about how you can help bolster the feeling of connectedness among your audience.
Big companies have been building an online presence for years. But a lot of small businesses had to move quickly when the pandemic hit and start operating in the digital realm overnight. To build back from this setback, you need to learn how to use digital tools and also tap into your strengths of appealing to local communities and social connection. Those that can adapt and survive might come out on top in a post-pandemic world.
If you need help to get your small business set up to succeed in a post-pandemic world, contact Lagerquist Accounting and Advisory for more information.
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