As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic touches us all, we’ve seen its effects ripple through the small business community.
We’ve all had our world turned upside down. For many small business owners and those who rely on them, it’s an unprecedented era of uncertainty.
We’ve talked to a lot of small business owners, hearing stories of their experiences in the wake of a global pandemic. Some lost all revenue in an instant. For others it still is business as usual, or maybe even better if their product or service has suddenly become more essential, desirable or in-demand. Others are simply fighting for enough work to keep their people employed.
But just because you’re in uncharted waters doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan.
For more than 11 years, Collective Alternative has been providing unwavering support for the #loveofsmallbiz. Because we’re one of you, too.
Once we realized things were going to be… different, we called an audible. We were going to do everything we could to help other small businesses. We started working hard — from home, of course — to assemble useful, relevant marketing and communication tips, tools and more.
“How to Market During a Pandemic: A Small Business Guide for Staying Afloat,” is our new library of free downloadable resources, updated weekly, covering the topics and challenges small business owners should address now to be better prepared for the future:
• Adjusting your marketing strategy
• Sales tactics, appropriate messaging and public relations communications
• Social media, email and digital ad campaigns
• Website design, SEO and more new ways of thinking
From conference calls to video chats and online webinars, we’ve discovered that digital discussions, pooling resources and community support are more important than ever.
Our first #loveofsmallbiz webinar was intended to be a one-time event, just to touch base. After gathering 30 small business owners, executives, advocates and employees — hardworking Hoosiers on the frontlines of their local economies — we exchanged helpful resources, had an open conversation about our recent challenges and brainstormed new ideas and solutions together.
All will continue to face tough decisions. But by coming together, we realized a greater source of support. At the request of attendees, the #loveofsmallbiz webinar became a new weekly series we’re excited to offer at 11 a.m. every Thursday.
We’re all adjusting to our new normal, for now. We should do it together, supporting each other.
Social distancing doesn’t mean radio silence — and it doesn’t apply online. Now is the time to communicate more than ever. Stay in touch with family, friends and co-workers. Start a new group chat for memes, recipes and TV recommendations. Turn your next text message into a video call. Hear the voices, see the faces and experience the daily human interactions you’re used to.
Stay in touch with your customers, too. A lot has changed for them as well, but a little reassurance that they can count on your company for any sense of normalcy might help them feel just a little less anxious about the uncertainty ahead. When we all emerge on the other side of this global pandemic, a renewed appreciation and love for all things local will benefit businesses and customers alike.
It’s certainly been a roller coaster lately— some days are better than others and it seems our landscape changes by the hour. Tears have been shed, lives have been changed and small business owners have been left scrambling.
It’s easy to feel alone. But, just know that you’re not.
Things don’t feel like business as usual, but adapting to the new normal and managing your brand right today is critical to your company’s success tomorrow.
We’re still working hard and are here for you. Take advantage of our free resources. Share them with your peers. Come join one of our #loveofsmallbiz webinars. Or reach right out to us. We’ll develop a strategy together to lead your business through this new landscape, proactively positioning your company to both weather this storm and venture strongly into brighter days ahead.