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June 30th, 2020

Is your business crisis-proof ?

This article is meant for businesses where the majority of their sales are offline:

One thing that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us all is that if your business does not have not only an online presence, but an online selling presence: You are at risk when a physical world downturn happens.

The point of this is not to be an "I told you so", but to share some ideas.

Several businesses have adapted well; Going from nearly 100% physical world selling to nearly 100% online selling.

This is not an exhaustive list, but some ideas to think about and, hopefully, talk to your local developers (or yourself) to improve your business fortunes.

Key points to think about:

  • If you don't have a web presence, yet: GET ONE This should have happened years ago, but now is more important than ever.
  • If you have a "brochure-ware" web site - i.e. an address, phone number and email address: You need to flesh this out: List your products, services and prices. UPDATE THESE REGULARLY
  • If you are not listing prices on your website: START NOW. One of the most important lessons of online commerce is that if you are not doing something that is beneficial to your business, YOUR COMPETITION IS.
    Remember that, for many online purchases: A form of instant gratification is key: You want your customer to make a decision RIGHT NOW.
  • If your services require custom quotes, then give a typical range of prices. i.e. "Everyones' needs vary, but a typical customer choosing (product/service) spends/invests around $X to satisfy their needs" will do the trick.
  • BE RESPONSIVE: One of the biggest excuses I hear for lack of online selling is "I don't have the time" - Check your email a few times a day. Take the time to reply to customer inquiries.
    You wouldn't tell a customer standing at your cash that you don't have time: Why would you do the same for an email that is trying to ask you to take their money ?
  • LOOK PROFESSIONAL: Graphic design and layout is not everyone's forté - Spend the money - or barter - to get someone to make your site look good.
    If a customer thinks your site looks like it was made by a 12 year old, they will tend to think your business is, as well.
  • USE SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and so many more: They are there for you to use for free: They allow you to showcase your products and services - SHOW that you are relevant.
  • TALK about what it is you sell - Not just the 'what', but the 'why' and the 'how': WHAT do you sell: WHY should someone buy from you, HOW do they use what you sell and HOW will they benefit ?
    75% of advertising is not just telling people that you exist, but educating people on why they need your products and how their lives (or their business) will benefit from them.
  • ASK PEOPLE to tell others about you! The absolute worst that will happen by asking is they will either say no or not say anything at all. If you don't ask, that risk becomes a guarantee.
  • BE CREATIVE: Even if you are a hair stylist or a nail technician: You can offer one-on-one video consultations or lessons: Keep them inexpensive: People will not pay the same for a video chat as they will for in-person, but $20 is better than $0

The beauty of all of the above is that it is implementable not only during a global health crisis, but all the time, even after it goes away - and it increases your business which you do not need me to tell you why this is a Good Thing.

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