While there is no getting away from any Coronavirus related news, there are things you can do for your business apart from seeking advice and guidance on the latest loans, schemes and support for businesses.
If you find yourself working from home, use the time to either improve a skill set you want to learn or work on your business. Treat the day as if you were still at work if you normally work from an office or shop premises and set yourself some hours, whatever works for you. Or if you’re still travelling to your shop premises, this article can help you to keep being proactive, even if sales are slow.
If you’re stuck on something to do we’ve got some great ideas to not only help you work on your business from home but also your own personal development too.
While we’re sure you have a backlog of tasks you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, don’t jump straight to these straight away. Instead, start off by writing them down and prioritising them. We’re also going to split them up into separate sections if that helps.
Communicate with your customers and employees
One of your first priorities should be to communicate with your customers and employees. Firstly let your employees (if you have any) know about your plans for running your business at this time. For example, if you’re currently following Government guidance let your employees know about this and inform them that as soon as anything changes you’ll let them know.
You also may have to put a contingency plan in place if working from home is enforced across the UK. While for some businesses this may mean little to no trading you can still use the time wisely as a business owner and encourage your employees to help out where possible.
Postpone any events or appointments
With the recent instruction from the Government to increase social distancing and work from home where possible, you may want to look at postponing any events and rescheduling any appointments with your customers.
If you can you should look at considering extending any membership plans or packages if you offer them; try to be as flexible as possible with your customers.
If sales are slowing there is more than just your to-do list to tackle. Be proactive with your customers and you can use your social channels and website’s blog to do this. Here are a few things you can do to help reassure your customers.
- Be available on your shops’ live chat to answer any questions
- Use email marketing to keep your customers updated an informed about any changes to your opening hours, or special offers
- Host an AMA (Ask Me Anything) either on Instagram Stories or Facebook Live.
- If you don’t already, think about creating a group on Facebook for your customers to join and ask questions and discuss topics related to what you sell
- Publish a blog which includes all the information your customers and website visitors would need to know
- Keep you social media channels updated with BAU (Business As Usual) content as well as any updates to changes within your business
- Add an FAQ’s section to your website to help limit the number of questions asked through other platforms
- Post a blog to help reassure customers and keep the orders coming in (this one is a great example)
To help increase your sales you can look to offer gift vouchers, perhaps with a small discount that you would normally do throughout the year, so that your customers can purchase them and use them at a later date. This means that your business is still getting cash flow in, while your customers can treat themselves later down the line.
You should also look to update your site and use a Quick Announcement feature to let people visiting your website know about any important changes to your businesses operating policies.
If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to check with your suppliers about their operating hours and if they’re still open and sending out stock. Your suppliers aren’t the only ones you should be checking with. You should also look to your delivery service suppliers, and printing suppliers etc so you can firstly be informed yourself and inform your customers if there are any delays in deliveries, for example.
And if you’ve found that once you’ve done all you can do, why not use your time to work on your self-development. Check out our “How to learn SEO from home (Ecommerce Edition)”.