This whole Coronavirus / COVID-19 situation has brought to life a lot of weird emotions in all of us. In a time that is supposed to be happy and made for growth, it seems like everything has been halted to a stand still. Businesses are shutting down, we are quarantined to our homes, and most of us can’t go to work or run our businesses like usual.
Small businesses are an irreplaceable part of our economy. It’s a sad reality that many business owners are struggling to see brighter days ahead.
How can we stay positive? Practice gratitude, check in on each other, and help where you can. Spring time can still be a time for growing and planting seeds, even in the midst of a global pandemic.
Here are a few ways to keep your hands and your mind a bit busier until “normal” life returns:
01 Learn a new skill
We all know that small business owners wear many hats to get the job done. Maybe it’s about time for a new hat? Search for YouTube tutorials on DIY phone photography tips, how to use Canva to create social media graphics, or whatever else you want to learn!
02 Create a marketing plan
Try putting some pen to paper and set up a plan to gain customers, increase revenue, get more website clicks. The same can be done for creating a social media content plan. Do it for a couple months out and save yourself some headache later.
03 Save relevant imagery
Search the web for some on-brand stock images and mockups. You can use these to share on social media, update your website and blog posts, etc. Some of our favorite sites are Unsplash, Pexels, Adobe Stock, and Creative Market.
Tip: Even during the Coronavirus, you could hire a photographer to create custom stock imagery for your business. While we can’t go out and do shoots right now, we can still create beautiful and relevant images to match your brand’s aesthetic. We didn’t start a prop library in our studio for nothin’!
04 Update your website
This one has been on your mind already, hasn’t it? It can be a daunting task, but it must be done, friend. Go ahead and tackle your product listings or pages with new images, copy, and improved SEO. This is one of those things that pays off in the long-term.
05 Hire a designer
If you’ve been saving up to invest in a brand refresh (or even finish a few smaller projects), now is the time. Get those business cards updated! Work with your designer on creative ways to spruce up your packaging or marketing materials.
06 Update your calendar
Look into events that you can attend this year and add a couple to your calendar. This will give you a visual reminder to submit an application or to simply attend. (Great for pop ups, markets, networking opportunities, conferences, trade shows, and more.)
There are plenty of ways to network while social distancing. Have you heard about Facebook groups? Join one that could potentially help with your business. Facebook groups are a place to ask questions, get advice, and support other people in your industry. Instagram is also great for starting conversations – slide into their DMs.
08 Check in on others
Another way to network is to check in with the people you already know and have connections with. Set up virtual coworking dates with other business owners that might need a little love right now. Use your time together to brainstorm on how to grow through the challenges that the Coronavirus has turned up.
Tip: While Zoom seems to be getting all the praise recently, we still love Google Hangouts for virtual meetings!
09 Go live
Host some live videos on Facebook or Instagram to explain your product or what you do. This is a great way to connect with your audience and remind them that you’re still here. Lots of product based businesses have utilized the live video tools to show behind the scenes process and even do live auctions / QVC style sales.
10 Do a giveaway
You might think doing a giveaway right now is counterproductive. Money might not be flowing all that much right now. But getting rid of excess or out of season inventory is a great way to ramp up your social interactions. Also consider joining multiple businesses together for a larger scale giveaway that might make it more worth it for you all.
Collaboration over competition, right? Work with a coworker or friend or business bestie on a passion project. Let them in on a project you need a little help with. This could be a styled shoot, an illustration mashup, a new product collection that you launch together. Collaborations and passion projects are meant to be fun, creative breaks from the things you typically do in your day to day operations.
12 Set new goals
Remember: stay positive. 2020 is not a complete wash. Take some time to reevaluate some of the goals you had set. If they are no longer relevant or you missed the completion date, simply adjust and make some new goals.
13 Reevaluate your products / services
We have all witnessed the impressive pivot many businesses had to do because of the Coronavirus. Think about what new products or services you can provide. Conducting business online is bigger than ever right now, so how can you join the movement?
14 Read books
This is an easy one. Open up your Amazon wish list and purchase some of those business books you saved at the end of last year. Reading up on your industry can be a super beneficial way to help your business grow and move to the next stage.
15 Offer a promotion
Everyone loves a good deal every now and then. Again, if your inventory is out of season or you simply have too much, doing a flash sale is a great way to move it out. [Discounted] gift cards are also a great way to encourage customers to still support you during this time. They can gift them to friends or use them at your brick and mortar once everything is in the clear.
16 Define your process
What do your customer interactions look like? Do you find yourself answering the same questions over and over? Find a place for those (like a FAQ page), or create canned emails. What does your process look like for creating products and getting them out the door? Write it down and refine it so you’re using your time as efficiently as possible.
Tip: We always recommend Dubsado for client management and setting up business workflows. It can be a useful tool for both product- and service-based businesses.
17 Educate your customers
Writing blog posts is a great way to educate your customers. Not to mention, it boosts your SEO ranking! Tell them about your products, your business’ story, why you got started. It’s all relevant information.
18 Upgrade your office space
During this Coronavirus quarantine, many people have trekked to Lowe’s to purchase some things for home upgrades. Creating a space you want to be in is helpful for your mental health. The same is true for creating a productive office space. Paint a wall and buy some storage cabinets for all those books you just purchased.
Tip: DGS just bought new [adorable] office chairs that are ultra comfy. Here’s our Amazon link.
19 Make a playlist
Music is a cure for the soul. Search Spotify for some favorites, or create your own working playlist so you can put your head down and focus.
20 Play catch up
If you’re a busy bee all the time, take this “down time” as a chance to catch up a bit. Get through your to-do list, respond to all the emails in your inbox, log all your expenses. This one is really just a reminder for our own sake.
Don’t let the Coronavirus get you down. This list is just a glimpse into the things you can start doing to keep your business busy during this season. Have any other ideas? Leave a comment! We can’t wait to hear how you are handling all of this change and all of this free time.
Stay safe and healthy everyone!
✨ The Dana Gray Studio team