Small business owners occasionally face problems they never anticipated. Just when they think they have things under control, something new pops up and provides a new challenge.
In 2020, two such challenges emerged: COVID-19 and the global pandemic. If they’re lucky, small businesses owners are still able to keep operating during all sorts of unprecedented pandemic-related changes. But there’s a good chance that they’re probably running their enterprises differently from before.
Despite this change and uncertainty, there are ways entrepreneurs can market their small businesses that are safe and creative:
#1. Word-of-mouth tactics
Using word of mouth is one of those tactics that’s an oldie but a goodie. There’s no time for shyness when people are marketing their businesses.
If they’re living in places that allow small gatherings of people, business owners can tell their family members, friends, and others about their business. If they’re living in places that require people to stay at home unless they have an essential business, entrepreneurs can do this promotion during video or audio chats, phone calls, or text messages.
#2. Old school promotional tools
Even if people can only leave the house to visit doctors’ offices, grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurant takeout counters, they can still promote their businesses there. They could go old-school by posting flyers at their grocery stores or business cards at their favourite restaurants.
Friends with businesses can ask each other to display the brochures and other marketing materials of their respective businesses. This tactic also relates to the word-of-mouth tactic, since the friendly business owners can discuss their friend’s businesses with their own clients.
#3. Local media promotion
Speaking of old school promotion, small business owners can also contact local media outlets to promote themselves. Many television and radio stations, newspapers, and magazines are strapped for advertising revenue because of the pandemic, so they may be able to offer better rates for people looking to advertise.
Writing a press release and sending it out is also an old-fashioned tactic, but if news outlets need content (and are looking for non-COVID stories), they may be willing to discuss new businesses. Newspapers that focus on local news and television news magazine shows that highlight new businesses might be good places to target.
#4. Home-based promotion
Business promotion can also be personal. People use lawn signs and bumper stickers to promote political candidates, so why shouldn’t they use them to spread the word about their businesses?
Lawn signs and bumper stickers are perfect for times that require social distancing. They do the talking so small business owners don’t have to meet with others and risk contracting COVID-19 or other diseases that could imperil their health and their careers.
#5. Instagram accounts
Not surprisingly, social media sites such as Instagram are also good tools for spreading the word while staying safe. People can post pictures and videos of their small businesses and other people, places, and things that inspire their brand.
Such posts can help portray the enterprises as more than businesses but as lifestyles. It can position the goods and services as aspirational tools, hinting that they can help clients their achieve. For example, recovery coaches who help people after they’ve attended treatment centres for alcohol abuse might want to include testimonials of smiling clients who praise the coaches and their companies.
Creating a website is another good way to market an enterprise during the pandemic and socially distance at the same time.
Entrepreneurs can create websites that explain what their businesses are, where to find them (if they’re open), and provide opportunities to order products. They might want to include email addresses or forms that allow clients to ask questions and provide feedback.
#7. Facebook and Twitter accounts
Feedback and interaction are also common on Facebook and Twitter, so business owners may want to become active on those social media platforms and others.
Facebook communities allow business owners to see what’s going on locally and respond to such happenings. Tweets on Twitter allow people to give and receive updates. Other users can share these updates about small businesses, so the messages could reach many. Social media allows people to provide current information and communicate, two vital benefits during uncertain, distanced times.
#8. Online events
Entrepreneurs can also use other digital tools to promote themselves. For example, since many people are using apps such as Zoom to hold meetings and conduct other tasks, small business owners can use it for promotion.
If they live in places under lockdown orders or think their clients will be afraid to visit their businesses in person, owners can hold Zoom parties to promote their businesses. They might hold theme nights with remote entertainment such as singers and magicians, limited-time sales on goods and services, and consultations to talk about the businesses or assist with sales – and do all this online.
Life has been strange lately. So has worked. But there are things that small business owners can do to promote and protect themselves.
Author’s Bio:- Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.