Many business owners have faced a lot of pressure from their customers, their employees, the government and their own expectations to keep their business open during the pandemic.
This pressure can become too much for anyone and now as we move into 2021 business owners may realize they are not ready for online opportunities to network with their customers and/or sell products and services.
These five preparations will allow you to be ready for online opportunities to build community, engage customers and develop online services. These preparations require minimal financial investments.
1. Get a Camera / Video Equipment
If you have a phone and another person, you are ready to create and publish photos and videos. If you don’t have another person, you will need to be creative with your camera or tablet by setting it on a ladder or bookshelf so it can see you while you take photos and/or record. Your phone camera and video are all you need to be ready to showcase your product and services to online customers.
2. Write your Business’ Solution
What problem does your business solve? Restaurants allow us to have a meal prepared by someone else. Retail stores give us an opportunity to touch and see products before we buy them. Car mechanics allow us to fix our broken cars. Make it fun and fresh for 2021 as you tell your online customers who you are and why you do what you do.
3. Online Point-of-Sale Solutions
Now is the time to develop your business to be online where people can purchase the products and services online. Implementing an online point-of-sale solution can seem like a large task but it doesn’t need to be. We encourage you to reach out to businesses who are doing it well and see what solution they are using. Typically, the point-of-sale platform offers demos and/or sales representatives to get you started.
4. Social Media / Website / Marketing
Who is your customer? Now more than ever you need to understand what is your customer’s lifestyle? Where do they get their information? If you are saying I don’t know how my customers get their information, start to think about their age demographic, family lifestyle and/or economic status. Yes, who knows, maybe the printed ad in a mailbox may be a good option right now. We do know people make purchase decisions based on reviews and/or word-of-mouth referrals. Encourage your customers to give you feedback and referrals.
5. Establish a Creative and Innovative Mindset
For some business owners, they knew how to make their business successful before 2020. They had to make some minor changes or maybe no changes to get through 2020. We congratulate you, however we are encouraging you to look closely at areas of your business that may not meet 2021 customer expectations. You may need to take this opportunity to be creative and innovate your business with technology. Is there a product that you could offer digitally? Are there customers that might like to see how you do what you do through a video? I have been known to look for videos to do almost anything from how to set a mousetrap to how to remodel my bathroom. Be transparent and authentic.
You aren’t alone in this season of change. Today is the day to embrace the use of technology to build community, engage customers and develop online services.
We highly recommend your local Chamber of Commerce and other business owners to become partners to building your business. We invite you to share your stories, fears and/or how we could help you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Faith Goenner, Goenner Consulting, LLC