Marketing and Communications Advice for Small Businesses During Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak
With the current outbreak of COVID-19, companies are having to change the way they operate. Despite businesses having little control over the external situation, with proactive communication and planning, the negative impact on your business caused by the pandemic may be reduced.
Before creating a marketing plan for your business during the COVID-19 pandemic, use a SWOT analysis to identify risks for your overall operations.
Analyse your business’ current position and think about the worst-case scenario moving forward the next few weeks.
S – Strengths
Which parts of your business will you not need to change or will only require slight adaptation?
W – Weaknesses
Which part of your business is most at risk? For example, businesses that rely on events or daily appointments will be at risk of not being able to operate. Will you have any potential stock issues?
O – Opportunity
Think about the possible opportunities which your business can use. E.g. With a change in consumer behaviour during uncertainty, this might be an opportunity for your business to push a new product or service?
T – Threats
How will the weaknesses that you have identified develop into significant threats for your business? Does your business face the threat of your competitors adapting quicker than yourself in this crisis so that they gain market share?
By completing a SWOT analysis of your business, you will know what your business needs to prioritise in order to mitigate risk. Your strengths and opportunities identified will be significant for your marketing and communications during this period.
Try these proactive ideas to keep your business connected with your customers during the Coronavirus outbreak:
- If you can, try and use your website as your shop window and push for sales/enquiries to be generated through your site.
- Make sure any business changes you have to make are clearly shown on your website’s home page.
- On-site posters at your premises will also help keep your customers informed and reassure them of how your business is handling the situation.
- Avoid face-to-face meetings when possible. Instead, try using Zoom to schedule online meetings, conferences and webinars.
- Send out bulk emails to update your customers and clients on your situation.
- Let customers know how to contact your office and let them know if appointments will be cancelled and how to reschedule.
- If services or products are temporarily unavailable, when do you anticipate that they will be available again?
- Everyone is on social media, especially during a crisis. Posting messages and information on all of your social media handles will make sure that your customers are aware of what your business is doing during this unpredictable period.
- Use Google My Business to update your opening hours and advertise changes to your business.
- Avoid using content which includes large crowds and handshaking as currently, this could spike concerns that your business isn’t doing enough to prevent the spread of the virus.