Are You Positioning Your Business For Long-Term Success???
April 3, 2020
We are all doing the best we can to navigate our way through this national pandemic. However, as a small business owner, you are undoubtedly working double-duty to keep your small business afloat and ensure the health and employment of your teams. You are most likely finding ways to continue selling your products & services to your customers to continue an income stream. Of course that is a short-term priority...but are you also positioning your business for long-term success?
This international crisis has uncovered weaknesses abound...in our government, policies, leaders, production, distribution, cities, counties...& especially our small businesses. So as you make your way through this uncharted territory and take short-term steps to remedy your needs, there are also a few things you should be doing to ensure the long-term success of your business.
Complete the 2020 Census! Do not sleep this...completing the census helps you & your families and more importantly helps the communities you serve. When our communities get the resources needed...we all win! It is not too late...go to 2020census.gov today! Also, don't forget to VOTE...vote in every election. Failing to vote is voting to fail...your business depends on the elected leaders to assist not only in times of crises, but 365 days a year!
Take notes! Be sure to document your learnings & all courses of action being taken. Document your weaknesses so you can devise a plan to correct them later.
Ensure the most accurate & updated info is being communicated to your customers. Did you know Google has taken the liberties to mark businesses as "temporarily closed" based on government mandates? Make sure your businesses status, operations and hours are correctly reflected across all internet platforms (both search and social media platforms)...now and always.
Stay in front of your customers during this time. Whether or not you are open or closed...let them know what's going on with your business. Share your experiences. It is critical you keep them abreast & engaged.
Find ways to help your customers and your community. Be creative...new opportunities created now can more than likely be incorporated into your business go forward.
Network...make connections with similar, complimentary and even competing businesses...large & small. You may find ways to band together that help both businesses and build lasting relationships. Reach out to community leaders and programs...everyone wants our small businesses to succeed! Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Take advantage of government assistance for small businesses! Contact the SBA if you have not done so already. Aid in the form of grants & loans are available to all small business (including sole proprietors. Go to sba.gov for details...
If you have the time...take a hard look at your business & brand overall. Your logo, slogan/tagline, colors, marketing, website, internet presence...& Google your business. What do you find? Is it time for a refresh/update? Would you shop your business or use your services over that of your competitors if it weren't your business? Are you projecting the image you imagined for your business? Are you happy with things as they are?
Develop a marketing plan...both short-term and long-term. What are you going to do when things return to normal? How are you going to get back on track and ensure your business is properly aligned for the peak seasons to come...including the holidays?
Make self-care a top priority! This is a challenging time...you cannot save your business and be there for your family and friends without making your health your #1 priority. Sufficient sleep, proper diet, exercise, meditation/prayer, laughter, time for family & friends, fresh air...all necessities to get through this madness & remain healthy and sane!
This is indeed a crazy time and the most challenging most businesses, big & small, have ever seen. What you do now will determine your businesses success not only tomorrow...but also down the road!
BE SAFE...& STAY WELL!!!