As someone who runs a small business, I’ve been paying particular attention to blogging during these challenging times. And while my business has been affected by the coronavirus, soon after news of the pandemic broke, I started to think of the different ways that I could help my clients through my blog.
Here are 8 ways that your small business blog can help your audience and help you.
Use your blog to answer any questions that new or existing clients may have
, for example are you still open for business? Are you continuing to sell your products or offer your services? What are your opening hours? Are you temporarily closing the business?
- Use your blog to answer any questions that new or existing clients may have, for example are you still open for business? Are you continuing to sell your products or offer your services? What are your opening hours? Are you temporarily closing the business?
- Think of and put in place alternative ways to continue to offer your goods and services – and make sure you use your blog to communicate that.For example, if your business model involves meeting clients, think of other ways you can continue to help your clients without having to meet them in person. Options for you to consider might be online/video calls or telephone calls.
I’m a particular fan of Zoom and have been using it for the past two years. If you’re planning to sell online, how can clients place their orders and how long will it take for orders to arrive? Will all of your products still be available for purchase?
- Clearly state what your new or temporary business practices are during this time so that your new and existing clients know what to expect from you and which products or services may be temporarily suspended.
Revise your business practices in line with the rules that apply where you live and make sure you keep your blog updated with any changes.
Here in England all bars and restaurants have been ordered to close due to social distancing.But I’ve noticed near where I live that some restaurants are offering a takeaway service – and as long as customers aren’t gathering on the premises or eating onsite, a takeaway food service is within the rules. One Italian café nearby has even set up a table outside its premises and is selling eggs and pasta!
- Email your current clients directly to tell them about the new or temporary changes to your business and include a link to your blog post so that they can find out more. In that email, it may be appropriate to share additional details, that would be relevant to them as existing customers who know you and have or are continuing to work with you.
Rather than a generic COVID-19 statement (my inbox is overflowing with such messages), try to give specific information about how it might change the way you will be working with them.It may be that an individual email (for example to each of your active and current customers by sub-niche) is the best option.
- Continue to communicate with your audience and offer value, especially now that your audience is more available than usual. It can be tempting to focus on the problems that the arrival of COVID-19 has created or to spend valuable time reading or listening to all the news about it.
At this time, I would recommend keeping updated but limiting those updates to a shorter period of time and to a specific time of day. Use the rest of the time to run your business, communicate with your audience by continuing to offer them something of value.
What you do will depend on your type of business, but if you know that your audience is struggling with something in particular that you can help with, now is the perfect time to home in on those problems and offer real solutions.
- Resist the urge to make a quick buck. There are a fair few scams that have popped up over the past few weeks but one area that I think is worth looking at carefully is the issue of pricing.
We’ve all heard the stories of the exorbitant prices being charged for products such as hand sanitizer, but there are other, linked practices that I’ve noticed. A type of salad that I buy regularly has been halved in size by the retailer but is still being sold at the same price, so I’m paying the same price for half.
I’ve also noticed that some shops have hiked up the prices of other food items, like honey. Yes, there are business reasons (in some cases, but not all) for price rises, but one thing I think you should consider, if this affects your business, is to communicate with your customers via your blog about this.They will not only appreciate your honesty and understand why a price change has been necessary. No-one likes to be taken advantage of and while choices may be limited right now, that won’t always be the case.
- Life under lockdown due to the coronavirus can also help you by giving you the chance to re-evaluate your business.Use this time to think about whether you need a change of direction – and talk about the new direction on your blog, so that your audience knows what the changes are, when they are going to happen and how those changes might impact them.
- Even if your small business is one of the ones experiencing a boom and you’re busier than ever, now is the time to get into the practice of producing regular content for your blog.You should also look at revising your blog and making any updates you need to make to improve on the content of your blog.
>>>Need help getting started with your small business blog? You’ll find a wealth of information here, or contact me for one-to-one help.