Communication Suggestions for Small Businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Lorena Schott | March 24, 2020
If you’ve been feeling concerned about what’s going on with COVID-19, you’re not alone. Small businesses across the country are facing lots of challenges during this time. Below are some suggestions for communicating with your clients. Now is not the time to go quiet.
- Add temporary hours to Google My Business
- Add a short post to Google My Business that states your availability and activity
- Update your website contact page with your temporary hours (add these and don’t take away the existing hours)
Items to Proactively Communicate
- Are your offices open?
- Staff availability
- Hours of operation
- Safety of in-person activity (i.e., we have implemented the no handshake policy, we are disinfecting our area after each use and/or daily, etc.)
- What can still be done online (place orders online, online appointments via Join.me, Zoom, etc.)
- Interruptions to services or product shipments
- Status quo services and product shipments (aka what isn’t being altered)
- Instructions for how customers can adjust existing appointments with you
- Is it still safe to <insert your activity with clients>
- Event changes or delays
- Cancellation policies if applicable
- A reminder that this situation is continually changing and more updates will be coming from you
An Example of Success
A recent public festival that hosted several small business vendors was canceled. One of the vendors took to her social media page to voice her fears of the upcoming revenue loss. Not only was she concerned about losing the vendor fees for the event, but she had already purchased and made thousands of dollars’ worth of product to sell at the event.
What did this do?
It reminded people that there is a human behind the business and engaged her audience. The love poured in, and she was able to sell her product online and ship directly to her customers. She has since taken to social media again asking for photos of clients who purchased her product. Again, this was another opportunity to connect with her audience and remind them that she is still available for future orders.
Be proactive and communicate. Reach out if you need to brainstorm possibilities for your small business. WESST is OPEN FOR BUSINESS ONLINE via Phone and web conferencing and we are here if you need anything. If you are a new client to WESST, please complete the online business assistance request or contact your WESST regional office.
About the Author
Lorena Schott is a native New Mexican that brings a wealth of experience to the WESST team. Before joining WESST in 2009, she worked for Intel where she was acknowledged for her establishment of Intel’s centralized on-line system, rewarding and recognizing employees worldwide. Lorena is devoted to her husband and two sons. She enjoys the outdoors and spends her free time reading, hiking, and baking.