Small Business Resources For Those Affected by the Current Health Crisis
By Mark Gilboard | April 2, 2020
Being a small business owner is tireless. Entrepreneurs are continuously tasked with all facets of enterprise- always learning new things, adapting to market conditions, staying abreast of the constantly changing marketplace.
This burden is especially exaggerated in the face of the present COVID-19 pandemic that is wreaking havoc on the business landscape throughout our state, country, and around the world. That’s why it is important to have access to critical information that can help a small business owner adjust, pivot, and be quick on their feet despite the challenges. Here is an excellent resource for those of you dealing with marketing and promotion in an unprecedented time; 9 Marketing Experts Share Tips for Local Small Businesses Affected by the Current Health Crisis.
If you do not have an online presence, and need to build one quickly, it will take dedication to learn new things at a pretty rapid pace, and understanding that setting up a website is a multi-step process, and that it does NOT have to be mastered all at once. This handy guide from PC Magazine rates many of the options out there and gives high grades to both Wix and Squarespace. Many WESST clients also use Shopify for eCommerce sites, or even Etsy for selling their craft and handmade, or vintage/resale items. We offer an ONLINE class at WESST, starting on April 8th and running for five subsequent Wednesday evenings, from 5:30-7:30 pm. It is called Digital Media Marketing from Empower by GoDaddy and AEO in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, as well as Farmington, and it can serve as a great, guided, starting point. It includes 2 YEARS of free GoDaddy web services, including the registration of a domain name.
If you already have a functioning and updated website, one of the first steps any small business with an online presence should do for the coming months is add a “health notification” to the landing page or front page of your business’ website. Our own WESST website has had a COVID-19 message since 3/13, as we know people come to our website for critical, timely information like how-to guides, upcoming training classes, and more. Here’s a link to what ours looks like. If you also have a WordPress site, here’s a tutorial I found online.
One of the additional marketing burdens for small businesses “pivoting” to a more online presence in this challenging time is the need to understand SEO or Search Engine Optimization. If you’re on LinkedIn, and you have a website and a blog, this is a great introductory post describing the necessary definitions and understandings of how SEO works for blog posts. One local SEO marketing company here locally, WSI Web Enhancers, is offering a discounted, very inexpensive master course on SEO, through online instruction. The course starts NEXT Monday, 4/6, and may rerun subsequent Mondays. It is priced at $29 when you use the code “WESST-CORONA,” and usually is $895! There are other online SEO courses and resources from HubSpot, Moz.com, and even Google is a great place to start your SEO learning.
Please reach out to us here at WESST for phone and video conference consultations via our online business assistance request form, as we are continuing to offer most of the great small business and entrepreneurial support services that we have been offering the state of New Mexico for the past 30 years!
About the Author
Mark Gilboard joins WESST in 2017 after 16+ years as a marketing and advertising research professional with Nielsen Media Research and Clear Channel Outdoor. He focuses on helping people achieve their entrepreneurial dreams with careful and insightful guidance and enthusiasm. Prior to embarking on his corporate career, Mark taught college courses in Media, and Communications, at both CNM and UNM. He has a Master’s Degree in Communication from UNM and Bachelor’s Degrees in both Rhetoric and Spanish from Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine. Mark believes Albuquerque is a great place to build successful businesses, and an especially great place to start and raise families. He lives in the Ridgecrest area of town with his wife Kristen and two daughters – Anneliese and Nola, plus a bevy of beasts – canine, feline and reptilian.