Survival Marketing: How to Market Your Business During a Crisis
With the current health crisis, up to 75% of “temporary” business closures may become permanent. With thin margins, many businesses will be out of business… that’s why we’ve put together this “survival” list of to-dos for small businesses.
Right now things are uncertain, and no matter how bad they seem right now, there’s a chance they can get even worse.
According to a recent article in the New York Times:
Restaurant analysts and operators have been quoting an estimate that 75 percent of the independent restaurants that have been closed to protect Americans from the coronavirus won’t make it. The National Restaurant Association estimated this week that the entire industry would lose $225 billion in the coming three months and shed five to seven million employees. Source
Unfortunately, many business owners will look at what they’re facing and throw in the towel. Don’t be one of them! The businesses that survive will become power-houses in the near future.
I’ve worked with hundreds of small businesses and I know what a struggle it can be. I also know that the best business owners don’t get bogged down in fear, they take action and they never stop moving.
That’s why this list is all about ACTION. Even if your doors are shut, there are plenty of things that you could be doing to make your relaunch both possible and profitable. Try these out:
#1: Inform Your Existing Customers That You’re Going to Make It
The phrase, “Out if sight, out of mind” has never been more real. You need to stay front and center if you want to weather the COVID-19 storm.
The best way to do it? Email and social media. Let them know you are hanging in there, still care about your customers, and you can still provide value (even when you’re closed).
If you can sell something online, get your estore up asap (we can help you do that). If you can’t sell anything online, start producing content that will be useful during and after the situation passes. The easiest way to start producing content is to build out your FAQ section. Make a list of your most frequently asked questions and write answers (or better yet, shoot videos) answering each.
In regards to what to post and when, here is a quick outline that we recommend doing to keep your customers and fans informed:
- Post on at least two social media channels at least TWICE DAILY.
- Send an update email to your newsletter list at least ONCE WEEKLY.
- Add a page to your website (article, press release, video, or podcast summary) at least ONCE WEEKLY.
#2: Make a Recovery Plan
This situation sucks, but it will pass. Imagine having so much business that you go under! Sounds crazy, but it’s happening DURING the crisis. Businesses that aren’t ready to scale with demand are going under.
You need a plan to “shelter” and relaunch during the post-crisis boom. There will be high-value individuals looking for work, people looking to party, and other surviving businesses looking to deal.
Here is a simple outline to manage your post-recovery launch:
- Plan Your “We’re Back” Announcement Message Now (Press Release, Email Campaign, Social Media Graphic)
- Plan Your Employee Rehiring Process (Create a list of past employees that will need to be contacted, create procedure for rehiring, create or modify employee manual prior to rehiring)
- Plan a Promotion for Relaunch (sale, free offer, coupons, etc)
- Plan for Reactivation of Standard Operating Protocols and Marketing
#3: Improve Your Mental Health Through Business Development
Again, this situation is tough, but you’re a survivor. More than that, you’re a Small Business Owner (I title-capped that phrase because it’s a proper noun if ever there was one). You’re a hero of capitalism, individuality, and freedom.
You couldn’t quit if someone held a gun to your head while offering you 500-premium rolls of name-brand toilet paper and a vaccine to a panic-driven (while still dangerous) disease. You don’t stop, but you can still use some support now and then.
With that said, it’s important that you believe that your business will survive and be better than ever once this situation is past. In that sense, ongoing business development could keep you mentally fit AND help you develop your business like you’ve never been able to develop it before.
In that regard, here are some planning functions that you can do while you have the time and capacity to think:
- Business Plan for Remainder of 2020 (or go nuts and do a 3 year, post-crisis plan)
- Create Procedural and Employee Manuals
- Create a Video Series Explaining Your Services, FAQs, Business History, etc.
- Create a Podcast Series Explaining Your Services, FAQs, Business History, etc.
- Develop Your Website Into a Resource for Your Customers/Prospects (create databases of terms, tutorials, industry information, etc.)
Need Some Help?
We can help you set up your business online and train you (or your assistant) how to excel in online marketing. We’ll build your brand, your website, and integrate a system we call MS4, which integrates ongoing branding, email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing into a process flow you can use for long term growth. Click Here is schedule a consult, or shop our Media Store if you need a one-off project.