COVID-19: Helpful Tips for Local Businesses

admin March 31, 2020

COVID-19: Helpful Tips for Local Businesses

COVID-19: Helpful Tips for Local Businesses

Every business owners understands there’s been a struggle running business amid this economic as a result of Covid-19. Here we try to explore what local businesses can do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this article, we take a look at some helpful tips for local businesses, local SEO tips that could make a difference for your business in the coming weeks, innovative resources for support and advice from my own tight-knit community of some of the world’s best local SEOs

Abide by rules and regulations

First of all, begin each day by updating yourself with both local and national news and ensure you comply with the laid down regulations and guidelines for your city, state and country. These Policies may vary widely from region to region, so stay updated.

Get update from a reliable news platform or from the your local CDC platforms and stay away from fake and misleading news.

Communication is key

Right now every local business whether it is deemed an essential or non essential service, is to provide accurate information. Here are three (3) key places to do this:

Google My Business

GMS-helpful for local businessesGoogle plays a big role as an intermediary between Local businesses and the public. This holds true during this trying time although, Google’s local product is not running at full strength.

To communicate effectively to customers using GMB, here are four fields you can use to communicate current information to customers via GMB, these include:

1. Name

Google is allowing businesses to edit and update their business to reflect present reality. Take for instance you can change your name from “Jossy kitchen” to “Jossy’s kitchen — Delivery available”.

2. Phone number

If you still want your customers to call you while at home, you can update your number for easy reach.

3. Hours of operation

You can set up working hours if your business is still operational, or you can click the “temporarily closed” button if you are out of business during this trying time. This feature has also being introduced by Yelp and Bing for businesses to indicate their current status.

Website

Website banner amid covid-19 pandemic

Credit: Maynooth University

Since Google My Business may be experiencing support issues right now, you can convey important information to the public. Here’s a quick checklist of suggested items to update on your site as soon as possible:

  • Create a banner on key or all pages of your website with key information such as  “temporarily closed”, “drive-up service available 9-5 Monday – Friday” or “storefront closed but we can still ship to you.”
  • Provide detailed information on how your business has been affected by COVID-19, and detail any services that remain available to customers.
  • Update basic information that has been affect or changed such as hours of operation, if you are still operational, contact page, about page, and landing pages.
  • Use your blog to keep the public updated about the availability of products and services.
  • Ensure your content can be shared on social media

Social media and email

“Clarify to people what you’re doing, such as things like curbside pickup or home delivery or curbside pickup. Furthermore, don’t be reluctant to reach out to people who have supported you via social media in the past and ask them to mention what you’re doing.” —Dana DiTomaso, Kick Point

There’s never been a more crucial time to engage customers than to make use of the instant communication these social platforms (Facebook, twitter, Instagram, YouTube and even email) provides. Use social media to highlight not just your own services, but the services you discover are being provided by other businesses in your area, by this you will be strengthening your community.

Operate as fully as you can

Social safety net differs widely from country to country, find out any offer being made available for you by the government, tap into it and stay relevant.

If your business is deemed essential, here are six adjustments your business should carefully consider to determine whether implementation is possible:

1. Fulfill essentials

  • Medical meetings and appointments can be handled using phone and video conference call, virtual meetings, and some medical facilities are offering drive-up testing.
  • Supermarkets and grocery stores without built-in delivery fleets are should contact with a third parties with a delivery or curbside pickup for this service.
  • Social distancing should be implemented by farms or those selling agro products to allow customers to access fresh produce, dairy products, and meats.
  • Companies and organization caring for vulnerable populations, fuel, drug store and banking can implement and communicate the extra steps they are taking to adhere to sanitation guidelines for the safety of customers and staff.
  • Organizations and brands that donate goods and services to fulfill essential needs are taking an active role in community support as well.

2. Try e-commerce

If your local business already has  a website with an e-commerce component on it, you’re many steps ahead to keep selling online via delivery. If you’ve not yet implemented any form of online selling, explore  the following options:

  • If you have a credit card processing machine, here is what you can do, you can take orders over the phone and then ship them, allow curbside pickup, or deliver them.
  • Use PayPal invoicing, if you lack card processing Machine.
  • For site built on WordPress, WooCommerce plugin or shopify is recommended for setting up an online shop with PayPal as a built-in payment option.
  • Scan product barcodes and have them catalogued online using pointy.

3. Connect virtually

Tips to boosting local business using video conferencing

Credit: Forbes

Although nothing can replace in-person relationships, virtual meetings are a better alternative to keep business models operational amid this pandemic. Check out these resources:

Using zoom for conducting business, free UC guide to free video conferencing and collaboration or learn how to sharing rivet YouTube videos with anyone — Business insider.

If you are an educator, healthcare professional, or managing employees who have transitioned to working from home. This platform helps to connect effectively.

4. Use downtime for education

If your businesses is completely crippled by COVID-19, it’s my strong hope that there will be better days ahead for you. You can learn something new during the period of this crisis. We hope you’ve something from these helpful tips for local businesses. Endeavour to make use of the resources available online. Until then stay safe.

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