Small Business Advice

Grow your small business: Selling strategies for the pandemic

Your business can grow even during the ongoing pandemic. Here’s how.

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Grow Your Small Business: Selling Strategies for the Pandemic

As we know, the pandemic created numerous problems for families and businesses across the country. Many small business owners were forced to shut their doors or get creative with how they offered their products and services to their customers. In September 2020, Yelp data showed that 60% of the business closures were permanent. Business owners who were able to stay open, especially those in the small business category, had to get creative to survive. Even as restrictions are lessening, businesses are still struggling to get past the deficits left by the pandemic.

How Small Businesses Can Adapt

Optimizing growth during a time when social distancing and mask mandates are the normal can be hard to imagine. However, we believe this time is a great opportunity for businesses to situate themselves to come back at full force. Here are three ways your business can grow during the pandemic and beyond. 

Increase Online Presence

As the digital age comes barrelling through, optimizing your online presence is more important now than ever before. According to a Think with Google Survey in 2019, 46% of shoppers go online and confirm store inventory before visiting a brick-and-mortar store.

If you haven’t brought your business to the web, now is the perfect time to do so. Although people want to get out of the house, the last thing they want to do is go to multiple stores to find out which one has what they are looking for. The 2019 Think Survey also confirmed that 39% of smartphone users are more likely to browse or shop a business with an app because it’s quicker and easier to make purchases.

If you want to boost your business online, you can:

  • Optimize your site for mobile - First of all, if your business doesn’t have a website yet, now is the time to build one! Just because your site is easy to follow on a computer, doesn’t mean it will be navigable on mobile. If you’re referring people to your website across social media, consider how many people are accessing your website via mobile devices. 
  • SEO - Research top searched keywords regarding your services and products. Then, find ways to incorporate these words into your online presence. You can improve your SEO by writing blog posts, updating your bio on social media, and more. Check out this Nearside blog post on improving SEO for small businesses here
  • Engage in online forums like Quora and Reddit - Answer people’s questions and be as helpful as possible. For Quora, be sure to include your business position in your bio and subtitle.  Be careful about promoting your business too much on Reddit threads, as your account may be flagged. 
  • Improve your user experience - You can ask your customers or peers for feedback on navigating your site, store, or social media. Ask questions such as: Is it easy to purchase something? Is the process to sign up for an appointment straightforward? How do you feel while engaging with our brand and brand voice? 

If you are going to have an online presence, you should make the best of it.

Leverage Social Media Marketing 

What’s the first thing you do when you sit down after a long day? Maybe you pick up a magazine or turn on the news. For many, the first thing they do is scroll through their social media feeds. Social media has become the go to source for all things newsworthy and trendy. If you want someone to see your business ad or reach out to your target audience, do it on social media.

The most important rule for growing social media is to post content that your potential customers will enjoy. Investing in paid ads through a platform like Facebook will also garner attention for your pages and business - especially because of the powerful audience targeting features. For more guidance on what social media platforms to use, check out our blog post here.

Influencer Marketing 

The more relevant your content is to your target audience, the more likely they will engage with it and later check out your product. Given how easy it is to share content, your content may even find its way to an influencer. Consider influencers the celebrities of social media. Many influencers will promote your product if they believe in your cause and like your product or service. You just have to get it in front of them. 

If you find users who you think have an audience for your product, you can also reach out to them  first with an offer. Direct messaging makes this process easier than ever. Before getting started with influencer marketing, determine the type of content and amount of content you’ll be asking from the creator - as well as your budget. An influencer deal can look like anything from a 30 second TikTok to 1 Instagram post a month about your services. 

Plan Virtual Events

Virtual events are happening everywhere. If you haven’t yet, consider hosting one. Here four tips to consider before planning one: 

  1. Know and engage your audience with an idea that they'd love. Will you bring in a speaker? Lead a virtual bread baking class? Host a soap making session? Trivia with prizes? Figure out what your target audience enjoys beyond your product. Your strategy should also be built around your business and what you aim to accomplish. Here are more ideas.

  2. Assume that there will be some type of technical errors. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst when you plan a virtual event. Be sure to have a back-up plan. Also, make sure your event is mobile-friendly. This should cut down a lot of the errors.

  3. Promote your virtual event in as many ways as possible. Incentivizing the event with promotions, giveaways, prizes or freebies doesn’t hurt either. It could bring in new customers that otherwise wouldn’t have known your business existed. Additionally, anytime you promote your event, Include a strong call to action within your event. What do you want from your audience? Make it clear where they can sign up. 

  4. Gather feedback after the event is over. Do these people want more virtual events? What could you have done to make it more enjoyable? Make changes for your next event - otherwise there was no reason to take feedback! 

Nearside Makes Post-Pandemic Growth Possible

Don’t let the pandemic stop your business from prospering. Come up with a plan for growing or relaunching and let Nearside Business Checking support you! Our modern small business banking option comes with no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and 2.2% universal cashback rewards on all debit purchases in 2022. Head here to learn more.

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