How local small businesses operate day-to-day is rapidly changing in the face of coronavirus concerns.
Kim Davis, Kutztown, of KD Consulting LLC, works with local small businesses on creative marketing strategies, as well as offers a monthly educational workshops through the NINE O’clock Club.
“These are challenging times for all… in particular small business owners. Most businesses rely on day-to-day activity to meet payroll, buy inventory, pay the rent, support their family and the list goes on. And we rely on those businesses for our needs as well,” Davis posted on Facebook. “Think about how many businesses you visit in a month, week, or day. We will all feel the impact one way or another. Our economy is built on small businesses and communities thrive when small businesses are open.”
She offered a few comments on what local people can do to support local businesses during the shutdown.
Continue shopping local business through online purchases or curbside pickup. Purchase gift cards and certificate for future use – products, food, and services. Like for follow on social media and write a testimonial or leave a review.
“Send physical thank you cards to businesses, organization or person that continues to serve our community. A simple thank you can brighten someone’s day.”
This is also the time to get creative.
“Ever thought about starting a business or exploring a side hustle? No time like the present. Be the next entrepreneur,” suggested Davis.
Noting that many organizations continue to operate, Davis recommends people volunteer their time, donate food or blood, foster a dog or cat.
Davis also has been consulting small businesses on using social distancing compatible business tools for credit card processing and gift card sales. This includes customer facing payment devices, online ordering for curbside delivery, simple online gift card sales plug-in, in-store self-ordering and payment, and digital receipts via text message.
She has been helping business clients pivot from their current way of doing business through creative thinking and ideas, leveraging their expertise, email marketing strategies, adapting products and services to consumer needs, and education through live events via Zoom and other online tools.
Advice for small businesses and organizations?
“Keep your customers, clients, vendors, and patients aware of any changes to your day-to-day operations,” said Davis.
Communicate through a post to social media channels and pin important messages to the top. Most social platforms are free and user friendly, she said.
Update your website and Google. Post notices, product availability, update information and content.
“Post clear and visible signs in storefronts,” she said. “Less is more.”
Use virtual tools for online meetings.
Check your state website daily for additional resources and guidance such as https://business.pa.gov .
“While the next couple (few) weeks will prove to be a challenge, I wanted thank small business owners for their continued perseverance, mindful leadership, and true commitment to their customers and community,” Davis posted on Facebook. “Their creativity, innovation, and ability to adapt in a time of uncertainty show true entrepreneurship. When things zig, how can they zag? When doors are asked to close, how can they redirect to continue business? I applaud every person who is stepping up to the plate and asking, how can we make things work — both from the business owner and consumer — instead of being consumed by fear.”
Concluding, Davis writes, “Main Street USA will continue. It will not be in the same way because we are being forced to think differently. This is where true innovation and growth will happen. We will get through this together.”