If the coronavirus were going to win an award for anything, it’d have to be “Most Likely to Impact the Entire Planet in Every Possible Way.” That little attention-grabbing pathogen is eating up our social media feeds, emails, texts and every other facet of daily living in ways we couldn’t have imagined.
We completely get it. We’re impacted, too, here at Rallio. Our team is working remotely, and one of our own team members contracted — and thankfully recovered — from COVID-19. But we’re not sitting back and letting it ruin our day.
If you feel the same way, then buckle up and prepare to take action. Below, we offer some real scenarios you may be experiencing, followed by key action steps you can take now to immediately begin stealing your thunder back from COVID-19.
If your physical location is impacted
The cons: You’re not making any income if your location is closed, or you may be restricted to only certain services. You may have had to let employees go or at least put them on leave.
The pros: You have an opportunity to pivot your business model. Out of crises comes innovation, as we’ve seen with many businesses offering virtual classes and tours, ecommerce sales, live events or contactless delivery and pickup.
The takeaway: Closing your doors is the opposite of what you thought you’d be doing right now. You had growth plans before COVID-19, right? Well, now you have new growth plans. Although times may be tough at the moment, it’s temporary, and you may just give life to brand-new lines of service that didn’t exist before. When all of this is over, you’ll be in a position for massive growth.
- Embrace digital. If you haven’t already figured out a way to reach your audience through digital means, there’s no better time to do so! Social media, in particular, gives you a sounding board with a captive audience that’s currently much more active online than perhaps ever before. As they’re scrolling throughout the day, make sure you’re in their feeds with fresh, hyper-local content that you’re paying to boost.
- Communicate with your customers. Use your social media pages, review platforms, emails and texts to stay in touch. Let your customers know if you’re closed or offering any alternative/mobile services. Talk to your employees, too, and find out if they need anything. Respond to all your reviews, comments and engagements to let your followers know you’re still engaged with the community.
— Retro Fitness (@retrofitness) March 27, 2020
If you’re working remotely
The cons: You may feel isolated. Talking to other humans happens much more infrequently, and you’re craving social interaction. You’re out of your routine — everything from reading a book at your favorite coffee shop to taking your favorite spin class has become off-limits.
The pros: Loungewear is the new office norm. Your office mate is your dog, and her frequent naps make for a quiet office space. Your commute consists of getting from your bed to your coffee pot. Also, you’re finally sitting down to dinner with your family for the first time in what seems like forever.
The takeaway: It can be challenging to be at home all day, but when you consider that you’re protecting yourself and others from COVID-19, it helps to put things in perspective.
- Set up your work environment for success. Create a home office area that lets you sit comfortably, with all the essentials at hand — like a water bottle, laptop, maybe a few decorative pieces, a plant, anything that creates a productive, inviting space for you.
- Get up and get moving. It’s tempting to sit on the couch all day (it’s so comfy!), but it’ll do your body and mind good to take a brisk 10-minute walk, do some pushups or squats, or have a dance party in your living room with your kids.
If you’re dealing with stress
The cons: It makes you feel “stuck” when all you can think about are the negatives. Looking at news reports makes you anxious, yet you want to know what’s going on in the world. This is the bad kind of stress that can lead to a weakened immune system and other problems.
The pros: Feelings of stress can lead you to find creative solutions to problems. When your stress inspires action, this is the good kind of stress that results in innovations that propel your business forward.
The takeaway: Being in “fight or flight” mode around the clock is going to negatively impact your health. However, you can make the choice to take action.
- Focus on the things you can control. While you can’t control what the coronavirus does, you can control your reaction to events happening around you. Find ways to de-stress through exercise, FaceTime chats with friends and virtual hangouts. Brainstorm with your colleagues about opportunities to innovate!
- Limit your exposure to the news. If you must check news reports, give yourself a time limit — say, 10 to 20 minutes a day, and not too close to bedtime. Focus on the positive reports coming out of the crisis, like the corporations stepping up to help and local heroes in healthcare and essential businesses.
If you’re running out of money
The cons: This one is pretty obvious.
The pros: We’ll get back to you. Seriously, though, there are some economic relief packages in the works that may help your business. As of the time of this writing, the federal government was working on a COVID-19 relief bill to assist individuals and businesses in various ways.
The situation evolves daily, though, and each situation is different — so it’s pointless to list out the possible monetary relief you may personally experience. Also, individual corporations, municipalities and governments are handling things in their own unique ways. Some of them are offering direct relief or a moratorium on payments.
The takeaway: You need money. There may be some available to you.
- Check with your lenders, property manager, utility providers and local governing bodies to inquire whether they are providing any relief or delay of payments.
- In addition to pending federal legislation to offer economic relief, be sure to investigate other possible sources of relief, including:
- The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and other potential access to capital as well as other resources
- Yelp’s $25 million relief package for customers such as restaurants and bars in heavily impacted areas
- Banks offering relief to customers impacted by COVID-19, per this list maintained by Forbes.com
- This excellent roundup from GoFundMe of financial resources for small businesses
- Customer support; ask your customers if they’ll consider supporting you by purchasing gift cards for future use, keeping their memberships active, renting out equipment, posting about you on their social media pages, and purchasing any mobile or contactless products and services
At a time like this, we understand how anxious you feel — about everything. We’re incredibly grateful we’ve been able to help so many of our clients continue marketing themselves throughout this pandemic and even thrive in spite of it.
If you take just one action step after reading this article, let it be this: Make your social media a priority. If you’d rather get an expert eye on your content, just fill out our quick online form and we’ll get back to you with some cost-effective options.
Have you come across any great tips or resources through this crisis that would help your fellow business owners? Comment below! If you’d like your story to be considered for a feature on this blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org.