COVID-19 has become the pandemic that has halted the world. With the world urgently trying to contain, manage, and prevent this virus, little stands between the coronavirus, us, and the worst-case scenario. Cases are uproariously rising every day and there’s an essential call for everyone to stay home and “socially distance” and “quarantine” themselves. While everyone stays and works at home and many workplaces and warehouses shut down, small businesses start to suffer among the waves of bad news that don’t seem to stop.
Adapting quickly to an unexpected is imperative and when the world shuts down, it becomes difficult to see the upside to it all. Yet, in a dwindling economy, it becomes crucial to unite businesses to tackle COVID-19 as well as keep heads afloat during this uncertain time. Ensuring employees a safe environment— either time off or working from home and encouraging a isolated mentality to help end the pandemic is most important. We must protect employees and workers with financial support, extra paid PTO, care, and empathy— putting human’s needs above all else. Small businesses thrive when their employees are taken care of, and this instance is no different. Be mindful, safe, kind, and courageous.
The rest comes naturally. Small businesses that offer empathy as a primary mission to their employees and consumers, they rally authentic support that can build extremely beneficial and vital relationships that can last years. Small businesses have to offer solutions to their consumers that are not only practical, but also make them heard and understood during a pandemic. Listening to your customers is key. Ask them what they would like to hear in a time like this, what content seems appropriate, and how your products or services can better serve them or be of benefit. They are likely to support local and small before big, help with what they can, and understand the difficulties.
Opening a new avenue of resources and solutions can also help drastically. Urge consumers to continue shopping local and small— online, delivery, etc. Many businesses that offer no-contact delivery to an individual’s door or an extensive online store that ensures a consumer’s ease in purchasing can be a stress reliever at a time like this. Making sure customer service is also on-site to help in need can also make the consumers feel as if they’re not alone. It’s all about fostering a mutually close and trusting relationship. We depend on small businesses to help us through difficult times and your small business can play a large role, if handled with proper care and precariously.
Another important avenue to consider is social media. As most consumers are at home, screen time has increased exponentially. Small businesses can use this to their advantage— marketing and advertising online as well as interacting with their audience and cultivating these relationships to really listen, and understand. By moving forward with the situation in an appropriate way, brands can make a immense impression to their audience. Empathy is undervalued, and during a pandemic unfortunately, our sense of empathy is often tested. Small businesses can stay afloat if they can offer solutions towards this weird, testing time.
Focusing on the positives always seem to be difficult in a time like this. We may not have the ability to control how we want this to go, but we do have the ability to control how we react and act upon this pandemic. Whether consumers shop locally online, order food from local restaurants, or donate to small businesses, small businesses uniting together and supporting each other while taking care of its employees can make all the difference. We’re all in this together— onwards, we go.