As business owners, we often find ourselves working “for” our business. We are so busy with day-to-day operations that we can’t look past what is right in front of us. We feel like there’s no time to plan for the future and improve the business. If your business is shut down or working at less capacity, look at this as an opportunity. Let’s look above the waves and emerge from this better than we entered, because we have the time to plan and improve.
Here are a few things you can do.
Gather testimonials and reviews.
People really want to support small businesses right now. If they have purchased a product or service from you in the past, ask them for a testimonial. Even if they can’t afford to buy from you right now, they will feel like they are supporting you in this difficult time. Then, what to do with those testimonials? Post them on your website and social media. You can also ask for a review. Ask them to post one on Facebook or Google.
Update your Google My Business Listing.
Haven’t claimed your Google My Business listing? It’s easy and 100% FREE. Go to https://www.google.com/business to get started. If you have already claimed your listing, now is the time to make sure it is accurate. Be sure to check your business hours, contact information, services and business description.
Did you know that people can suggest edits to your business listing by “Suggesting an Edit” right on your listing? Sometimes those suggestions lead to automatic changes to your listing without your knowledge or without you being notified. It’s a great rule-of-thumb to check on your listing periodically. Make sure you fill out as much information as possible on your listing because all that information effects your placement in search results.
Use the post feature. Like social media, you can add posts on your Google My Business listing and they will show up right on your Google My Business listing on the search results page. Post sales, events, and new blog posts. Make sure you have a post prepared for when you open back up to let everyone know.
Add new images and/or videos to your listing (If you don’t have any photos or videos or they are outdated, now may be the time get new ones). Respond to reviews. Even if you haven’t claimed your listing yet, people may have already left reviews. It’s important to respond to every review, especially the bad ones.
Dream and make plans about how your business will be.
Even when things get back to “normal,” they aren’t really going to be normal. They are going to be a new normal. By dreaming and planning now, you can help decide what the new normal is. Here are some ideas to get you started thinking:
Check on your website. Is everything accurate and up-to-date? Do you need to add some frequently asked questions? Is there any other information your current and potential customers are looking for?
Look at your logo. Changing your logo is not something to enter into casually, however. Your logo is everywhere so if you change it, it is an investment. However, a logo is one of the first impressions a potential customer has of you. Does it say what you want it say? Is it outdated? Did you make it in Word when you first opened and it’s now time for something professional?
Finally write that mission statement. It’s so important to have a clear, concise understanding of what your business is. This helps keep you and your employees on the same page. It can also be something to refer to when making business decisions.
Does your business lack efficient procedures? Maybe you need to streamline how you bring in new customers or maybe how you deliver your product or service to customers. Do some research, make some lists and think about what your business will be like with these new things in place.
If you do have a website, learn how to read the analytics.
If there’s one Google product that you should know, it’s Analytics. Knowing who is visiting your website and what they are doing once they get there, can help you make decisions about your website. It can also help you plan advertising strategies. Google offers free courses to help you learn. https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/
Do a Google search of your business.
What does your listing look like? If your website/page title and description don’t look like you want, log in to your website and update your page descriptions and titles. If you use a builder such as Wix and Weebly, a Google search will result in many tutorials on how to update your page title and description. If you use WordPress, install the Yoast plugin and follow their guides. Also, if any social media accounts appears in the results, make sure they are up-to-date and accurate.
If you think about this time as an opportunity to improve, you will come out on the other side a better business owner. If there’s something you have been thinking about in your business but never had time to work on it or put it into place, now’s the time! Don’t sit around idle thinking about what was. Instead, use your time wisely and plan for what will be.