There’s no doubt these are testing times for all of us. We’re all at home trying to get used to social distancing, not being able to visit family and friends, and wondering when things will get back to normal.

But for people running a business whose physical access to customers has stopped, it’s even more of a challenge.

Get online

So what can you do? You may not be able to see customers in the flesh, but you can still talk to them online. Make use of your website, email, and social media to reach out, remind them who you are, and keep them in the loop. Many companies are using their website to highlight changes to products or services. Lots more are sending out emails informing customers they’re still open for business, providing updates about new ways of working or just linking to their online shop if they have one.

Keep your customers in the loop

Communication is key, your customers will want to know what services you can still provide and how they can access them. And at the moment with everyone staying at home and spending more time on their phones, you’re likely to have a responsive audience.

Make use of Facebook and LinkedIn groups

If you provide a very local service, Facebook community groups are good places to reach customers in your area and stay connected. You can post business news and info and link back to your website or Facebook page. You could also join business groups on LinkedIn to find out what other local businesses are doing to adapt, and maybe see if you can combine services and work together in some way to help the community.

Update your Google listing

Don’t forget to manage your business listing on Google and get it updated with your contact details, any images and website links – add any changes here to services and business hours too.

Share useful hints and tips

If your business is on a temporary shutdown, think about whether you could post some hints and tips about your area of expertise, which are helpful to customers. It’s just another way to stay in touch until you re-open.

Take advantage of technology

Perhaps you can diversify what you do? To finish on a positive, there’s lots of examples of resourceful businesses which have been doing this. From gin producers making hand sanitizer, to cafés, restaurants and fish and chip shops providing takeaways, and personal trainers and pub landlords using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom to host workouts and quizzes. Even traditional high-street shops such as butchers and greengrocers have diversified into online ordering for home deliveries.

There’s no one-size-fits-all for businesses but technology has the ability to bring us all together while we’re having to keep apart.

We have webinars available to help businesses affected by COVID-19. The series will cover key topics considering COVID-19 and your business. Click here to find out more.

You can also find more tips and advice in our Information Hub or register for future Superfast Business Wales support.

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