Six Ways to Improve Your Business during COVID-19
As the COVID19 pandemic continues, all small businesses are struggling. With the orders to stay at home, how can we use that time to make us stronger? Running a small business is demanding and we rarely have the time we now have to work on fundamentals. Even when we begin to emerge from the crisis, there will be fundamental changes in the way we live and do business. Now is the time to get ahead of that change.
As the situation evolves, FashioNXT, in collaboration with its partner experts, will share more insights to help you position for success, with a special focus on fashion, beauty, wellness, retail industries.
But for now, here are six ways to strengthen your business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1- Setup/Improve E-commerce Site: Most small businesses primarily rely on businesses from a close network. They may not have needed effective, user-friendly and updated e-commerce sites. Now is the time to get on that. It will not only help you engage with your customers online – which is the fastest-growing retail market – but it will engage them now when they can’t come to see you face-to-face.
2- Strengthen Relationship with Fans and Potentials: During this downtime, your customers are looking for content. Why not yours? Reach out to them to retain and build relationships.
Maximize Social Media: With social media screen-time through the roof, this is a great time to create more thoughtful and engaging content. Edit your content to be on brand and make it fresh. If possible, create more LIVE content, including sharing anything you are doing to help the community.
Send thank-you notes: A simple thank you goes a long way. Get out the pen and paper and send a thank you in the old fashion way. It’s a great way to enhance customer retention rates and, in an even better way, to make someone’s day when they need it most. It will be remembered.
Seek Reviews: Reviews are imperative in gaining customers in the digital age. There is no excuse now for not reaching out to those customers with whom you have strong relationships to ask for a review. And better yet, they don’t have an excuse for not leaving you a review! In times like these, we need to help each other.
Read and Respond to Reviews: Take the time to find reviews posted online on Google or wherever. Read and respond to them. Express appreciation for the favorable reviews and respond directly to any less favorable reviews. If you care about your customers, they will care about you.
3- Strengthen Relationship With Peers Through Giving: Small businesses thrive with collaborative relationships with peers, as it’s the best way to exchange favors, resources, and tips. What a better time to show that camaraderie than locking arms to help a community in distress. Many in the makers’ community are making virus protective gear for the service providers in the front line — medical, retail, and social services. Join them and share knowledge and resources in delivering that support using your skill that’s in big demand before the government catches up. Some are also offering them for sale for the public, securing some badly needed cash at this time.
4- Plan Ahead Strategically: During these long days it is healthy and wise to look ahead. Take this time to gradually ideate, sketch, secure sourcing of your next collection, product line or offer. Identify the options available to launch the new collection/designs/products in a fashion show/event, plan the invitee list, and followup engagements to close sales. When the window of opportunity opens, be ready to leap through it.
5- Learn and Devise Growth Plan: Use your home time to learn and grow as individuals and as professionals. The libraries may be closed, but Multnomah County Library’s digital library is open. Expand your learning experience on Audible or other ebook sources, or even on YouTube, where others will share their own lessons learned.
Every summer FashioNXT Incubator offers a series of sessions offered by leading industry experts on topics that are updated with the most recent needs of the industry. This year we are making two changes:
A) Unlike past years, this summer all sessions may be taken online.
B) These classes will be relevant not only to emerging fashion designers, but all small businesses in fashion and accessories, wellness/skincare/beauty products, beauty businesses (salons, beauty bars), and retainers (fashion, lifestyle, beauty products).
6- Stay Tuned With Us for Further Industry Specific Support’s News: We are dedicating a page on our website for compiling and sharing resourceful and helpful information regarding navigating through this tough time with special focus on fashion, beauty, wellness, retail industries industry.