Many bricks and mortar businesses are using their down time due to the Coronavirus shutdowns to clean up, renovate, organize, and do a lot of little things they could never get to because they were too busy and their stores or establishments too full. Kudos to them for trying to make the best of a down situation and for keeping employees and engaged and earning a paycheck.
Virtual businesses can take a similar approach. They may not have the physical space to contend with—and that may be an advantage in this situation—but they still have digital places of business that can benefit from a little attention. What are those things that you only ever dreamed about having the time to do but always seemed too busy to address before this crisis?
- Organize files on your computer. Whether you’re an independent contractor or your employ dozens, it’s probably safe to say your electronic business files could use a little organizing. For me, I organize by client, by year, and by service category. When it all gets too much for my laptop, I then archive those things I don’t need to get to regularly. For back-ups and storage, consider cloud services such as iDrive, OneDrive, and Zoolz.
- Organize your financial records. Big or small, in some fashion you are tracking (or should be) money coming in and money going out of your business. Consider converting your records to digital copies so you can conveniently store, track, and retrieve receipts no matter where you (or your employees) are. It’ll make recordkeeping, filing for taxes, and tracking where your money is coming from and going to easier than ever.
- Update apps on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Whether you’re operating iOS, Windows, or Android, keeping software up-to-date ensures maximum functionality, compatibility, security, and efficiency within your employee teams and with clients.
- Build/update your business plan. From a business perspective, where do you want to be in one year, two years, five? No one could have predicted the situation we’re now in, and no one really knows what “business” will look like on the other side of the COVID19 crisis. Perhaps you had a business plan pre-Coronavirus or perhaps not. Regardless, now is a good time to consider how you might adapt your business practices to incorporate more virtual services, such as employee and client meetings by videoconference rather than in-person, or setting up ways or working that incorporate remote working/work-from-home opportunities. How might this impact your need for physical space near-term and long-term? How might this impact the need to invest in better, faster technology?
- Update/create a marketing plan. If social distancing and shutdowns have taught us anything, new ways of working and engaging remotely with customers can be successful and most likely will remain a part of the business-to-consumer landscape going forward. How will your approach to marketing and digital marketing reflect these new realities in support of your updated business plan? Think in terms of digital marketing, social media, and other ways you can deliver on your brand promise to your target audience without requiring (or at least providing alternatives to) physical interaction.
- Update your messaging. Even if you don’t do a wholesale update of your business or marketing plan, you may want to revisit your brand messaging. Perhaps it was getting a little stale before COVID19, and now that we’re living with widespread shutdowns, maybe your messaging comes across as a little tone deaf. Ask yourself, have the pain points of my target audience changed? Breathing a little fresh air into your messaging can help revitalize your brand and better connect you with consumers.
- Give your website a facelift. If business is a little slow, what better time than now to revisit your website. It’s the ultimate “rainy day.” Have you updated your website recently or has it remained unchanged—frozen in time—for a year, two years, more? Is your home page looking “so 2018” when it could use a little more flair to position your brand well for 2020 and beyond? Fresh content in the form of words, images, and video draws not only more visitors, it can also boost your search engine results and sales conversion rates.
Tech Hacks to Help You Make Use of Down Time
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
Barrel O’Monkeyz is a virtual team of strategic, tactical, and creative types who have been working remotely with clients for more than a decade. Our expertise is digital marketing, email marketing, social media, public relations, and website development. We recognize this is a stressful this time, especially for small businesses. If you are struggling with how to keep your business afloat, we are here for you. Give us a call to discuss strategies and potential services to help you weather the storm. We are reducing our service pricing to help businesses stay on and/or get back on their feet! Contact us today.