2020 has been a tough year for small Australian businesses. First, there were bushfires, then floods and now Coronavirus.
With the Grand Prix canceled this morning, it’s clear Covid19 is starting to impact people’s business health in Australia.
I can’t give any medical advice, but I can suggest ways to help you keep your small business ticking over. It’s time to start thinking outside the box and innovating. So here are a few ideas I’ve pulled together for small businesses to begin implementing.
Gyms, Yoga studios, etc
Look at offering your fitness classes remotely using systems like zoom or Google hangouts or even a closed Facebook group. Using a Kmart tripod and smartphone, you can provide value to customers worried about coming in or needing to self isolate.
Craft and hobby stores
With fewer people going out and more time spent at home, people are going to have the time to try something new. Put together beginner packs for people who are keen to start learning new skills, and to keep kids busy. You could even create how-to videos and host them via a closed Facebook group.
Cafes and Restaurants
If you’re seeing a slow down in foot traffic, start focusing on takeaway options or even a meal delivery service. Offer drive-up coffee for people still needing their caffeine hit. Hey You and Skip are great apps you can use to help with this.
Also remember to communicate any steps you’ve taken such as increasing the distance between tables.
Book and game store
Jigsaws, games, and books are the perfect way to pass the time when self-isolating. Start delivering door to door so those who can’t get out can still keep busy. You might also like to offer add ons such as virtual book clubs using zoom or Google hangouts to maintain a sense of community!
Some services have to be done in person, but for lots of industries, remote sessions can be just as effective. Start moving everything you can online. Think remote consults, online training sessions, and virtual conferences using Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts.
For inspiration, check out Big Ideas Rural, who just hosted an excellent virtual conference.
Pharmacies, fruit and veg shops, etc.
Start offering contactless deliveries to keep your customers stocked up but without needing to come to you.
With fewer people keen on close contact, look to add DIY pampering packs to your services. Think a face mask, new nail polish, and more, either delivered to their home or collected from your salon.
With the slow down, it’s also the perfect time to look at improving your website or upskilling through online learning opportunities. If the worst comes to the worst and shops need to close temporarily, it’s use the opportunity for a deep clean and a new coat of paint.
China closed down for four or so weeks and is now slowly getting back to normal. Hopefully, that’s all we’ll be looking at here. So keep your social media going, write blogs, and make sure you’re remaining top of mind with customers.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping beyond anything that these measures won’t be needed. BUT if they are – it’s a way to help keep your stores open and still help your customers.
PS. Don’t forget to check with your eligibility for business grants and government assistance.