These are, without a doubt, challenging times for businesses. One thing we’ve all learned is that all businesses are connected at some level. I always say it’s hard to go up when everyone is going down. Zigging when the economy is zagging is exceedingly difficult.
For most businesses, now is a fairly slow time. Fewer locals are getting out, and some businesses are just not in the position to welcome many or even some customers. All tourism businesses are suffering. Any businesses connected to tourism businesses are seeing less business these days.
What are some proactive things you can do to affect your business’s future?
- Review your website and change what needs to be changed. If your website is many years old, it’s maybe time to redo it.
- Consider investing some time in your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles. These can be a huge time suck with few results, but the number of marketing tools these platforms now offer has expanded greatly in the past few years and they deserve a look.
- Review all your print collateral. Now is a great time to re-do business cards, postcards, and brochures.
- Make a data plan. No, I don’t mean for your cell phone; I mean for all your customer and lead contacts. If you’re like us, you have a stack of business cards in your desk. You probably also have contacts in your email, spreadsheets, accounting programs and so on that are in disparate lists and unable to be used for email campaigns or direct mail. Get them all in a spreadsheet.
- Use your data. You probably have hundreds, if not thousands, contacts that could be sent an email (we love MailChimp), a postcard or a letter.
- Look for untapped segments of the economy to grow. If you are focused on old, established businesses, spend some time prospecting new companies. Consider businesses outside your usual area. South Kona and South Kohala might need what you have or do, too!
- Consider an online advertising investment. Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising or Facebook ads offer excellent targeting and low-risk ways to reach new customers. I know this is self-serving, but getting some help with these will save you untold stress and wasted expenditures.
- Take a realistic look at your signage. Is it old, faded, or in disrepair? Are you using your vehicles to advertise? How can you increase your visibility outside your business and your presentation inside your business?
- Simplify your life. Commit to a week or two of unsubscribing from all but the most essential email you receive. Set a limit to the time you spend during the workday for looking at non-work-related websites.
- Do routine maintenance on everything in your office or workplace. Replace filters, clean the carpet, dust, update your computers, and oil every squeaky hinge.
Bonus: 11. Take some time to relax and enjoy the things that bring your joy in life outside of work. There will be a time that we’ll all get really busy again.