During these times, many local business owners are in fear of economic damage to their business. As a nation that lives month-to-month, week-to-week, even the slightest disturbance in revenue can make a huge impact on local businesses.
Our goal is to empower you with tools, resources and solutions that can, not only help you survive this tough period, but also thrive.
There are a great number of ideas and resources you can implement here.
Some of them work more for one business and less for another… so we will be updating this list as we become informed ourselves.
Before you dive in and check out our "Ultimate Resource Guide", keep in mind that you DO NOT NEED A WEBSITE to get started! Our partner platform has tools that we can utilize to build a landing page that looks and acts like a Website. If you happen to have a Website, GREAT! you can still utilize our landing page as a stepping stone to promote your business that will link directly to your Website!
Make it a priority to connect with your clients on a regular basis. Tell them all about your efforts to keep them safe. Share advice with them on how to protect their family.
However, communicating with email is not enough. Email gets filtered out and on average has a 10-15% open rate.
Use our Text Marketing platform to make sure you reach all your clients. Texting has a 99% open rate, so your clients will be sure to see your messaging.
If you don’t have a database of clients (like many restaurants) - it’s not too late to start building one. There are companies who can build lists from websites, phone numbers, walk in traffic, Wi-Fi setups etc.
** We have access to and can offer you Email lists based on certain demographics that meet your needs. Contact us for how to get started.
Our platform partner Referrizer is giving additional Text/SMS Messaging at an 80% discount so you have no limitations in reaching out to all your customers.
Here are some text messaging ideas for now and when the lock-down is eased:
Gyms, Crossfit Boxes, Yoga Studios, Pilates Studios:
Let your members know what you are doing to keep them safe. Are you hosting Online courses? Are you implementing social distancing and reducing class size by 50%? Cleaning equipment after each use and every hour? Offering hand sanitizer as members leave class? Do you have it readily available throughout the gym or studio? Instead of handing employees their member id when they come in, have you started a new check-in system where they can scan their ids themselves? Are you wiping down door knobs, counter-tops, light switches, etc. regularly?
These are all things you can include in your emails and text messages to your members and clients, letting them know the protocols you are implementing to keep them safe.
Chiropractors, Massage Studios, Acupuncturists:
This is a very stressful time and it’s important for their health that your clients realize that they must manage that stress appropriately. Let them know that seeing their chiropractor, massage therapist, and acupuncturist can actually help boost your immune system.
Have you told your front office staff to work from home? Is the only person they will come into contact with when they enter your business their chiropractor, massage therapist or acupuncturist? Are you sanitizing and disinfecting everything regularly? Are you fever screening all clients and staff at the door (taking temperatures of those who enter)?
If so, these are all important things that your clients need to know during this time. It is important to send out emails and texts informing your clients that keeping or making a chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture appointment is even more beneficial at a time like this
Many cities and states have closed down restaurants and bars during this time. If you are in an area with this regulation, it is crucial to the life of your business that you get the word out that you are still open for:
Many grocery store shelves are empty and, even if food and other items are available, people are reluctant to go into a crowded store these days. Most people want to support their local restaurants and also are looking for quick pick up or delivery options for meals.
Text or email message ideas:
Make a list of everything that your clients can do to strengthen their immune system. Make it relevant to your business and share it with your employees and customers.
Here are some templates you will get through our Email System to reach out to your clients.
When you work with us, and are member of the Referrizer network, you can utilize these and many other templates and send emails FOR FREE with our Free Email Marketing Feature (#Support4LocalBusinesses)
If you are in the health & wellness industry - there are webinar programs like Zoom that offer live streaming options, so your clients can still get the benefits of your classes and stay home. You can also run Facebook Live Streams to provide tips and hold question & answer session as well.
If you own a restaurant - make sure you educate your clients about your pickup options and how your delivery services can easily and safely bring food to them.
If you are 1-on-1 service (like personal training, massage etc) - offer to go to your clients, so they don’t have to leave their homes.
If you are a retail store - set up a quick online shop through Shopify and inform your customers that you can deliver the goods for them. Once your shop is created you can upload products (by simply by scanning bar codes) and then tell everyone that you can deliver the goods to them. Delivery can be done by a variety of carrier services.
This is the perfect opportunity to move a portion of your business online and while it will help your business stay alive during these difficult times, it will even help it thrive as you grow and reach new customers. Having a strong online presence will also benefit you in many ways when things settle down and return to normal.
You are an expert in your industry. You studied for years to become an incredible yoga or pilates studio owner, a restaurant owner or manager, a chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapist, etc.
Use that knowledge.
Create online courses to offer to inspire those who want to follow in your footsteps. Online education through courses is a multi-million dollar business right now. People are stuck at home these days and many are using the opportunity to increase their education to learn more about the industry they are passionate about. And they are willing to pay.
After you have created a successful course or two - you could then create a course on how to create courses for people in your industry, which could then lead to making even more money!
It’s easier now than ever to get low interest loans, negotiate your credit cards or get increased credit limits.
The government is opening $50 billion dollars for small/local businesses to help them out of true financial hurdles.
Those loans can be paid back with low-interest over 10-30 years. If you ever thought about remodeling, growing or expanding and you needed time to do it, what better time than now?
More money is more available now than ever before and this slow-down can help you get things moving faster.
This might be the perfect time to take your business to the next level.
Interest rates for EIDL loans are set at:
Loan repayment can extend up to 30 years. The SBA’s terms and conditions are determined by the business’ ability to repay the loan.
Amazon, Facebook, Twitter - pretty much every giant company is now offering free grant money to help local businesses.
Here are some grant money resources:
Additional SBA Resources
For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center.
Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or
It’s easier now than ever to get low interest loans, negotiate your credit cards or get increased credit limits.
This is the perfect time to really sit down and evaluate every part of your business. Go through your books, your stats, your analytics. Evaluate your customer base.
Get focused and concentrate on every tiny detail.
Then sit down with an old-fashioned pencil and paper and sketch out who is your perfect customer? How old are they? What job do they have? Where do they live? What does their daily life look like? What are their hobbies? How do they fit into your business? What would attract them to come into your business? Why would they stay? How can they become a raving fan and help spread the word organically about your business?
Once you have this person visualized and written out in extreme detail on your piece of paper. Look again at your business. Look at it from an aerial view. Then zoom in and focus on every detail through all of your books, stats, analytics, etc.
Next, think even more about how you can pivot your business to draw in more customers just like this person.
What services can you add? What services can you remove? Can you partner with other businesses in the area to offer even more value to your customers?
This evaluation will help you determine whether you should take your business in a new direction and can open doors for you that you may have previously seen as closed.
Many businesses these days may find their number of clients cut in half and your cash flow in danger.
The worst thing you do at a moment like this to cut your marketing. Instead, you need to think about what needs to be done to double your marketing efforts.
This doesn’t mean you have to double your marketing expenses.
It is important to use your marketing to make up for the lost customers. Here are some ideas on how to do just that:
We have created a Facebook Group for local business owners where they can connect with other business owners to share challenges and tips on how to survive and thrive in this outbreak.
In times like this, as a business owner, t’s important to keep yourself informed with the latest news and updates. Especially for your area. You want to provide your customers with the best possible service and knowledge and the only way to do this is to follow important news and announcements closely.
Here are some good resources about Coronavirus to keep eye on:
As a quick and handy service to you, we’ve created a “Coronavirus Policies” poster template on Canva. You can download it, print it, and start posting it around your gym today.
It is crucial to be a resource for your clients. You are an expert in your industry and can provide them tips and information applicable to your customers specifically.
The same things we did here to help you, the business owner, you can offer something similar for your customers. Especially because you can see the value.
You can provide your clients advice and tools to help them and their families which they will find valuable and continue to turn to you as a source of information during this difficult time and also when things settle down.
Many businesses who are used to networking are in a tough spot right now due to the social distancing rules. You may feel you can not do any networking.
Luckily, there are alternatives that can help you continue local prospecting and networking while staying home.
Our partner platform has created a local network, where business owners not only network, but exchange ideas, resources and refer each other within communities.
This way, you can continue to network, meet and connect with other business owners while you retain your safety and protect health of you and your family.
Click here http://partnerup.referrizer.com/?aff=N2M to get your free account to this local network now.
If your industry is in trouble and you really can not make any changes, or accept any of those principles, it might be a good time to temporarily change your industry.
Here are some other industries that are thriving during the recession:
What other skills do you have that you can use in this time to help others in need? What can you do to add value to the people in need?
Here is a good online resource for Restaurant Owners https://www.restaurantworkerscf.org/news/2020/3/15/resources-for-restaurants-and-workers-coping-with-the-covid-19-emergency
On this site you'll find:
- Updates on closures that impact the restaurant industry
- Health, healthcare, and prevention
- What businesses need to know
- Unemployment information
- Immigrant specific concerns & resources
- Financial assistance
- News items on restaurants & public health
- Data & statistics relevant to the crisis
Here is a good online resource for other workers in various industries:
On this site you'll find:
- Everything you need to know about the Federal Small Business Stimulus Aid Programs
- Everything you need to know about SBA Disaster Assistance Loans
- Resources to help your small business survive Coronavirus
- 5 ways to manage small business concerns when employees can't work from home
- How to keep your team educated during Coronavirus
- Staying connected to customers during the Coronavirus outbreak
- 5 ways to retain customers during the Coronavirus outbreak
It’s important that your clients know that your business is clean.
If your business is sparkling clean, it will give your clients more confidence to come through your doors. This is especially true when you clients see you, the business owner, and your staff always cleaning. Remember, your clients talk and they have friends that are looking for places that are corona virus safe.
Remember to continually clean these commonly touched surfaces throughout the day:
Your place should smell freshly cleaned all the time - not only once a day.
You can also buy an ultraviolet lamp to disinfect your place multiple times a day.
Remember, do not use this when people are present. And offer complementary face masks.
Keep an available spray bottle with the cleaning / disinfection solution a couple feet away as well as a clean cloth or disposable paper.
For larger facilities (Gym, fitness center etc) - keep a cleaning cloth and disinfectant spray in refillable bottle next to each machine. Instead of having just one person cleaning everything - make everyone a part of it. And your job is to clean the most common areas as well.
A little investment in providing cleaning supplies can take you far.
If you offer yoga classes or group workout sessions, make sure you clean floors, mats, balls, blocks, and other equipment before each session. Also, let your clients know that they are recently disinfected. Once a day IS NOT ENOUGH.
If you own a restaurant and your doors are open, put a bottle of hand sanitizer on each table, or alcohol wipes.
Clean always - non-stop. Give every employee cleaning spray and a towel. When somebody opens the door, clean the doorknob right after. Be obsessed with cleaning.
Prevent anyone with cold/flu symptoms inside your business.
This starts with you. If you feel you may have a cold, or even a runny nose, stay away. This is the same for employees.
You can buy a Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer to take the temperature of your employees or clients before they enter. It will give those who are healthy more confidence that you are doing the right thing. This will also help you prevent somebody who is potentially infected from entering your facility.
Stay safe and stay smart and you will get through this.