Is it the right time to build a website and start a business during a pandemic?

A conversation that I find myself having with a lot of entrepreneurs who are empathetic to the times. They’re saying “I’m not sure if it’s the right time for me to try and sell my products and or services”. In light of the pandemic and the financial strain that It is putting on people.

While this is a fair assessment. It is not taking into account that there are so many options available to take steps to build your brand awareness. Brand identity is a pivotal part of any business. It is even more important online.

Now is a great time to start working on establishing your online presence and building your brand. Due to the Quarantine people are home and they’re more receptive to finding out about new options and ideas than ever. Especially when it comes to establishing local SEO strategies. Creating a way for people who can’t get to the store to still be able to get what they need. 

What is a good strategy for establishing my business during the pandemic?

One thing is for certain. What was a habit and the norm before all of this started will no longer be the new norm. The new norm is being shaped and molded now. People are paying attention to the brands that are putting COVID19 in their subjects just to get you to open an email are as a marketing tool. Providing no real substance or relevance to the current situation. This is a bad look and will hurt their brand reputation in the long run. 

They’re also paying attention to businesses that they can relate to and that are providing content that resonates with them in a responsible way. There is a shift taking place. Where people may have only been open to one product or brand. They’re getting an opportunity to find out about others. Taking note of how businesses are handling the crisis and carrying themselves. Moving away from strict feeling like that have to go into a store when they’re are options online now. 

Your content doesn’t need to be laced with COVID19 to be relevant. Share your story. Your motivation for starting the business. Share why you’re choosing now and why you see your products and or services as something that can make a difference in people’s lives. Speak to what sets you apart from the existing options and what your goals are for your business and brand. Establish your brands messaging and what differentiates you from other local stores in your market. Speak to the human side of things. 

Let people know that your website is coming soon. What you have in the works and how it is going to be useful and effective for them. Speak to how you’re product and or service is going to be able to bring value. What your pricing may be and why you’ve set that pricing. You may have a limited-time offer for the first 100 people. Provide the incentive and give the potential customer and target audience a reason to want to come to visit your new website and or business. This an opportunity to build trust and become more of a competitor than you ever could have before. 

What if my products and services’ price point may be more than people are willing to spend right now?

More than not when your products and or services are at a higher price point. The sales process is a lengthy one. At the very least not typically an impulse buy. Knowing that to be the case. It is even more important to start that conversation now so that you can walk them through why your product and or service is the right choice. Establishing the “know, like, trust” portion of the customer journey. Where they find out about your business, get to know you. Decide that they like what you’re about and begin to see that they can trust you as a business. 

Take this opportunity to start the process and familiarize the potential customer. Educate them on the product and or service. Make sure that they know and understand the value and the return on the investment that they’ll receive by making the purchase. Share testimonials that show that it is more than just a sale it is a change that makes a difference for the better. 

It is also an opportunity to let people who are already customers know that you appreciate their purchase and their business. Working on Brand Loyalty and after-sales nurturing is going to be just as if not more important. As these are people who have already bought in on believing in your business. They took a chance on you and invested. Staying in contact and checking in just to ask how they’re doing is going to register and be memorable. 

Now is a great time to show your appreciation. Provide a discount on the next purchase. Provide an addon to their original purchase. Something that adds value to what they’ve already invested in by becoming your customer. Show that it was more than just about the purchase but that it is about the relationship. You’re as loyal to them as they are to you. Give their purchase new life and increased value. 

What can I do to help keep my business from going under during this pandemic?

Often people will say they want more website traffic but aren’t doing much in the way of building their brand identity or brand loyalty. It is less of an “If you build it they will come” and more of a give them a reason to want to find out more about your business. Local businesses especially suffer from this mentality. Based on being used to their being foot traffic. This is a time to put some effort into Local SEO and promoting your business online. Introduce yourself to the local market and beyond. 

Providing relevant and timely content consistently is going to make the biggest difference. There are several ways that you can go about doing that. We’ve already discussed talking about sharing more information about what value your products and or services bring to customers. Providing background into your business so they feel more like they’re purchasing someone that they can trust. That’s not just in it for themselves but values them as a customer.

Generating leads can also be about taking the time to listen. Gather feedback and apply it to your business. Engaging with your customers be it through email campaigns or social media posts. Let existing and even potential customers know their voice and feedback has value. Implement what you can and what makes business sense. Follow up and interact with them so that they know their voices were heard loud and clear. That goes a long way in building customer appreciation.

You can do that through surveys, and by simply following up with pre-existing customers. Ask them what made them feel comfortable investing in your products and or services. Find out how the experience with it is going. Was there anything they discovered after making the purchase that they didn’t know beforehand? Were there any questions that they wished they asked prior to the purchase? What other products or services they would like to have added. What would make those new additions valuable to them? Find out how much they’d be willing to invest in them. This is an unprecedented time to be able to gather insights and apply them in a way that brings value when it’s needed most. 

There are so many things that you can learn from your existing customers that will help you find more people just like them. Take the time to identify your target audience. The more you know about the people who help support your business. The more of them you can find ways to help you and them through this rough period. You can get through it together. That will not be forgotten or overlooked. Take this time to strengthen relationships and build new ones. 

Now is a time to bring value and resources that help businesses stay open and survive this current situation. It’s is a time to band together and share knowledge and insights. It is our opportunity to shape and mold what the new normal and landscape will be. Here at Majority Media I will continue to do what I can to facilitate a small and midsize business community that does more than just survives.