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The next couple of months will be telling ones. We’re not saying a lockdown is inevitable, but a lot of communities have spent the past week or so escalating their precautionary levels and this article will give you some advice for overcoming slower business times with a potential shelter in place order.
Ditch Your Space
We’re not making any friends with landlords here but there are some businesses that just don’t require storefronts anymore. One way to survive is to eliminate your biggest expenses, and for most, rent (or mortgage on a building) ranks right up there at the top of the list.
Is your business the type that can function without a physical space? What are you giving up? A survey by website provider BlueHost in August 2020 found that 48% of business owners surveyed said they saw no reason for a physical space in the future.
Even if you have slightly less business from lack of foot traffic, consider what it’s costing you to run the physical space. You can even consult with a tax adviser to see if there are tax benefits or deductions you can be taking if you move your business to a spot in your home.
Boost Social and Online
Whether you’re giving up your physical space or not, you have to hit social media hard right now if you want to stay in business. Keep in mind that while some people want to buy local this holiday, sometimes going down and strolling Main Street isn’t possible with schedules (or at all if businesses are shut down). Those people may look for local shops online and may be surprised how few offer online purchase options.
One business announced the temporary physical closing of their storefront and suggested web visitors make an appointment to come to the store. What is the likelihood for someone who’s online to decide to make an appointment to come to a physical location? They are online with credit card in hand. They are in the mood to buy, not make appointments. You’re losing business if you’re asking people to make appointments with you.
At the very minimum, you need:
Get Out There
A lot of businesses don’t want to take on the hassle of an online store but there are easier ways than a WordPress Plug-in (although those are really easy and not as intimidating as you might think) or online commerce software (again, the technology is getting a lot easier to set up than it once was). If you don’t want to run your own and sell from your website, you can sell on: