What to do as a Small Business Owner during coronavirus
As a small business owner during coronavirus (COVID-19), these can feel like times of uncertainty. I have watched one of our favorite restaurants permanently close, spoken with couples who are thinking on their feet and altering their wedding plans, and have comforted dear friends in the events industry who have events they have spent countless hours on being rescheduled or simply cancelled altogether. With everyone being encouraged to stay at home to reduce the spread of coronavirus, I wanted to create a resource to help small businesses use this time at home to improve their business. During challenging times like this, we can invest time in our services and products to improve our ability to serve our customers.
Batch work for your small business
If you have been around Between the Pine for some time, you know I am a big fan of batch working. Batch working simply means focusing on one specific aspect of your small business at a time. I’ve listed things I commonly batch work, along with ideas of what you can batchwork for your small business.
Blog Posts: My team has created a system that allows us to batchwork blog posts months in advance. We plan the photo layouts for blog posts, and then switch to batching the copy for those blog posts. Once the photo layouts and copy are complete, we schedule out our blog posts so there is consistently new content up for our readers.
Instagram Posts: I use UNUM to plan my instagram feed weeks prior to posting on Instagram. My copywriter and I carve out one to two hours to create Between the Pine’s instagram feed along with captions and hashtags for each post. By doing this, I can post consistently for my community with quality, beneficial content.
Pinterest Pins: My team and I use a platform called Tailwind to schedule out pinterest pins for each day. We create pinterest graphics in Canva, and then upload the pins to Tailwind where we can schedule out the pins for weeks and months to come. Pins will be pinned to your Pinterest board literally while you sleep. Automation at its finest!
Facebook Posts: If you have a business page on Facebook, you can schedule out posts for the weeks and months to come. Common things my team and I schedule out on Facebook include: blog posts, resource pages, and general posts about Between the Pine for newer friends to the community.
Email Campaigns: Having an email list is an amazing opportunity to connect with your community in a more personal way. Take time to write out and design emails for the next few weeks or months to come. If you don’t have an email list, not to worry! Head on over to Mailchimp to create a free account!
Sign up for an online course or online business mentor session
If you are a small business owner finding yourself working from home, consider using this time to work through an online course on something you’d like to learn or signing up for a Skype business mentor session. Online courses and mentor sessions often end with a long list of action items to implement which can fill your time.
If you are interested in a business mentor session with me, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. I offer one, two and three hour small business mentor sessions. I cover topics ranging from SEO, scaling your business, attracting your ideal client, daily workflow, taxes, becoming legal (LLC, S-Corp, Sole Proprietor), budgeting, pricing and so much more.
If you are on the hunt for a good online course, here are a few I have completed or heard amazing things about!
If you are looking for FREE online courses, here are a handful of great ones as well!
Check in with your small business clients
If you are in the service-based industry, take this time to check in with your clients. Even if your client’s event is not for six or more months, take this time to send an email and ask how planning is going and ask if you can help them in any way. Most of the country is feeling on-edge about the current state of the coronavirus outbreak, so by doing the simple act of asking how your clients are doing is a small act that speaks volume.
Read books to boost your small business
Reading business books has absolutely transformed my business strategy here at Between the Pine. I currently am part of a virtual book club where we go through one book at a time, keep each other accountable, and talk through implementing practices from the various books we read. If you are needing a few recommendations, here are some of my favorites! And, heck, reach out to a handful of other small business owners and see if they would like to read with you!
Evaluate systems and workflows for your small business
Every small business has some type of workflow, and this is a great time to evaluate and improve your systems for different aspects of your business. For example, I have a workflow system for editing my photos. This week, I am taking a step back, writing down the process, and considering ways I can improve my system. By doing this, I can ensure I have the best system possible for when I am in the thick of a busy season. Needing ideas on what systems you could evaluate and challenge yourself to improve for your small business? Wander through my list of ideas below!
Client emails and engagement
Budgeting system and process
Engaging in industry specific Facebook groups
Listen to and learn from business podcasts
I love podcasts, and I am always look forward to listening to some of my favorite ones while I am out on a run, hiking or simply editing photos at my desk. My absolutely favorite business podcast is The Goal Digger Podcast. I have implemented so much of what Jenna has shared on this podcast, and I can confidently say it is one of the biggest difference-makers here at Between the Pine. Other great business podcasts are The Influencer Podcast and Rise Podcast.
Take this time to set goals and vision for your business
I am a big believer in creating goals with action steps to help any small business stay focused and on track. Each month, I create goals for what I hope to accomplish. But, it is so important not to stop at creating the goal. After the goal is created, I create action steps and measurable markers to ensure that I am staying on track. I’ll give you an example below:
Goal: Post a blog every week for the month
Action Items: Pick four things to blog about, create titles for the four blog posts, create the copy for the blog posts, create the photo layouts for the blog posts, create and finalize the blog post draft, schedule the blog post, put weekly reminders in my calendar for the day the blogs will be published, promote the new blog posts on all social platforms
As you can see in my example above, after I created the goal, I then created the steps that will allow me to achieve the goal. They are all measurable markers for me to ensure the goal can and will be reached.
Start your small business email list
As a small business, a great way to stay connected with your potential clients and supporters is to create an opportunity for people to join your email list. Once someone has joined your email list, you can create content that will land in their inbox that is a beneficial resource and fosters a great online community.
If you’d like to join my email list, fill out the form below! I share weekly business tips, encouragement and business opportunities for my readers!
I hope this post has sparked ideas in you of how you can continue to grow your small business during this time. For those of you who are feeling the uncertainty, meeting financial instability, and even trying to find a roll of toilet paper in any grocery store, know that I am cheering you on this season. We are all in this together.
Another month has come and gone, and I am so stoked to share about it all in my April’s month in review. So, if you’re ready for my latest recipe, the business book that has changed the game for me and why I am so excited about the Huffington Post, then you’re in the right place! Welcome to the April Fireside Chat!