Re-opening advice for small businesses following Covid-19

The covid-19 epidemic led to unprecedented challenges for almost all businesses. With gyms, restaurants and shops closed, and many service industries slowing right down, small businesses up and down the country were faced with tough decisions on their hands.
Published:
December 1, 2020
Category: News

The covid-19 epidemic led to unprecedented challenges for almost all businesses. With gyms, restaurants and shops closed, and many service industries slowing right down, small businesses up and down the country were faced with tough decisions on their hands.

Now, several months later, restrictions are being eased and many businesses are beginning on the difficult road to recovery. There are many boxes to tick and things to bear in mind as a business owner faced with re-starting, whether you have adapted your operations significantly or are phasing in a return to normal.

We are of course on hand to help our clients with this transition, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need a hand. In the meantime, here are a few basic steps you can take to put your best foot forward when transitioning back in business following the covid-19 pandemic.

Update your Google My Business information

For a lot of people, covid-19 meant reduced hours or closing completely. These new hours should have been updated across all the business’ various platforms, including Google My Business, which is of course vitally important to support a business’ Google Maps listing and general SEO. Now is a great time to check back into Google My Business and update any and all of the business’ information. One of the first things to check is the opening hours to make it easy for customers to get in touch. If the business has been marked as closed don’t forget to mark it as open again or you’ll risk turning customers away right from the start.

Whilst you’re logged in, it’s also worth checking other areas of the profile are up to date, mistakes in the telephone number or address can be costly and ensuring the branding is up to date will boost the confidence of potential customers.

Check and post on social media

Social media was a vital tool to communicate with customers at the start of the pandemic, informing them of changes to a business and giving them an easy way to get in touch with questions or queries. Now is a good time to update a business’ profile and publish new messaging.

First of all, check the basics, if opening hours are being adjusted make sure this is reflected in your profile. Profile bio fields should be updated with the latest information to make it as easy as possible for customers to understand what is going on and how the business will be operating from this point onwards.

Social distancing and PPE are likely to be relevant to many businesses, can this information be added to your business social profile? Many potential customers have had their world turned upside down by the pandemic and are looking for reassurance before order products or booking services, using a social profile to highlight a business’ social distancing or PPE practises is a great way to provide reassurance.

Finally don’t forget to set up a few organic posts too. Most platforms now support scheduling posts, so consider setting up several posts to go out over the next few weeks. Eye catching photos are great, a picture of someone from the business following social distancing or wearing PPE is great for boosting customer engagement. Don’t forget to reiterate the key details from your profile updates in posts too such as reopening information and any changes to the business as a result of the pandemic.

Update your website

We helped many of our clients update their websites when the pandemic began. Site-wide banners were a popular means of instantly updating all visitors with pandemic-related messaging. As restrictions are eased it’s vital to keep these messages up to date to reassure customers that businesses are keeping in step with government regulations and adapting to the situation as it develops.

If your business has a blog or news section on its website this is a great opportunity to let customers know a little more about what’s happening. A brief update with all key details is great for consumer confidence, it’s worth reiterating all key points such as changes to opening hours, using PPE, following social distancing and anything else relevant to your business.

PPC updates

Many of our clients run PPC campaigns using platforms such as Google AdWords and Facebook. Now is a great time for a PPC health check. Go over your ads and budgets and check that everything is as it should be. Some businesses began to offer remote services which were once in person, others offered new services entirely – check that any changes you have made are reflected in your PPC ads so that potential customers are getting the latest information. If you plan to continue offering remote support or something similar then by all means keep this information in your ads, otherwise swap them back.

It might also be useful to provide a brief covid related update in your PPC ads. Google restricts certain words relating to covid from being used on their AdWords platform, but there’s no problem with a mention of your PPC or social distancing practise to reassure customers that the business is up to the minute with the latest guidelines.

Those are just a few examples of ways your business can publicise reopening following the covid-19 pandemic. Of course, every business is unique and many different industries are facing different challenges. If you’d like a bit of help making the adjustment and would like a plan that is tailored specifically around the needs of your business and the practises of your industry don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team for a chat. With wide-ranging experience across multiple industries and almost a decade of digital marketing practise under our belts, you’ll certainly be in safe (and thoroughly washed) hands.

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