With so many businesses being put on standby – whether because of financial difficulties or being temporarily shut down – people are banding together in an effort to help. We are all starting to learn who is actually essential in running things throughout the country, who is willing to help others, and the importance of business support. Waiters, bartenders, personal trainers, school teachers, and many others are currently trying to figure out how to make ends meet. Luckily, consumers everywhere are also reaching out to find out how they can help. Together, with the help of our customers, we can still be able to pay our employees, pay our own rent, and keep our businesses afloat. Here are some tips on how:
- Make orders available online. This may seem like a no-brainer but many businesses may not know what can be sold online. For restaurants, delivery and pick-up orders can be made available, but you can sell your own products like bottled “secret sauce” and specialty jellies and jams. Gyms and trainers can offer exercise sets, yoga mats, and fitness sliders to help their customers continue regimens at home, as well as offering personal training via email.
- Post non-profit affiliations. Many people are looking at how they can help others through this crisis. If you are affiliated with any non-profit organizations, particularly ones that may be involved in relief funding, you can use your website to make this known so that your customers are aware of who they can support while still supporting you. You bring attention to causes that you care about, while painting yourself in a positive light.
- Sell merch online. Ordering custom products that can be sold online is one of the easiest ways to continue receiving support from your loyal customers. It’s also a great way to get your name out there and others can spread the word that you’re still open for business. Gyms can sell branded water bottles while schools can continue to sell their branded apparel on the school’s website. (Make sure it’s also posted on the district site!) Merchandise can also be used as a thank you gift when selling products, like including a keychain in a takeout order or giving custom PopSockets to the UberEats drivers.
- Make gift cards available online. People love gift cards, whether to give to others or save for later. When a customer buys a gift card online, make it possible to send it to another address. Perhaps they want to support you as well as a loved one who isn’t able to get out of house. Also, gift cards should be usable when ordering online so that those stuck inside can use it when they receive it as a gift. (Bonus points if you post a reminder that these can be sent to someone else who may need it.)
- Create a “How You Can Help” website page. Never feel bad about asking for help! On your website, set up a specific page that tells others how they can help your company. If you have certain employees that have specific needs at the moment, make sure you post what those needs are. Perhaps they need grocery delivery. Or they may need childcare so that they can continue to work. Post your business contact information in case someone wants to reach out directly. And make sure that you also include on this page that customers can order online, support non-profits, buy merch, and purchase gift cards. Add links to this page on your social media.
These are difficult times to maneuver through and we’re all trying to work together. Make it as easy as possible for your customers – longtime or new – to continue helping you as we work our way through this.