Ever resourceful and creative, small business owners are always looking for ways to get scrappy and adapt. They are pivoting, changing methods, and switching up their marketing tactics.
Here are five questions to get your creative juices flowing — and even more examples to inspire new solutions for your business.
1. Could you deliver your service virtually?
From yoga to music, class- and training-based small businesses are finding ways to continue delivering their service virtually, including through live classes conducted on members-only videoconferences.
Mental health professionals are providing therapy over the phone. And doctors are increasingly speaking with patients over the phone first, too.
A number of photographers in Jottful Community are accepting shipments of products that need to be photographed. They shoot the photos in their studio, then ship the products back to their clients afterward.
2. Could you find a new way to reach prospects?
With in-person events and networking off the table for now, many self-employed professionals and small businesses need to find new ways to meet prospective customers.
Even if you can’t deliver your service online, could you create videos to help promote it? For example, some chefs are recording and sharing cooking-lesson videos.
Marketing service providers who have fewer new business opportunities right now are investing in content and in growing their online networks — all in a bid to be top-of-mind when new opportunities do arise again.
3. Could you sell something new?
Indiana-based fitness studio Cyclebar instituted a stationary bike rental program for members. The service is so popular there’s a waitlist.
Dozens of Jottful Community members have created “microservices” — bite-sized versions of their regular offerings. Get some new ideas for your business when you check out the full menu of microservices they’re offering new Jottful customers right now.
And then there are legions of small businesses that have shifted their production entirely and are now making in-demand products such as personal protective equipment (like this Michigan-based dressmaker) and hand sanitizer. Still others are providing delivery services for home-bound customers.
4. Could you get payment in advance?
If you’re like most small businesses right now, cash is tight. But if you’ve developed strong relationships with your customers and your community, you might find people are willing to make purchases now for products and services you can deliver later.
Maybe you could offer one-year subscriptions or pre-order discounts.
Or maybe you could sell gift cards. Kabbage has recently announced they’re making it possible for small business owners to sell gift certificates online for free. They’ll even help you get the word out through a partnership with Facebook. You can find out more about this program and others on our mega list of deals and freebies.
5. Could you make sales online?
If you haven’t added purchasing capabilities to your website, this is the time to do it.
One of our newest website customers, By the Sea Salt Therapy, is an Ohio-based business affected by COVID-19 closures. The owner, Karen, quickly pivoted and focused on her online business. She had a website already, but Karen wanted to go beyond accepting appointments for her salt healing therapy. So, she switched to Jottful and we worked with her to create an online store where she could sell products. And she got the whole thing up and running in a mere ten days!
If you’re wondering what’s the best way for your business to start selling online, take our 2-minute quiz.