In the unexpected and unpredicted situation we are in right now, how does a small business like Goodordering try to make the most of it?
Despite the announcement of government grants and help for small businesses from private enterprises such as Facebook, I am finding it difficult to just sit back and accept that my business is going to crumble as sales evaporate.
Although there are some products and brands that might obviously benefit from the onset of COVID 19 - hand sanitiser, tissues, gloves etc, i was curious about the other types of businesses that could turn lemons into lemonade in this situation.
These are the actions that I am taking as the founder of Goodordering to try to ensure that my business survives these dark months. I hope that these ideas might also be able to inspire fellow business owners to be proactive in these challenging times.
New product development
I have thought about any easy products i can add to my range that relate to the new mood. Whilst i was out running the other day i thought that there would be an increase in running and a move away from gyms perhaps which could cause a spike in sales of our bum bags. Is there a way i could market our existing Goodordering bum bags to runners not just cyclists?
Focus on marketing
More than ever marketing is important as Goodordering competes even more for the dollar spend of our customers. I think that sometimes the best, most creative ideas come out of times of crisis, where i am forced to really focus on creative marketing ideas. I have noticed flyers on cars on my street which gave me the idea to flyer local bicycles. In regular (non corona) times i would not consider these ideas as actually viable.
Asking customers for help
As i started to see website visits drop and sales decrease, as i wiped the tears from my face i decided that i would not be too proud to ask for help from my customers, many of who are amazing, kind, cool and loyal. I created an instagram post pointing out some simple ways that customers could help, starting with sharing a picture of their Goodordering bag on social media or recommending the brand to friends. This has been really worthwhile and has resulted not just in sales but new customers.
Band together with other businesses
Strength in numbers and all of that. We should support our fellow businesses not just on Small Business Saturday but on every single day of the week. I have an instagram marketing pod with some fellow bike related brands and we like, comment and share each others posts regularly to help to boost visibility. It's hardly gaming the system but it does help spread the word about all of our brands. This is a good time to set up these systems/teams and processes. They can help in trouble times as well as when things go back to 'normal'. The 'c' word is collaboration.
Look at the COVID angle
For my cycling bags, people may catch the tube/underground/buses less and commuter cycling might increase. This could easily justify an increase rather than a decrease in sales of our cycling bags. Focussing on this angle as a positive is a great way to stimulate sales. Similarly, brands that sell homewares or pyjamas will benefit from the increase in working from home as people seek comfort and want to beautify their work spaces. An apparel brand could focus on their PJ line or an interior brand could offer more services.
Some brands i would wholeheartedly recommend and they all sell online:
Look at Planet Patrol Gallery for hand screen printed maps and art prints
How to do it: Step by step for dummies (and to remind myself)
* keep monitoring sales day by day, even more so than before
* keep marketing spend consistent
* be creative everyday with marketing ideas
* keep refreshing the website, as online sales are key
* reach out to potential collaborators, chances are they are in the same boat
* panic or get overwhelmed
* stray from your overall business strategy / brand values
* cancel orders or plans for the future when COVID19 should have blown over
* give up and accept that sales will suffer
* be afraid of reaching out to your community
So far, with this attitude and approach i have managed to keep sales steady over the last few days. I hope to keep it going as long as possible until i can even turn this situation into a positive.
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