Many small businesses took major hits in the sudden pandemic in 2020, and to date, it's still a struggle for many of them to recover. Some of these small businesses even shut down completely as most of them heavily relied on the ease of contact between the business and their customers. But with the long lockdown that followed the pandemic, there was a huge disconnect that cost many businesses their traffic and in the process, disrupted their source of income.
Part of the situation was that these small businesses comprised many of your local shops, bakeries, flower houses, antique shops, and others like that, that relied heavily on the day-to-day attention they generated from passers-by.
They may never have had to keep any kind of online presence because their customers in the end were not some far-off phone pressing client looking to discover an unknown facility for purchases. They were the community people who already knew that if they needed any of the products from those vendors or shop owners, they knew exactly where to find them.
So in contrast to bigger establishments that needed to advertise more to generate the kind of traffic that would be profitable for their business, the smaller businesses never really bothered with creating such a strong advertising presence, and that also means not so much or even absence of any online presence. When people could no longer come out of their homes, naturally many of these businesses died.
In a situation like this, adaptability becomes the greatest tool in the survival of the fittest. These kinds of businesses now have to decide whether they are ready to take the big step into a world of e-commerce and greater online presence, understanding it could cost them more in terms of manpower, advertising, deliveries, and so many other important logistics considerations. Not to also mention the new online world of competition you’ll have to be ready to face.
Your customers also need to be able to connect back with you, so figuring out how to give them the same feel as when they come into your shops is a process that is necessary but would be difficult.
Nonetheless, an online presence remains the key to weathering the storm as a business owner during this period. We are in an age where everything is accessible with just a smartphone, and with that ease comes an opportunity for businesses to easily reach a lot of customers by simply being in their space virtually.
The trick behind it still lies in communication but because everyone is going online to sell their products now, there’s more to do if you’re going to stand out. Quality products always get attention, but consistency in communication, quick response time, follow up and great customer service can win you the heart of your customers and even get them to recommend you.
It works because people want quick and easy access to information and once they can get it from you, you establish reliability. There’s no better way to be in business than to have customers who know they can rely on you.