2 Proven Tactics for the Survival and Success of Small Businesses During/Post COVID 19

Did you know about 45% of small businesses reported that they have closed because of COVID-19?

The effects of COVID-19 on small businesses have been devastating, to say the least. For small businesses that are still operating, the future looks quite bleak. However, small businesses can survive this global pandemic by implementing these 2 proven tactics for business survival and success.

These proven tactics have helped many small businesses keep their doors open despite the global pandemic/crisis.

In other words, they’re proven to work.        

As a certified economic and business development professional who has helped many small businesses grow and being a small business owner myself, I have seen these 2 proven tactics work first hand.

Before getting into these tactics, allow me to ask this question. 

Why is it that so many businesses were forced to close due to COVID 19?

Based on my experience and what I have seen in the media, I think the answer is twofold:

  • Many small businesses don’t have an online presence. As simple as this may seem, without an online presence with the capacity to adequately serve customers, your business will not get the exposure that your competitors have. But the biggest drawback yet, learning from what COVID 19 has taught us, is that without the online tools to service customers, your business will cease to exist.
  • Toward the beginning of the pandemic, many small businesses had limited cash on hand. This meant that they either had to cut expenses drastically thus reducing output and profits and or take on additional debt which led to the declaration of bankruptcy.

The latter point is the main reason for the government focusing their intervention on providing financial aid including wage subsidies and low-interest loans to small businesses. While many businesses accepted the financial aid with open arms, others were reluctant to, since they were afraid to put their business in greater debt. I firmly believe that a critical part of the solution is for all small businesses to establish an online presence.

These two proven tactics are the most cost-efficient and effective ways for establishing an online presence:

Tactic #1 – Claim and optimize your My Google Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yahoo Small Business listings.

By adding your business to Google, Bing, and Yahoo, you are making sure potential customers, whether searching from a computer, tablet or phone, can readily find the right information about your business. These three platforms are free and critical tools to reach more potential customers and turn them into qualified leads and sales.

Listing your business on these platforms is only the initial step as you will also want to optimize it to rank higher. Businesses with a higher ranking naturally get more traffic. About 90% of all searches happen on Google and Bing, as stated by Net Marketshare. This means that your potential customers rely on these platforms to quickly find products and services they are looking for in that very moment. That’s why I can’t over-emphasize the importance of listing your business on these platforms. 

But how do you get your business listing to rank higher and be among the top three (3-Pack)?

It’s simple!

You will have to:

  • Add at least 10 photos to your listing. Pro-tip, before adding these photos, make sure they are geo-tagged.
  • Provide an accurate business address and/or service area
  • Avoid prohibited content and activities
  • Ensure your business information and branding is consistent across all platforms
  • Describe your core business accurately
  • Create about 10 to 15 local business citations. This is an online reference to a business that features the business’ name, address, phone number, etc.

Tactic #2 – Create a professional website for your business. No coding skills are required. 

We now live in a digital world and having a website for your business is crucial for business survival, especially in a crisis such as Covid 19. The last year has taught us that if you have a business and don’t have a website, you have lost out on profitable opportunities. Having a website online is by far the most effective way of advertising. If set up right, your website can make money for you while you are asleep at night. This is called generating passive business income. Gone are the days when people stroll down your local streets to find your business. Instead, they prefer shopping online in the comfort of their homes. This prevailing trend is now heightened as people are now being encouraged to stay home as stipulated by Covid 19 regulations.  

If you are a business owner and you don’t have a website, you are slowly but surely killing your business.

Establishing a professional and polished website with smooth functionality and easy navigation that entices customers to do business with you is easier done than ever before.

How do you go about creating a website yourself for about $100 a year?     

You may not be a web designer or a professional coder but you can certainly do it yourself.

Step 1 – Choose a domain name for your business. This will be the address for your website. People will type this domain name in the browser’s URL bar to find you. Experts recommend using the name of your business as your domain name and a .com.

Step 2 – Buy and register your domain name. You can expect to spend a few dollars on a domain. Before buying, you will have to determine if the domain is available by doing a search. Don’t worry about it too much as you can search the domain availability on the same website you buy the domain from. These are the top domain providers:

Step 3 – Host your domain name. Hosting is a service that allows your website to be visible and accessible via the World Wide Web.  Most hosting companies also provide domain services which means you can buy and host your domain with the same company. There are many website providers out there but experts recommend these:

  • Bluehost – this is my top recommendation as it is powering over 2 million websites worldwide.
  • Hostinger
  • GoDaddy
  • Wix
  • Shopify

Step 4 – Set up your WordPress website by installing and customizing your preferred theme.

Your hosting and domain name provider is already synced with WordPress which is a free open-source content management system. From your hosting and domain provider website, you will be able to launch WordPress and begin installing and customizing your new website. 

Once in WordPress, I will recommend using either the Astra or OceanWP themes. These two themes are highly customizable allowing you to build a website you want. They come with a set of demos allowing you to quickly, with a few clicks, launch a prebuilt website. It’s very simple to do, you just have to import the demo and start customizing it to what you want.

You can also leverage the services of site builders such as Wix and Shopify. The process is the same on these sites but made much easier for beginners. You will pay a premium to these site builders for making things a little less complicated.    

I hope this article provides valuable information to you and urges you to take action today. If you like it, then go ahead and subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more valuable content.  If you need help claiming and optimizing your business listing on Google, Bing and Yahoo and setting up a website, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

label, , ,

About the author

Jason Felix studied Business and Economic Development at the University of the West Indies and the University of Waterloo respectively. With a vision to promote positive community and economic growth in rural communities, Jason Felix moved to Northern Ontario from Waterloo, Ontario. Jason proceeded to work with rural municipalities assisting in the development of stronger, more resilient and inclusive economies. Passionate about community revitalization while embracing new challenges, the move to Northern Ontario was a natural fit. With the support and encouragement of staff members, municipal council, friends and family, Jason was able to evoke a sense of community pride and optimism in communities that were deemed depressed and declining. Grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the sustainable development of communities throughout Canada and the Caribbean, Jason’s work is summed up as helping communities to develop the most appropriate economic development framework to achieve sustained and diverse growth. With mixed emotions, Jason left the municipal world and accepted a position with the provincial government as a Trade and Investment Specialist where he is now tasked with driving investments to Northern Ontario. In his free time, Jason enjoys spending time with friends and family.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *