April 7th, 2020

Covid-19 Update: Our Recommendations to Businesses

Author: Laura Lynch
Laura Lynch
Director of Marketing

We want to help your business make it through this pandemic. Here’s what we’re doing.

For the past month, Covid-19 has been the elephant in the room for all of us. Anything we could say about it feels cliché, but not saying anything about it feels worse. As a business, we’ve spent a lot of the past few weeks discussing what this crisis means for our clients, and what we can do to help.

Over the past month, we’ve talked to local business owners who were running a successful company just a few months ago, and are now feeling the pinch as their doors remained closed for weeks on end. We’re also talking to businesses who experiencing an unexpected surge of new clients and customers and who are struggling to keep up.

We’ve been watching our clients trying to manage this from both ends of the spectrum, and it puts us in an unusual position.

Our clients come to us because they trust our expertise within the sphere of marketing communications and web development. We believe that the best thing we can do to help our clients during this time is to listen to their concerns, offer the best guidance we can, and work hard to respond to their most immediate needs.

Traditionally, our blog has been our go-to place to share our expertise with our clients. We’ve spent many years turning it into a resource of valuable information on marketing, SEO, web design, web development, and e-commerce. If there’s something you need to know, chances are we’ve written a post on it. We encourage you to browse our articles, and to reach out if you have questions.

In the meantime, this is the advice we are giving our current clients as they try to decide how their businesses should respond to the current situation.

Priority #1: Weather the storm.

If your business is shut down right now and you’re wondering how you’re going to meet payroll and pay your bills, your course of action is unambiguous. We know you can’t afford extra marketing or web development work right now, and we would never advise you to make that investment. We recognize that your mission right now is to hold tight and last until the crisis passes.

Some of our clients have reached out to us to discuss their ongoing contracts with us. We’ve done our best to work with these clients by pausing marketing retainers and working out new payment plans. If you are one of our customers, are in a truly desperate situation, and have not yet contacted us, please do so.

Is there anything you can be doing in the meantime?

Like the rest of you, we’ve been watching how our friends, family, and neighbors have been handling their time in quarantine. Posts have ranged from the doggedly upbeat to the comically morose. Some of you may already be fully occupied by home duties, from suddenly trying to learn how to homeschool your kids to making sure your elderly parents have groceries.

Some of the rest of you may be eager to find anything you can do for your business while you’re at home. Helplessness is one of the most negative things to experience in times like this, so to stave it off, we’ve thought about what kind of marketing and maintenance steps our clients can take on their own while they work through this crisis. Here are our recommendations:

  • Communicate with your customers on social media, your blog, and by email. Let them know what your situation is and how you’re faring.
  • Write articles for your blog about your industry using your business’s keywords where natural. Once you’re back on your feet, we can help you get them SEO optimized.
  • Perform a content audit of everything on your site. Get rid of outdated information and look for areas that need more content.

These steps may not seem like much, but they will let your clients know that you haven’t gone away just yet, and then can held build SEO strength that will serve you well once your business is opening its doors again.

Priority #2: Hold steady.

Some of our clients are in a gray area. Their position is vulnerable, and could change the longer this situation goes on. But for the time being, they’ve transitioned to a remote office, and their business is moving on as usual.

Our recommendation for businesses in this position is to keep calm and carry on. Beyond this, businesses should send a message of reassurance to their customers and clients letting them know how they’re doing. It may seem like every business on the planet has emailed their clients about Covid-19 in the last few weeks, but there are good reasons behind it. With so much uncertainty right now, it is good news to your clients and customers to hear that something in their life is still functioning normally.

If you interact with customers in any way, you should also inform them about any safety measures you have in place. Demonstrating due diligence now will alleviate any anxieties they might have about working with you, and will contribute to the stability of your business.

Priority #3: Position yourself for the recovery.

If you’re in a secure position, even though your business is on hold, this might be a good time to work on projects that will position your business to hit the ground running once the crisis is over. Many of our customers come to us to begin projects in their off season, when they know they will have the breathing room to complete a project.

Specifically, we are encouraging our clients to think about projects that will outlast the coronavirus in bringing value to their businesses. The e-commerce solution you develop in response to Covid-19 can also be a long-term revenue stream. The platform you build now to create a forum for your professional peers can lead to a long-term online networking community. The pandemic will pass. Plan for the future.

Priority #4: Provide what your customers need.

If you’re experiencing an unexpected boom, now is the time to build out your infrastructure and put more resources into customer support. Your clients need things from you, and the last thing you want is to add stress to an already intense situation.

Most of our clients in this position need help on a design or development aspect of their business. They need a new tool to manage incoming orders, or a way to improve their scheduling and delivery systems. Many are suddenly seeing the e-commerce portion of their business in a new light, and structural problems that were on the back burner in January are now front of mind.

Even marketing needs are more demanding. When the workload picks up, communication is key. In an emergency, communicating the appropriate information in the right tone is even more important. If you need backup, talk to us.

We can consult with you about your specific business situation.

Tough decisions only become tougher under uncertain circumstances. Making the wrong move can be just as disastrous as making no move at all. We can’t make your decisions for you, but we can help you understand your options so that you can see your way more clearly.

We hope all your businesses emerge at the other side of this crisis with the resources to keep growing. More than that, we look forward to the day when we can help our clients make business and marketing decisions without thinking about how they might be affected by Covid-19.

In the meantime, we are here to offer our support—not just in words, but in hard work, compassionate communication, and responsive action.

We are all healthy, and we hope the same for our clients. Until this thing is over, be well.

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