Omicron cases are increasing nationwide and are expected to increase further over the next two weeks, according to the American surgeon general. For small businesses, this is bad news to hear given the difficulties they have faced over the past two years. While some small businesses have received financial aid or PPP loans during the pandemic, the majority have not. Which means that this recent push from Omicron has continued to exacerbate widespread personnel and inventory shortages.
About 70% of small businesses have been financially affected by Omicron, according to a to study by Goldman Sachs. Fortunately, there are a few options to help businesses bounce back. First, businesses should research the financing and lending opportunities available to them outside of traditional lending. Over five million new businesses started in 2021. As a result, in 2022, the needs of these new small business owners include raising affordable capital to grow their business, developing effective digital marketing to attract more customers, and most importantly, finding the time to actually run their business. There are several companies, like Business Warrior Funding, that will help entrepreneurs grow their business and offset the pain often associated with traditional bank loans.
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Additionally, businesses can continually highlight pandemic precautions among their staff to ease customer concerns. Cautious customers who are already limiting their outdoor exposure will not take the time to visit physical stores if they know they are not taking precautions against the virus. Businesses must mask, vaccinate or test their staff and keep customers safe. Owners should inform their customers of the safety procedures they are implementing, both online and on social media, to keep them up to date so they are comfortable enough to start shopping again.
Next, develop and optimize a digital presence for your brand with social media and a website. Small businesses that did not have an online platform before the pandemic are currently among those struggling the most or have already closed. Today, consumers buy more online than in person. Without an online presence or a way for customers to interact with a business online, those businesses simply aren’t on the consumer’s radar. Additionally, social media can be a great tool for a small business owner to communicate business changes with their audience, and there have been plenty of such opportunities during the pandemic.
Entrepreneurs can take other steps online to ensure better business practices. Owners can build an email list, but more importantly, they can pay attention to their SEO. Google My Business is part of SEO, and these listings are 70% more likely to attract local visits and increase a business’s sales and web traffic. They also ensure that a business ranks high in Google’s keyword searches, thereby increasing a brand’s audience and awareness.
Also, small businesses need to be aware of their current position in the community. It can be as simple as online reviews. A standard 90% of buyers said they checked reviews of businesses before making a decision on where to eat. If customers see that a business hasn’t responded to a negative review or questions on social media, that might force them to go elsewhere. Owners should be diligent about reviews and ensure they have offered to address customer concerns in all situations.
Business agility has never been more important, and it’s true for global industries. Small businesses with fewer customers need to take the time to ensure that everyone who walks through the door or buys online is a returning customer. Business owners need to provide great service and quality products during this economy or they will be left behind.
In summary, small businesses need to rely on digital finance and marketing resources to provide excellent customer service, and effective communication with their online customers, to ensure they thrive during this Omicron peak.
business warriorCEO and President of Rhett Doolittle and Chairman Jonathan Brooks took their company public in 2020 during the pandemic while managing to triple their subscriber base, launch two new versions of their software and improve Q2 2021 revenue by over 220% while growing the team to over 30 people. Business Warrior Funding is a new lending solution that leverages Business Warrior’s expertise and strategic partnerships to help entrepreneurs grow their business and offset the challenges often associated with traditional bank loans. Business owners interested in taking advantage of loan services can begin the application process here. Business Warrior software takes a holistic view of a company’s online reputation, listings, website search results, and social media. Predictive algorithms are used to recommend the most imperative actions needed to attract new customers, positively impact day-to-day operations and improve profitability. For more information, please visit businesswarrior.com.