LIVE: This blog is updated every day… with updates of government support, stimulus support, tips and more. Stay tuned!
We are trying our best to provide full support to small businesses in Australia. The restrictions imposed on the social gatherings are going up almost every day. This means going virtual or online is the best bet for the businesses. We are OFFERING FREE ADVICE to any Australian small business or sole trader. Anything you wish to know about taking your business online, our digital experts are here to help. We are OPEN and here to support. Call: (07) 3191 5431
Here you will find useful tips to run your businesses as usual even in tough times.
1. Stay Updated
Within a few days, billions of dollars have been announced to help Australians – first stimulus package of $18b and second stimulus package of $66b to support the most vulnerable individuals and businesses. There are various things in these stimulus packages which you should be aware of. Stay up to date by following credible, official sources like the business.gov.au site for all the Coronavirus information and support for small businesses.
We will also keep you updated here in this blog. Follow us on Facebook so you do not miss our latest updates and tips for small businesses.
2. Get Your Business Online
update: 31 March 2020 – Only two are allowed in public gathering unless family.
As mentioned above, since restrictions are put on social gatherings and people are trying to stay home most of the time, it is high time to bring your business online. If you sell products, focus on selling online.
Monday, 23 March 2020 Australian government update: Pubs, licensed clubs and hotels (excluding accommodation), places of worship, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, casinos to close from midday Monday, March 23. Restaurants and cafes to offer takeaway only.
You don’t have to depend on govt. for everything. If you have a service business say Accountant, Electrician, Plumbing well people who need the service will still be looking for such service providers online. So, focus on online marketing so you can be at the top of search results in search engines when people look for you. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the best way to do this.
If you have time at home and not getting much work then use this free time to improve your website. Take help of website design experts. See how you can improve your digital marketing so it can help you not just in time of crisis but also for many years to come.
John from WordPress SEO mentions some of the important things you can do if you have free time at home: Write blogs for your business website, share these blogs on social media, write a newsletter for your customers to update them about your work situation or any tips you would like to give them, Improve your website (add text where required, add contact forms, social links, update design etc), setup Google docs free service (or G Suite paid service) to bring your business documents online, make business plans, make notes, talk to other businesses and study their websites for ideas and prepare your prospecting plan for future. Though it is only a short list of myriad of things you can do for your business from home but we hope you got the idea.
Can’t go out and meet your clients? Why not do it online? Do following:
- If you are a fitness coach, business coach, accountant, a beautician or similar – Bring your clients on video a video call or conferencing and coach them. Checkout this blog for 10 free video chat apps to use in the times of social distancing. Zoom video calling app is becoming really popular during Coronavirus crisis. Follow the expert tips when you’re in a video call. Here are some dos and don’t of video calling.
- Make YouTube videos – YouTube has 2 billion users worldwide. Aussies are spending a lot of time on YouTube. 16.2M Aussie adults spent an average of 25h 19m per person on YouTube in December. This makes it crucial for businesses to get on YouTube. Successful YouTubers are making thousands or even millions of dollars. This money they’re making not just because of the ads that show up next to your video but mostly because they are able to reach a wider audience. As you can see in image above, 90% of people surveyed by ThinkWithGoogle said they discover new brands or products on YouTube.
- Want to learn how to throw a javelin? Change a tyre? Speak Latin? Chances are, if viewers have a need, YouTube has a video that can teach them everything they need to know. YouTube has democratised knowledge, providing a place where people can watch and learn just about anything they can think of.
Call WebsiteFix Digital experts if you need more advice on how to setup YouTube channel, Facebook page, promoting your products online and more ideas.
If you’re not convinced yet, may this video will where YouTuber Casey Neistat showing how “you should do what you can’t” with still of YouTubers who are killing it. By the way, you don’t need any fancy equipment, just your mobile will do.
3. Stay in touch with your customers
Effective communication with your customers is important. Update your social channels like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and tell people if you are still open. Don’t leave them guessing. Also, if you are offering any free support (ex: free consultation, free support or free resources) then let them know. This is the time to help each other and also let your customers know that you care. Update social media about the news and information that can benefit your customers or clients.
Example: Accountants are constantly creating blogs and sharing on social media about about recent stimulus packages and what it means for their clients. Lawyers helping business with legal issues and marketers helping them with setting up and growing business online. Think what kind of information you can share with your audience in your industry.
Proactively share important information with your customers using email, your website, Facebook Page, Instagram Business Profile, or however you typically connect. Remember that you can pin important posts to the top of your Facebook Page for quick viewing. You might include information about the measures you’re taking to make your premises or products safe, or how you will handle customer inquiries if there are expected shipping delays.
You can also update your Page hours to show your customers how and when you’re available for business. Notify customers of any changes or modifications to your availability or services by updating your Page Info and selecting Open With Service Changes or Temporarily Closed, depending on your situation.
4. Get FREE Mentoring
Many business coaches, Accountants, digital marketers are offering free mentoring or advice to help businesses like you.
At WebsiteFix Digital, we are offering free consultation to setup your business online or any other online marketing related help. Make use of this great opportunity. Talk to experts in variety of fields. Talk to business coach to gain knowledge of sustaining business in these tough times and in future, talk to your Accountant for better understanding of tax (especially with recent changes) or talk to a Digital marketing expert for tips to bring your business online as mentioned in step 2 above. Being proactive in the face of economic downturns and natural crises is critical for any business.
For those who have immigration issues or have questions related to recent changes in visas they should contact immigration lawyers. Check this blog for latest Australian immigration update. Taking help from experts save a lot of time and gives you enough time to focus on your recovery strategy.
5. Increase Online Sales
As per CPA Australia, customers are likely to stay home (whether at the instructions of health authorities or by choice), and therefore, purchase more online. To remain viable, many small businesses will need to begin selling online or increase how much they sell online. Businesses need to shift their focus
A key part to preparing for the crisis is investigating different online platforms to see which one is best to sell your products to reduce your reliance on your shop front. It is best to start focusing on online marketing such as SEO, ppc, social media and more. Your digital marketing specialist may be able to assist you with these important considerations.
Suppliers of services should investigate digital solutions to the delivery of services to reduce the need for face to face contact. Consequently, you may choose to close some of your physical locations. In this cases, it may be more important than ever to increase your presence online and sell products or service online where possible.
6. Work From Home
If you or your employee get sick then it will create huge negative impact on your business. So needless to say work from home and let your staff work from home if possible. Setup a place appropriate for working from home. Give your staff guidance and a structure to work with. With the work mentioned in step 2, you can also allocate some of it to your employees.
For on field workers, sole traders thinking how they can do work from home, well if you can’t directly do what you usually do in your business then do something else which you can do from home such as focusing on online marketing. This may not be the same as working directly in it but indirectly you may end up making a strategy which will help your business for a very long time.
So make the best use of this time at home. Don’t just sit and think you can’t do anything at all because of your job types. Remember, even if you think that in your business there is nothing that you can work from home, still there is always something you can do as mentioned in step 2.
7. Take Help From Banks
Australian banks have been actively releasing the support packages to help home loan owners and business owners. They are reducing loan rate, allowing you to easily access redraw from home loan, and even pausing your home loan for 6 months if you eligible. Business owners can also apply for a personal or business loan. Check your bank’s website, contact them via email or phone to check how they can help. However, check online for info. before picking up the phone. It is not wise to bombard the organisations unless it is really necessary. Online chat option is best if the phones are busy.
8. Stay Away From Scammers
Incorporate cyber security into your contingency planning. As more staff may work from home, and the use of remote access technology increases, adversaries may attempt to take advantage. ASD’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) encourages Australians to remain vigilant and ensure sound cyber security practices. ACSC has given certain guidelines to stay safe from scammers so make sure you have a look at them to protect yourself and your employees from scammers.
9. Try hosting online events
In case you need to postpone or cancel any planned events as a result of the outbreak, try hosting a webinar or organise live sessions on social channels such as Facebook or Instagram. Many businesses who can practically coach, service, or deliver events online are doing so using variety of online platforms.
10. Prepare a customer service plan
In order to be responsive and transparent with your customers during this challenging moment, prepare for incoming questions and requests. Consider drafting template responses for your emails or set up instant-reply messages with information you expect your customers will be looking for. Connect with your customers for free in real time using Instagram Direct Messages , Messenger or setting up a WhatsApp Business profile .
11. Provide a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Prepare a list of responses for questions your customers are likely to ask, and provide as much detail and reassurance as possible in your answers. Here is an example of what an FAQ could look like:
Q: Can I cancel my order (travel tickets / educational programs / gym memberships)?
A: Of course we will cancel your order / reschedule or cancel your trip / pause your membership on request. Once your order is cancelled, the spend amount from your original purchase will be refunded to your account. We look forward to doing business with you again soon.