There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world at the moment as we navigate life during covid-19. For many businesses this means lack of income, loss of staff, not to mention the personal implications of making sure your family is safe, checking on those who need to turn up to work every day – keeping yourself sane within your four walls…

It’s a great big ball of stress to say the least.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been affected too. All my clients have. It’s not something we anticipated or could plan for. The truth is we still don’t really know the full impact just yet. So, while we navigate our new (temporary) reality, we need to keep going. We need to stay relevant and if possible, we need to pivot.

It’s taken me a week to fully grasp the next steps for my own business, but one thing I know for sure is: you absolutely must keep communicating with your audience. Don’t be afraid to let your audience know that your business is going to look a bit different right now. Let your audience know how they can support you.

If you’re a café/restaurant, use this time to build your takeaway menu. Retailers, take the time to reassess your branding and content strategy. And if you’ve had to close your doors, start thinking about taking your business online.

The world looks a little different right now, but it’s how we respond to it that really counts.

I’ve compiled a list of 7 things your business could be doing if it’s going through a quiet period.

Reassess branding?

Had your website done 5 years ago and not really sure if it matches the direction your brand has taken since? Knocked up your logo on Canva yourself but want something more professional?

Use this time to really think about your brand and how it should be represented visually. I ask clients to jot down 5 words to describe their brand if it were a person. This really helps get the creative juices flowing and helps determine the brand personality.

If you’re able to invest in a new website or logo now, go for it! If not, start doing your research. Check out your competitors’ sites, make a list of what you like and don’t like. Then when everything picks up again, you’ve ready to go.

Consider yourself an expert in your area.

Are you a counsellor that can offer tips for dealing with mental health during this period?

Are you a dietitian who can advise on the best way to maximise our food from our weekly shop?

One thing is for certain during this pandemic and that is there are a stack of people affected. Perhaps you represent a group of people impacted by Covid-19 who could benefit from awareness and support. Now is the perfect time to get in touch with journalists to give your organisation a platform. Get in touch if you want to look at PR for your business.

Take your business online

This is a big one! If you’ve been putting off taking your business online for months now, this Is 100% the time to take the next step. Use this down time to research various e-commerce platforms, have a think about what web functionality you’ll need. Prepare a list of the sites you like and don’t like. Even go so far as preparing categories that you want to include. There are many photographers who are still able to shoot from their home studios, so if you want to get the ball rolling now, you absolutely can. Then when all this is over, you can launch with a brand spankin’ new online platform.

Put together that content strategy

One of the most important tools for online marketing is your content strategy. This one often gets relegated to the bottom of the pile when everything else is happening, but now you have no excuse! Really think about the themes you want to cover on your blog over the next 6 months, then work out how you’re going to support those themes. Through social media, e-news? Now might even be the time to think about video. If you’ve been working adhoc and don’t really have a clear content strategy, this should definitely be your priority.

Start that e-news strategy you’ve been talking about.

Many businesses like collecting email addresses but don’t actually send out an e-newsletter. It’s true! This is way more common than you think.

IF you’ve taken my advice above and started a content strategy then you’ve suddenly got a whole stack of info that you can send out to your audience, especially if you’re writing one blog post a week. That’s 4 pieces of content you can use to populate your monthly newsletter. And if you haven’t even started collecting email subscriptions – get onto it! Many services like WIX and Squarespace have simple plug-ins you can use.

Pivot. Is there something else you can offer?

Pivot is the buzz word of 2020 and it’s so much more than that. You’ve seen many café/restaurants now offering takeaway orders or collaborating with other businesses to expand their reach. Think about your business and what you could do to keep afloat during this period. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box either. Perhaps you could launch a brand new standout dish or offer toilet paper with every order… Get creative!