In one way or another, the mandate to shelter in place has affected us all. The times we are facing now are especially difficult for many small business owners who depend on their customers and clients for survival, not only for themselves but for their employees and their families. If you know someone who owns a small business, make sure to thank them, check in on them, and support them in any way possible; and if you own a small business, below we have comprised several ways to stay afloat while we shelter in place.
1. Offer Gift Cards
If your business isn't open to the public anymore, consider offering the option for customers to purchase gift cards to your business. This way, you have the cash flow now, and customers can enjoy your product or service in the future. An article from abc7 News reports how gift cards are directly helping small businesses in the Bay Area.
2. Online shopping options
If you are a brick and mortar business, consider offering products online. Many platforms like Shopify allow you to set up shop online easily. If this is not available to you, post items to your company’s Facebook or Instagram page!
3. Meal Kits
Perhaps you run a restaurant or cafe...put together meal kits consisting of a few ingredients to make menu items at home! Meal kits can include ingredients like pasta, baking mixes, coffee grounds, tea, etc. Also, you can always offer the takeout option so that people can still pick up and enjoy your food at home.
4. Craft Kits
Putting together craft kits can be great if you run an art studio, ceramic shop, craft store, or any place that offers supplies that can be easily packaged and sold to people who want to embrace their crafty side while staying at home. Those with kids will also greatly benefit from this!
Consider offering to donate to an organization or company that is avidly helping stop the spread of COVID-19. You can donate your proceeds, products, or even picking up coffee can go a long way. Healthcare workers, first responders, delivery drivers, grocery store workers, and more are risking themselves in order to still keep our world turning. Read this article from Fidelity Charitable to discover more ways you can help during the pandemic.
6. Stay Connected
One very important way to continue business is to stay connected. Post blogs, videos, pictures, and more on social media (thank goodness for social media in times like this). Doing this shows clients and customers that you care and that you are doing your part to help. You can offer valuable information and words of encouragement. Looking for more guidance on posting to social media? Follow this toolkit for materials and resources for what to post.
I want to personally thank all of you who are doing their part to keep everyone healthy, and for those of you who have supported small businesses during this uncertain time. We will combat this together.