Small businesses around the country are at a standstill as COVID-19 continues to run its course. While many companies are not getting the in-person sales they typically rely on, they continue to push forward–finding new ways to stay connected and relevant during this time.
As a local WNY small business, we at Quinlan relate to the struggles that many people are facing. To connect with other small businesses and understand their experience, we reached out to a few local companies to share their stories and resilience. Here’s what we found.
Smoke, Fire, & Spice
Smoke, Fire, & Spice is a local grilling and BBQ retail store in Clarence, NY. While their storefront has remained open during this time, their business has still seen a noticeable impact. Through organic social media posts and word of mouth, Smoke, Fire, & Spice has continued to receive support from their loyal customers: “The community has been wonderful… They want to want to see us make it through this” (Bill Storr).
Staying connected to the community and following safety guidelines has allowed this local company to remain transparent with their customers and provide them the service they need. In a time of many unknowns, showing support for customers and other small businesses is more important than ever before.
Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects, LLC, or HHL Architects, is a local award-winning architectural and planning design firm in Allentown, NY. With office doors closed right now, the company is doing their best to stay connected with their clients from home: “Marketing now consists of maintaining contacts and relationships with current clients and trying to pay attention to their needs” (Ken Riter).
As a piece of advice for other small businesses, Ken Riter from HHL suggests to “stay the course and don’t panic. Business is cyclic and the economy will rebound. The key is to remain diverse with the types of work we do. Do not get narrow-focused in the pursuit of work.”
AURA salt cave and wellness
AURA salt cave and wellness, located in East Amherst, NY provides natural and holistic services for overall wellness of the mind, body and spirit. With time away from the facility, co-owner Kelly DeBerg says she’s using this time to build an online store and develop more testimonials and videos for their online audience. When it comes to running a small business during this time, she recommends “to learn to think outside of the box and get creative.”
For AURA, using this time to remain productive and build up the business in new ways has kept them excited for the reopening. It’s important that small businesses continue to pursue new business ventures and experiment with ways to stay connected and productive.
For small businesses right now, listening to your customers and maintaining relationships are key. Use this extra time (if you have it) to clear out your backlog, handle tasks that you normally don’t have time to accomplish, go the extra mile to pursue new business opportunities and get creative with the services you’re offering. Find out what your customers actually want and adapt your strategy to provide for them.
Marketing right now is more important than ever to stay connected to your customers. Social media is a great, low-cost way to continue to promote your brand and stay relevant as a business.
Most importantly, stay motivated during this difficult time and keep moving forward.
To learn more about how marketing can help your business move forward, contact us today.