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Business viewpoint: Small businesses should commit to growth in a crisis

Business viewpoint: Small businesses should commit to growth in a crisis

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It is difficult to get away from the negative energy in the past couple of weeks surrounding the coronavirus.

Panic is setting in, and many people are letting fear take over. Now is the time for businesses to look for opportunities while their competitors panic.

If you have a product or service, can you deliver that online? People will still be buying, but they may not be getting out to go to a brick-and-mortar for safety precautions.

Can you offer a delivery service? I heard from a friend that a local grocery store sent an email to all of its employees saying they may not be able to make it. Why?

Everyone still needs to eat and will never stop buying groceries of all things. Sell online. Offer delivery service. Implement personal shoppers with delivery to your house. That is a service people will take advantage of any day, even when there is not a crisis.

I realize there is a risk in hundreds of people shopping at the store at one time. But what risk is it to buy online and someone drops it at your doorstep?

Instead of panicking, plan. Can your business go virtual? At D2 Branding, we have clients all over the country and many we have never met in person. We hold weekly Zoom calls or Google Hangouts to conduct all of our business.

Let’s say you are an accountant and it is tax time. Why do you need to meet in person with your client? Set up a Zoom call, share your screen and show them where they are at on their taxes.

What about an attorney? Need to meet in person with a potential client? Why? Have them fill out an intake form online, set up a Zoom call and go over their case from the comfort of your home.

More medical offices are offering telemed services. This is the future whether we are in a health crisis or not.

I had an advertiser email me yesterday panicking that they need to pull all of their ads. Their services cost between $12-$15 per purchase, nothing that people think twice about buying like cars or homes in a down economy. Like most of the world, they wanted to put everything on hold until they know what the economy is going to do.

My response to them? Now is the perfect time to advertise online. Everyone starts to pull their ads, so your cost per lead will be so low.

I know the restaurant industry is in panic mode. I have several restaurant clients, and we are making a plan rather than panicking. People will never stop eating.

Can you offer curbside service? There are so many delivery platforms like Uber Eats; if you are not using one, now is the time. Does your supplier live in another state? Now is the best time to buy your products from a local grocer.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t start any new programs right now. Do what is already making you money and what you know works.

Stop over-consuming news 24/7 to see all of the negative stories and the “world is ending” viewpoint. Be informed, but don’t be consumed by it when you could be working on your business.

There are many entrepreneurs and personal brands out there offering great advice for businesses.

If you are reading this thinking the only way your business can work is people coming in to your brick-and-mortar location, now is the time to diversify your revenue by offering a product or service online.

Create a plan and commit to growth.

Deedra Determan is founder of D2 Branding, a digital marketing firm.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum gives update on coronavirus in Tulsa

Here is the noon update on March 13 given by city and state officials about the coronavirus in Tulsa.

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