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Ten things you can do right now to move your business forward

There’s no denying that the message to stay at home is extremely important. The coronavirus lockdown means that for many business owners it’s not business as usual.  But if you’ve had to make the decision to temporarily close your business, or you’re working from home, there are still some opportunities to be had. Now might be the time to tackle those jobs you’ve always wished you had an extra hour in the day for. Whether you’re in need of a distraction or just something to do after exhausting your Netflix account, we’ve come up with some ideas for things to do right now to move your business forward.

Staying at home during quarantine is a challenge that even the most hardened home worker is finding difficult. From feeling anxious to climbing the walls with boredom, it can be hard to know want to do with the extra downtime you might be facing. While you might hear tales of people learning a new language or taking up juggling, time spent on your brand now could mean you’re at a huge advantage once lockdown restrictions are lifted.  Just a teeny tiny fifteen minutes a day could make a massive difference to the future of your business.

1. Update your website.

Remember when you first launched your website? All shiny and new. You diligently added photos and content in those early days, and then the work started coming in. And your website…well, it’s been sitting there on the information super highway, untouched and unloved ever since hasn’t it?

It’s ok. Lots of us do it. A busy work schedule of handling orders and deliveries and client calls means there’s not much time or energy left to spend on updating our website. Even though we know that regularly refreshing content can improve your search engine rankings and lead to more sales, it’s often the task that gets put on the back burner until you have the luxury of ‘spare’ time.

Well, guess what? You’ve got some spare time now. Go on, seize the day and take a look at your website and give it a mini self-audit. No matter how great your site might be, there’s always something you can tweak to make it even better.

Ask yourself questions like: Is it user friendly? When was the last time I updated the content? Are all my details correct? Do all the links work? Could the imagery do with a refresh? Is the branding out of date and inconsistent?…

Go ahead, set aside just few minutes each day and tackle each question one by one. In no time at all, you’ll start to see an improvement to your site’s appearance and its performance. And an increase in online traffic means more conversions, and more conversions means more chance of taking some time off again (but this time under your own volition and preferably involving a beach and a palm tree).

2. Think about your USP.

You love your product or service. But are you really letting others know why they should love your product too?  Think about your unique selling point (USP) and then shout it from the rooftops (or at least post about it on your social media feed).  Yes, it might be wireless, waterproof, and answers to the name of ‘Steve’, but how does that help your customer? Show your customers the benefits or owning or using your product or service, and you won’t need to tell them about the features.

Take a look at this example of the power of benefits over features:

Think about how you can save money, make life easier, better, more fun for people and plaster that good stuff EVERYWHERE on your website, social media, and any traditional marketing.

3. Update your packaging.

Things have been going well for your business. Sales have been on the up and up, but with the lockdown you need to be responsive to the changing marketplace. More and more people are online now than ever before, make them stop scrolling with stand-out packaging and branding.

Maybe you want a striking minimalist colour scheme, or perhaps a bold patterned print? Or perhaps sophisticated embossed foil? Or you could show your responsible side with packaging made from sustainable materials?

Reach out to designers to chat through your ideas and see if your plans could become a reality.

4. Take nice photos.

First impressions matter. So, it’s really important to show your company or products in their best light.  Arranging a professional photoshoot isn’t possible at the moment, but that doesn’t have to stop you from getting creative. The latest smart phones come with pretty decent cameras and editing features, so you can get some great snapshots to showcase your brand.

Aim for a consistent theme across your images to make them look even more professional. Work in a colour scheme, make sure you’ve got lots of light, and try taking pictures from different angles. Customers online will want to know more about what you do if you can capture their interest with colourful and unique photographs. Say cheese!

5. Update your instagram feed.

Now that you’ve a bank of nice images, you can create a plan for your social media channels (how handy is that?). Give your social feeds an update to get more followers and increase engagement. Alternate your arty photos, with branded social media posts filled with jokes and quotes that suit your brand’s tone of voice and customer feedback. Try using online design tools like Canva or hire a designer to hook you up with some professional graphics. Avoid feeling overwhelmed, by starting with one platform. If your customers are constantly giving your Insta feed likes and Twitter is unusually quiet, focus on Instagram first.

6. Get in touch with influencers.

The modern equivalent of a celebrity endorsement, online influencers are here to stay.  Like them or tolerate them, social media personalities with lots of followers can be a great way to promote your product.

Make a list of influencers that you would like to work with and send them your product.  A live review of a beauty product or an editorial shot of them wearing your clothing can mean an instant boost to your sales and your following.

7. Get your product featured.

From food and gardening to sports and fashion, there’s a magazine for every interest and hobby. Get in touch with beauty editors, magazine editors and get them to love your brand so much that they feature it in an article.

Make things easy for them by sending them samples, along with a write up of your brand and product.  And depending on the time of year, you could always aim to feature in a gift guide or top ten list of ‘must haves’. If you’re feeling wordy, could you offer to guest edit an article or contribute to their online blog?

An editorial feature is a tried and tested way to raise awareness of your brand, so start building contacts now.

8. Write a blog post.

Your website should have a blog. And your blog should help to position you as an authority in your industry.  Demonstrate your knowledge, whilst providing helpful information and advice, and you’ll start to build trust in your brand.

A good blog will also improve your rankings on search engines like Google. Filled with terms your customers might be looking for, build your blog on frequently asked questions and commonly searched for phrases. The more detail and value you can provide to your website visitors through each blog post, the higher you’ll move up the rankings.

If you have a skincare brand? Talk about EVERYTHING skincare. From beauty regimes to how much sleep you need for a smooth complexion, it will all helps with search engine optimisation (SEO). And the more people see your brand name appearing online, the more likely they are to trust you and buy from you.

9. Host a giveaway.

Who doesn’t love a freebie? Competitions and giveaways are an extremely popular tool for promoting products and can leave you with more new followers than you could imagine. Could you offer vouchers to redeem your services? Or perhaps a month’s supply of your hero product?  Maybe you could collaborate with other brands to create a group hamper prize to mutually benefit each other? Run your giveaway on social media. Exchange entry into a draw for likes, follows, shares and tags, and see your clicks and conversions soar through the roof.

10. Plan your next product.

Could now be the time for a bit of product development? From expanding your existing range to creating a product to respond to current trends, a new product could be just what you need right now to raise your company profile and give yourself a creative outlet.  Ask yourself ‘what is something people would really use right now?’ and write down every idea that comes to mind.  You’ve got the time now to really think about your next product, and get all strategic about getting it out there.

If you need something to direct you away from visiting the fridge again, give just one of our ten tips a try. Little amounts each day will build up over time. Once you get some momentum going you’ll start to see real results. And if you need a little help to get started (or keep things moving forward once quarantine is over) contact us for advice.

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