What is considered an essential business? Is my business essential? These are the ever-present questions on everyone's mind and the answers can be confusing since they vary based on the state you're in. A business considered essential in Texas might not be essential in Kansas. This can be trying and cause a strain for many businesses, especially if they're unsure about if they can continue to work or not, but we're here to help!
Regardless of your location and label of essential or not, there are many things you can still do to help your business and continue to provide to your customers. Here are some tips to help:
Social media is one of the best tools to utilize during this time. Not only will it allow you to connect with your customers, but it also gives you the opportunity to showcase your products and services. This is also a chance to test out new types of content. Try going Live or using Stories. Staying Connected Using Social Media goes more in-depth on how to use social media during this time.
Your website is a digital home base for your business. In a time where digital communication is the way of life, your website is critical for staying connected with your customers. Use your website to keep them updated on the alternative options you're offering, like curbside pickup. You can also showcase your products with an ecommerce store. Ecommerce allows you to create an online store for your business, one that never closes. You can expand your customer base past your zip code and reach consumers you haven't reached before. If your customers can't physically visit your store, you need to reach them digitally and ecommerce allows you to do that.
There are many resources being offered to help small businesses through this time. The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering Disaster Loans for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This is a low-interest federal loan for small businesses, self-employed individuals, and non-profits. It offers up to $2 million in assistance and can be used to pay for capital needs like payroll and lease payments, but is not meant to replace lost profits. The interest rates for small and self-employed businesses are 3.75% and 2.75% for non-profits. Learn more about this assistance here.
This is an unprecedented time for everyone and can be scary. Take it one day at a time and utilize the tools that can help your business.