Omicron cases are spiking nationwide and are expected to increase even more within the next two weeks, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. For small businesses, this is rough news to hear considering the hardships they have been dealing with for the past two years. While some small businesses received financial aid or PPP loans during the pandemic, the majority did not. Which means this recent Omicron surge has continued to add to the widespread staffing and inventory shortages.
Around 70% of small businesses were financially affected by Omicron, according to a study by Goldman Sachs. Fortunately, there are a few options to help businesses bounce back. Firstly, businesses should research funding and loan opportunities available to them outside of traditional lending. Over five million new businesses started in 2021. Consequently, in 2022, these new small business owners’ needs include raising affordable capital to scale their business, developing efficient digital marketing to get more customers, and most importantly, finding time to actually run their business. There are several companies, like Business Warrior Funding, that will help entrepreneurs grow their business and offset the difficulties often associated with traditional bank lending.
Additionally, businesses can continuously highlight pandemic precautions within their staff to ease customer concerns. Careful customers who are already limiting their outside exposure won’t take the time to visit brick-and-mortars if they know they’re not taking precautions against the virus. Businesses need to mask up, vaccinate or test their staff, and keep the customers safe. Owners should tell their customers about the safety procedures they’re implementing, both online and on social media, to keep them aware so they’re comfortable enough to start shopping again.
Next, develop and optimize a digital presence for your brand with social media and a website. Small businesses who didn’t have an online platform before the pandemic are currently among those who are struggling the most or have already shut down. Today, consumers are shopping online more than they are in-person. Without an online presence or a way for customers to interact with a business online, these businesses are simply not on the consumer’s radar. Additionally, social media can be a great tool for a small business owner to communicate business changes with their audience, and there have been plenty of those opportunities during the pandemic.
There are more online steps that entrepreneurs can take to ensure better business practices. Owners can create an email list, but more importantly, they can pay attention to their SEO. Google My Business is a part of SEO, and those listings are 70% more likely to attract local visits and increase a business’s sales and web traffic. They also ensure that a business ranks toward the top of Google keyword searches, increasing viewership and awareness of a brand.
In addition, small businesses should be aware of their current standing in the community. This can be as simple as online reviews. A whopping 90% of buyers reported having checked business reviews before reaching a decision on where to eat. If customers see that a business hasn’t responded to a negative review, or to any questions on social media, it could compel them to go somewhere else. Owners must be diligent about reviews and ensuring that they have offered to help customer concerns in any situation.
Business agility has never been more important, and that’s true for global industries. Small businesses who have fewer customers must take the time to ensure that each person who walks through the door, or shops online, is a recurring customer. Business owners need to provide great service and quality products during this economy, or they’ll be left behind.
In summary, small businesses need to lean on digital funding and marketing resources to provide excellent customer service, and effective communication with their customers online, to ensure they thrive during this Omicron spike.
Business Warrior’s CEO and Chairman Rhett Doolittle and President Jonathan Brooks took their company public in 2020 during the pandemic while also managing to triple their subscriber base, launch two new versions of their software and improve 2021 Q2 revenue by over 220% along with growing the team to over 30 people. Business Warrior Funding is a new lending solution that leverages Business Warrior’s expertise and strategic partnerships to help entrepreneurs grow their business and offset the difficulties often associated with traditional bank lending. Business owners interested in taking advantage of the lending services can start the application process here. The Business Warrior software takes a holistic view of a business’s online reputation, listings, website search results and social media. Predictive algorithms are utilized to recommend the most imperative actions needed to drive new customers, positively impact daily operations and improve profitability. For more information, please visit businesswarrior.com.