Entrepreneurs and small business owners across the world have suddenly found themselves in suspended animation. If you’re wondering what things you can do for your business during the quarantine with all of this newfound “downtime,” then peep this list of…
- All the things we know we need to be doing on the regular,
- And all the things business experts keep telling us to do,
…but we never seem to have time to actually get done. Now’s the time, friends.
ACTIONABLE ITEMS FOR YOUR BUSINESS DURING THE QUARANTINE
I hope you’ll use this time strategically to fortify your business so that you can launch out of this crisis with a bit more spring in your step. Never again will we have four to six weeks (possibly more?) to hammer away at the seemingly endless stack of things that need our attention. Tackling these action items will keep you focused and busy while helping to keep the understandable anxiety at bay.
Below are suggested ways to fortify your business during the quarantine. Tasks appear in no particular order- hopscotch around to pick and choose as you please!
TUNE INTO YOUR FINANCIAL HEALTH
Research “plan B” suppliers for your raw materials. Supply chain disruptions are inevitable as we begin to emerge from this crisis. Get a head start by creating a spreadsheet with alternate suppliers for each raw material that’s critical to your production
Update your inventory costs within Price-O-Matic. Pull your recent invoices for raw materials and update each item within the INVENTORY tab. Price-O-Matic will instantly find all of the products you create with each raw material and automatically recalculate the cost of creation for each product.
Catch up on any backlogged bookkeeping. If stray receipts are drifting around the bottom of your purse, fish ‘em out. If you have a stack of expenses that needed organizing, knock that out. If you haven’t yet filed your 2019 taxes, hop on that. Note: the deadline to file personal and business taxes is now extended to July 15, 2020. But why wait?
BOOST SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Spending time on your SEO strategy and implementation is one of the best ways to fortify your small business during the quarantine. Two things you can do now to improve organic search for your site are:
Install Yoast to maximize your SEO. Yoast is a simple plugin compatible with both Shopify and WordPress. The free version offers a tremendous amount of value, and the premium version offers more benefits for minimal investment.
Add Alt text to the images on your site. Alt text is the secret ninja of SEO. If your images don’t have it, then you’re not maximizing search engine opportunities. It’s easy to learn, and this Moz tutorial will walk you through it.
TIDY UP YOUR WEBSITE
Clean out old coupon codes from your e-commerce platform. If you haven’t stopped by lately, there’s likely a small mountain of old promo codes that could use some TLC.
Perform a broken link check on your website. Broken links frustrate site visitors and ding your SEO score. You can quickly find broken links and audit redirects with the free version of Screaming Frog.
Scan every page of your site for outdated information and typos. We recommend individually pasting the text from each web page into Grammarly. This free tool spots typos, whips your grammar into shape, and offers suggestions to improve the flow of your writing. Best of all: it’s free.
BOLSTER YOUR EMAIL MARKETING
Set up a welcome, abandoned cart, and product review email flows. Flows are automated communication sequences set in motion by your email marketing platform once a “trigger event” occurs. They’re magical because you set them up, and then they auto-fire just as you’ve commanded. Klaivyo has some good insight.
Revisit your existing email signup forms and flows. Unsubscribe from your own email list and immediately resubscribe. Peep your unsubscribe confirmation messages, review your email signup forms, and ensure that any active flows are up to date.
Scrub your email list. When was the last time you purged your email list? Giving it a good scrub will boost open and click rates, reduce spam complaints, and save you money in the process, too. This is a good tutorial for Mailchimp users, and this one will bring Team Klaviyo up to speed.
BUILD FRESH MARKETING ASSETS
Host a DIY photoshoot to create Instagram imagery. Grab some fruit, a bundle of fresh flowers, books and props from around your house and park yourself in a sunny spot around the house to create a library of imagery you can pull from in the months to come. Last year, I hosted a free video workshop to share my favorite photo styling tools and tips.
Create graphics for product reviews and inspiring quotes using Canva. Use a site like Brainy Quote to unearth quotes that will resonate with your audience- you can search by subject or by speaker, and the service is free. Even the least design-savvy among us can create visually compelling graphics that feature those quotes to share on social media and in our email marketing. Canva makes designing graphics pretty painless, and it’s free. Once you’ve mastered it, do another round using short-but-sweet reviews that sing the praises of your products.
Set yourself up with a social media management tool. Wrangling social media is much easier with the help of a solid content management system. Our favorites? Planoly, Later, and Plann. Implementing these for your business during the quarantine is as good a time as any as everyone is on their phones endlessly scrolling social media.
Create an editorial calendar for your business. This is a map of the conversations you’ll host on your blog, social media channels, and via email marketing. Getting ahead of the game enables you to be more focused, strategic, and efficient. Forbes offers a succinct overview of the philosophy behind editorial calendars, and Hootsuite recently published a nitty-gritty walkthrough of how to put it into action.
Bank content for your blog. Remember all those blogs you’ve been meaning to write? Now’s a stellar time to bump that task to the top of your “to-do” list. Plays your cards right and you could have content ready for the next few months!
GAIN NEW BUSINESS SKILLS
Finish all the Lucky Break classes you’ve already invested in. We know you had the best of intentions! But if “life got in the way,” then now’s the perfect time to revisit the curriculum. Need login help? Reach out and we’ll help you find your way back to the content you need. This downtime is a great opportunity to catch up on education for your business during the quarantine
Read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. Our perpetual first-choice for entrepreneurs, this book will turn forever shift the way you handle your business finances- for the better. *
Read The Fortune Cookie Principle by Bernadette Jiwa. Anything by Bernadette is solid gold, but this early work elegantly speaks to the fundamental principle of branding: what you sell is only the tip of the iceberg. *
Read Decoding the New Consumer Mind by Kit Yarrow. Written by a consumer psychologist, this easy read offers actionable insights into how modern shoppers behave.*
* If possible, pick up a copy from your neighborhood bookshop. All of these books are also available via Amazon and in audiobook format.
We’ve compiled these suggestions into a convenient checklist that’s available for download. Print it out, and put it to good use!
HOW ARE YOU STAYING BUSY DURING THE QUARANTINE?
We’d love to hear more about what you’re doing to pass the time, especially as it pertains to your small business. Drop a comment below and let us know what you’re up to.
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