Many people are nervous about going out until things resume to normal. A recent study revealed that more than two-thirds of Americans surveyed will actively avoid public places until lockdowns end, but there is a way to still serve your customers if you are a service-based business.
Dr. Lacey Book started a business as a chiropractor with her husband, and today the couple serve as co-owners of several successful businesses worth approximately $4.5M. One of these businesses, Black Diamond Club, helps service-based businesses grow their revenue by learning the essential tools needed to market themselves.
Dr. Book finds that many small business owners are amazing at what they do – like specialized doctors in private practice, a massage therapist who works independently, or hairstylist sculpting the latest haircut. What these service-based business owners lack, is the entrepreneurial skills to grow. Right now, 7.5 million small businesses are at risk of closing their doors due to COVID-19. Additionally, more than 100,000 small businesses have already closed, permanently due to the pandemic.
Dr. Book shares three strategies she believes will help service-based businesses maintain their customer base until they are able to reopen.
1. Helping Partnerships
“Black Diamond Club business owners launched The Benevolence Campaign as a way to serve their local communities and generate awareness of businesses that remained open. In this campaign, some businesses would open a tab at a local restaurant and post on social media welcoming anyone to order off the menu, complimentary of the business,” notes Dr. Book. “Also, closed businesses can leverage those that remain open by sharing e-mail lists to drive traffic to those that are open. Inversely, open businesses can sell products from these closed businesses at their stores. An example of this: a hair salon that was closed put their hairstyle products in an open chiropractor office so customers could still support by purchasing.”
Get creative by finding other businesses to partner up with.
People are drawn to companies that are being safe. A survey found that 43 percent of respondents said they feel “safe” or “very safe” going back to local small businesses, but the number for grocery stores is even higher at 54 percent. Why? Likely because of the constant communication around safety precautions. “Local service-based businesses can adopt the same strategies. With uncertainty in the news and different opening phases for each state, service-based businesses can help their customers get clear on what’s happening in the local economy. Do the work to watch the news and communicate those messages to your customers via email and social media,” advises Dr. Book.
Meet your customers where they are and provide meaningful touch points. “This is not the time for new client acquisition. Instead, call and check in with current clients, send handwritten notes to let them know you are thinking about them. Create a personal Facebook group for your VIP customers and share tips that can help make their lives easier during this time. Because of these efforts, Black Diamond Club businesses had old clients return to their business and current clients reached out to book appointments,” advises Dr. Book.
Providing value to your existing customers in new and creative ways will create trust in you and your brand.