SOUTHWEST FLA. — At Fox 4, we know many Southwest Florida businesses have had to change the way they do business during the Coronavirus pandemic to stay in business. We know many business owners and workers are worried about their health, their families, and making ends meet. So we want to help.
JP Hervis with Brandstory Communications has some tips to help small businesses stay open during this crisis.
Hervis said Step 1 is to think outside the box.
"Do more than you were doing before on social media and email marketing," he said. " It could be as basic as just telling people what you're doing that day. Or if you're a restaurant, just showing yourself opening up your kitchen or going through your cleaning procedures before you start getting your takeout set up. Having just a nice personal conversation about what it takes to stay afloat and serve the community."
Step 2 is to pick up the phone.
"So much of small businesses in our community is about saying hi to the customer who is there every week, the same person who comes in and gets the same coffee, the person who comes this time of year every year to do taxes at your office. Call them and just see how they're doing. Work those phones. It's not a sales call, it's a keep connection call," Hervis said.
He said in times like this, there's no such thing as over-communication.
"Sharing more of a message is better than pulling back at a time like this, when you can't shake hands, you can't hug, you can't wave to your favorite customer when he comes in, and you can't say thank you when he goes out," Hervis said.
he also said to be real, but try to be as positive as possible.
"We want to give off that message 'Hey, look, we're still fighting, we're still staying afloat, we're going to be here when you guys are allowed to leave your house,'" he said.
Step 3 is to share your story with your local news team.
"Every business has a story. Every person has a story," Hervis said. "What's going on in the local economy has never been more important. Fox 4 has committed its self to doing that, and I applaud that, so that then becomes another way to connect with folks."
All of Southwest Florida, our country, and the world are connected by Coronavirus, and we need to do what we can to help each other.
"All of us as consumers, we like our small businesses or our local shops we know are Fort Myers or Cape Coral because they are our neighbors," Hervis said. "It's about people. That human connection has never been more important, and we are not physically connecting as humans right now in the way we need to."