The situation is difficult. However, many are self-employed and small businesses creative, adapt their everyday work or bravely break new ground. We present you ideas that you may also be able to implement for your business – and show some inspiring examples from other self-employed and companies!
From yoga to interior design: put your offer online
Are you a yoga teacher, fitness trainer or therapist? Is your business based on giving coaching, workshops or treatments? Many professions with direct customer contact can also be practiced digitally today.
Meet your clients in a video chat, meet up for group calls and show them the exercises they can do at home. Consult them and be there for them even in these difficult times. Because your customers certainly don’t just want to put their feet up at home.
Or are you an artist, a musician and live from performing in front of an audience? There have been many small groups of active people in the past few days from the creative scene developed – from club operator to pianist – who stream their gigs and performances online and thus reach their target group.
The team from “Winkel van Sinkel”, a plant and lifestyle business in Hamburg, is active in a completely different sector. They usually sell various interior accessories and plants in their shops. Currently, however, they offer Live advice for individual interior design via video call and make the best of the nationwide ban on contacts.
The ban on contact makes one thing particularly difficult: customer contact. Even if Skype, Hangouts or FaceTime cannot replace the real conversation: Necessity just makes you inventive – and your customers will certainly appreciate reaching you online.
Speaking of loyal customers: The current time is more than a challenge for freelancers and the self-employed. Your customers certainly know that too. Because everyone now knows that we can only do it together. And we all want the flower shops, ice cream parlors and restaurants to survive in the neighborhood.
New platforms like STOYL – Save The Ones You Love – support you in this. Under the motto “Buy performance, give hope”, vouchers of all kinds are already available for sale, from restaurants to sports clubs to retailers. And you can easily be there (by email to [email protected]).
This can help minimize your loss of sales. And by the way, your customers themselves ensure that when everything is over, they can still have a big party in your shop, buy flower wreaths or have their bike repaired. And if it’s going well, you may be able to quickly buy a voucher yourself at the Italian restaurant.
Expand your offer as much as possible
Logically, you love this feeling when you come to your restaurant in the evening and there are cheerful people everywhere. We also look forward to it when the time comes again. Until then, unfortunately, it means: clench your teeth and do what can be done.
Maybe you have to close your dining room. But that doesn’t have to stop you from working for a long time. Because your regular guests continue to have an appetite. The time reports, for example, on the case of the Hotel Haase in Laatzen, Lower Saxony. From 4 p.m. the villagers can order food, from children’s dishes to three-course meals. Meals are provisionally served on hotel dishes – customers would bring it back.
The case shows: Trust your customers, because it’s worth it. Offers Deliveries to or sell your dishes take-away. Even if you are a caterer for events or canteens, you can continue to take care of the people. Get on your bike or in the car, deliver and minimize sales.
The Muchos Más in Bremen meanwhile had a different idea. Usually the guests come for the Spanish delicacies, but the dining room is also closed there. So it was rebuilt within two days. Tables and chairs out, shelves in – the supermarket for Spanish specialties was ready. Including food, of course, as delivery or take-away.
So creativity can pay off – as far as it is possible for your business, of course. Your customers will be happy and will definitely not forget it. Incidentally, the Hotel Haase does not stop at cooking food from 4 p.m. Since the hotel has been closed, renovations have been underway – and, of course, everyone is helping.
Use all possibilities of your business infrastructure
Maybe you don’t need a renovation at all. Nevertheless, you can also improvise. Because whether you run a carpentry as a small company or run a trade fair construction company – you share the same fate: the orders fail to materialize.
As of now, there is a ban on contact (gatherings of more than 2 people are largely prohibited). However, the way to work is still allowed and many small businesses such as craft businesses have one special infrastructure and equipment.
So if you are not able to design and build exhibition stands, take a look at what else is possible. Several weeks ago, when it was clear that all trade fairs would be canceled, a trade fair constructor started to change the business model – because the know-how and the carpentry can be used in many ways.
Instead of exhibition stands, minibuses are now being converted into campers. The response was great and there were concrete inquiries after a short time. Long delivery times, as is customary when expanding a camper, are certainly not a problem for many in the current situation. Who knows what unexpected talents you will discover.
Find like-minded people and team up
There are already over 30 million posts on Instagram under the hashtag #shoplocal, in which calls are made worldwide to support the self-employed and small businesses.
And you can also help each other. Many restaurants have already switched to delivery service. Ordering food is nothing new to people – but many have to get used to the fact that florists and booksellers are now getting on the cargo bike. In Schürsdorf, Schleswig-Holstein, the Butz restaurant has integrated the neighborhood and opened an online shop. If you order a lunch table there, you can order the bouquet from the flower shop next door.
Not only forces but also goods are bundled here. We are looking for more retailers who want to participate in the campaign. Of course, we at CWT Advertising also want to continue to support you, bring you together and network. Just have a look at our Facebook group for self-employed and small businesses in the Corona crisis. There you can exchange ideas or team up and find other creative ideas.
The examples that show how people support each other give great hope. And they show that there are many creative and solidarity solutions that work and can keep your business going – and many people who are ready to provide active support in times of the Corona crisis. #SupportSmallBusinesses.