No time to hibernate

During these uncertain times of COVID-19 lockdown, we can choose to either hibernate and hope all is well tomorrow, or we can embrace the change and see the opportunity that exists.

Not often in business do you get an opportunity to stand back and re-assess. Take advantage of the opportunity today and reap the rewards when life gets back to some version of normality. While others are having a siesta from business and upskilling on their gardening and cooking skills, the opportunist is creating a better tomorrow for the other side of the lockdown. I’m not being the fun police here, a healthy balance is good, but on a positive note, what a fabulous opportunity you have in your hands right now.

There is a gambit of areas on your business especially marketing, that has probably been neglected for some time. I’m talking about your online presence. Take a step back and look at yourself from a third-party point of view. Does it make sense to your customer? Does it engage with the customer’s needs? Does it focus on what you do or what you can do for them? What’s the tone of your brand? Your website is your trump card for customers, however, your social media can express your personality and plays a vital role in connecting with your customers too. They go hand-in-hand.

Let’s work ON your business, not IN your business.

Your website is your front door to your business but if no-one can find it, or more so no-one finds the reason to open that front door, then what is the value? Is the front door truly open for business? Your landing page needs to be a simple billboard to direct the customer to their answer. They don’t want to read ‘war and peace’ to find where they need to go on your website. If the answer takes more than 3 clicks to the answer they are looking for, it’s too much. Utilize this time to streamline your website and have multiple options to contact you – preferably on every page.

Increasing your rankings on the internet is what the game is all about. Increased rankings equal more customers to find you which should convert to more business for you. Makes sense. And the best news is, it doesn’t have to cost you your right arm! Whilst you can spend a fortune on Google ads and SEO (search engine optimisation), and I endorse some investment at some point in time, you can also do your own bit for free – just a little bit of time. Right now just might that perfect time.

Has your business got a listing on Google My Business? It needs to be verified too. An unverified Google My Business listing will, in fact, show up in Google Maps listings, this is not the norm and you should not expect your business to appear in maps without verification. If your Google My Business listing is not verified, then your listing is not eligible to appear in Google Maps … it’s that simple. It’s easy to do and will also assist customers to find you. In a highly competitive space such as Google, if you are in a crowded market, then you absolutely need to verify your listing. Example: If your an accountant or lawyer in the city, you have almost no chance of being found if you don’t follow these steps. Google will send you a verification code via postcard – it may take a couple of days to show on Google maps.

Another easy step to assist your online presence is with Google reviews. Simply ask your customers – may be on a thank you card/email with a link to your Google listing. A website needs at least 3 or 4 but the more the better, the more often they are posted the better also. Most customers will only read the first ten reviews so keep them relevant. And remember to respond to every review. You may leave a review on my page here: https://g.page/r/CdBEefu-iFtHEAg/review

Another great opportunity that exists, takes a bit of time but costs nothing, is putting your business on as many free business directory sites as possible. That will support your rankings. Some business directories rank better than others. If you don’t know where your business is listed, then go to Google then on the top right-hand corner, click and select 3rd option “go incognito window” then put your business name in the search. It will reveal every page you are listed on.

Have you updated your LinkedIn profile for a while? Is it still relevant? Does it still reflect your business? When did you last post there? Your LinkedIn listing ranks exceptionally high when people are searching for you so it pays to keep it current and relevant.

What does your Facebook page say about your business? Is the business profile still correct? When did you last post there? Now is the time to get ahead and start scheduling relevant information so you are not forgotten, your brand is still foremost on the customer’s mind and you are at the starting gates when business returns to normality – in whatever form that may be.

Re-assess what tasks you have in your business procedures and consider what is vitally necessary for you or your team to complete and what is sucking too much time from other areas of business – what can you outsource in the new business model? Is there an opportunity to collaborate with Half Day PA and work smarter, not harder?

Work smarter, not harder
and outsource

Whilst I can’t predict when this lockdown will be over, I can predict that if you spend a bit of constructive time today, you will reap the rewards when the gates are opened again.