Welcome to the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber’s Professional Business Development Online Series, or PBD Online for short. Our first season’s episodes are dedicated to “Communication In Crisis” – as we navigate the uncertain times surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and how Conroe businesses will not only survive but THRIVE despite adversity.
Our first blog of season one outlines how your business can stay top-of-mind when public and in-person activity is out of the picture.
So many businesses rely on foot traffic in their brick and mortar store, restaurant or venue for their income. With the onset of “shelter in place” guidelines, many businesses have experienced drastic changes and have had to think outside the box or reassess their offerings to stay afloat. How can you best notify and promote that you are still open for business?
First things first, you must have a communication strategy in place. Even if it is as simple as sending an email out once a week, posting to social media on a schedule, transparency and communication are absolutely essential, no matter what’s going on. Staying authentic about your struggles, but hopeful and positive in your messaging is going to resonate with your customer base.
The key is staying compassionate through the crisis, brainstorming the best ways you can pass on convenience to your customers, and in turn, you will be providing value. Do you need to move to an online ordering system? Check out options like Shopify, PayPal, or even with your bank of choice for options. Can you offer pick-up in your parking lot or delivery options? Order signage from local printers that can clearly be read from the parking spaces. Need to cost-effectively get out new products or hours? Social media is your new best friend.
Now, what does standing-out require when everyone is grappling for that prime real estate? Consider who you might have access to that other people in the community may not and have them join you in a Zoom call video to educate your followers. Host an engaging contest to ship out your product or provide gift cards for your service to redeem at a later date. Document the ways in which you help those in your community and toot your own horn a little.
And last but not least, make sure your contact is consistent and of quality. If you can’t educate, inform, inspire, or entertain, just wait until you can. But, in the meantime, actively be searching for those ideas so people will return to your website and to your social media because they expect content of value.
We hope that this short blog about “Communication In Crisis” sparked some ideas for you and your business as we all navigate these uncharted waters together. To recap, start with getting your plan in place, then communicate regularly on various platforms, and always keep your customer’s convenience in mind. If you have questions about the Conroe Chamber and how we can help, drop us a line at Conroe.org. Tune in again for Season 1, Episode 2 of PBD online as we discuss how to facilitate a strong re-opening for your business. Until next time, shop local, support your chamber, and stay vigilant!