In the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we want to share our top 3 ways to keep your business going strong. The most important thing to our organization right now is supporting other small businesses like you.
1. Inform Your Customers / Members
I recently wanted to order food from a local establishment but didn’t know if they would be open due to COVID-19. So, I went to their website on my phone and found a message stating that they were open during normal business hours and taking extra health and safety precautions. Not only did they assuage my fears about eating food prepared by others, I was able to find the information I was looking for—their business hours.
Your audience is looking online for answers. Rather than picking up the phone to call, they’re typing in your website address. We are here to make sure they find the information they need about the hours or operation of your organization on your Website, Google My Business Listing, Yelp Listing, Facebook Page, and other online directories.
We are here to help you be proactive in getting important information to your customers. With our Support Specialist, Wesley, making quick updates to your home page is easier than ever! Plus, if you are on one of our upgraded maintenance packages, you probably have rollover minutes for us to make changes anyway. If you have questions about what this looks like, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
2. Event Alternatives
Considering the number of events (conferences, networking meetings, church services) being canceled or postponed, video is becoming an important way to help keep your business going strong.
In this article, Epiphan does a great job of explaining all you’ll need to set up a live-stream. It comes down to video & audio sources, a video encoder, a streaming destination, and stable internet. All of these pieces need to work in tandem for optimal results. Not everyone has the equipment and expertise necessary to pull off a live stream, but that doesn’t have to stop you. Lewis Media Group, in collaboration with Mid-Valley Media and J Turner Solutions, has a studio space and the expertise to make all your streams come true.
Instead of calling off an event, you can have the keynote speaker, pastor, or host come to our studio in Keizer to share the message while attendees view from the comfort of their homes or offices.
While streaming is extremely beneficial for certain circumstances, pre-recording is a great option as well. Recording in advance does not require live encoding or uploading. The video and audio can be pulled into editing software, rendered, and uploaded at a later time. And, with Premiere through Facebook Live, you can even schedule the video to appear live at a certain time in the future.
We pre-recorded the sermon for Lakepoint Community Church this past weekend, posted it, and it appeared live on Facebook at 9am on Sunday morning. This allowed the congregation to stay home and provided the staff with more convenience in preparations, as well.
3. Online Sales / Payments
I received an email this morning from one of our restaurant customers asking if we can make online ordering available, and the answer is YES! Don’t let the take-out-only mandate to leave your business in a lurch. We want to come alongside you to not just get you through the next few weeks but to help you grow, too.
Whether you need a way for customers to order food to-go or an online shopping platform, we can help make that happen. Give us a call to see what solution might work best for you.
Bonus: Virtual Meeting Solutions
Are you looking for a way to meet with clients or coworkers remotely? Or are you a teacher looking to record and send a quick lecture to your students? Maybe you’re just over your head with projects that need tracking. We know of several free tools that are incredibly helpful solutions to these problems and help keep your business going strong.
If you became a customer of ours in the last several months, you probably already know a bit about this one. It allows you to record your screen while talking so you can explain how to do something or present information. You can also choose to have your webcam record your face, too. Or, you can just use the webcam recording option to share a quick message with someone. This is perfect for educators looking to record a lesson or even for a quick message to send to someone and have saved for future reference. I especially love that you can save videos into folders, organize them, and share them with certain people.
This is great for meetings and screen-sharing when you and a group of others have Gmail accounts. It’s simple, intuitive, and connects well with Google Calendar, too!
For those of you who would rather not use Google, this is another professional tool that provides a way to meet, share your screen, and chat with coworkers or clients.
We use this at Lewis Media Group all the time. Every day, I am able to communicate from my desk or my phone with coworkers about projects, client questions, and troubleshooting issues. Plus, we send funny gifs every once in a while, too. I highly recommend this tool for anyone that needs a way to send a quick message to someone but doesn’t feel like making an entire email chain or shouting across the office. Plus, this keeps us on track when we work remote, too!
As the web development manager here at Lewis Media Group, I was having a hard time keeping track of projects, tasks, and coworker delegation. Once we signed up for Hive this year, all of that changed. I now enjoy work more because everything is being tracked in one place (rather than several different checklists and emails). Trust me when I say that this is worth the investment.
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If you have any questions about the tools or services we’ve mentioned here, please reach out! We would love to answer your questions, help you inform your audience, or create a video alternative to your canceled event.
In the midst of all this chaos, we are here for you. That’s the most important thing. Let us know how we can support you and your small business today.
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UPDATE: March 23rd, 11:50am
There are now emergency loans available through SBA. Apply Here.