Local small businesses bear the brunt of times like these. 27% of American small business owners believe that COVID-19 will impact their revenue, and we’re already seeing owners around the country announce temporary or indefinite closures.
These small businesses are our clients, our peers and our neighbors. Now they’re turning to us for help: their web designers, developers and IT experts. Their websites and technology are essential services for reaching and serving their customers.
So, as the trusted web professionals, what are our options? How do we push on under the weight of all this uncertainty?
Here are some pointers we’ve gathered from the community:
You’re the expert. It’s time to step up.
Your existing clients should be the priority right now. This is your chance to step up and be their champion. Your skills and services can help them adapt their business.
Don’t wait for your clients to contact you.
Reach out and reassure your clients that you’re there for them. Send an email or, even better, pick up the phone and give them a call. Listen to their concerns and approach the conversation from a position of empathy.
Set expectations early. Tell your clients what you can help with. Have different options for them to get in touch with you. If your usual availability will change, let them know in advance. Make yourself more available if you can. Just knowing that you’re around will offer your clients some much-needed reassurance.
A personal touch goes a long way here. For example, you may want to change your email autoresponders — or disable them altogether.
“Lend your expertise, show compassion, build relationships, be genuine, create solutions, lead with value.”
– Kyle Van Deusen, host of The Admin Bar
Some of your clients will need more help than others.
The scope of the needs depends on the clients you work with. You may have local restaurants pivoting from in-house dining to takeout and home delivery. Or you may have a fitness studio that wants to put their classes online, but only for paying members.
Offer 1:1 time to talk about plans over the phone or on a video call, no strings attached. You’ll get a better understanding of what your clients need. Meanwhile you can calm their nerves — requests that sound daunting for them may be a simple job on your end.
While some of your clients may have similar needs, don’t rush to assumptions. Use common points to inform your decisions. Cater your recommendations to each client’s situation.
Stand out as an amazing partner by helping your clients adapt to changing circumstances.
For example, we’ve seen businesses ask their developer to put a COVID-19 notice on their site. But how that notice
This article was written by Andy Mcilwain and originally published on ManageWP.