Being a small business owner is a big responsibility at the best of times, but in times of crisis, it can seem especially daunting. No matter the crisis your business is facing—whether it’s tied to public health, the environment, the economy, or anything else—it can be hard to know how to respond.
Your business might do phenomenally well because of a sudden change in external circumstance. Or you might struggle to make a sale. You may even have to close shop temporarily. Regardless of how your business is impacted, a crisis can put your sales and marketing strategy to the test.
When your business needs to navigate a crisis situation—short- or long-term—there are some guidelines you can follow to ensure that you are marketing and selling in a way that’s sensitive and respectful to your customers.
Create an honest, human connection
In our closely connected world, a crisis in another city or country can quickly impact your own local community, and you’ll want to connect with your customers on a more personal level. Smaller companies are uniquely positioned to be more agile than larger entities with crisis messaging. As a business owner, you have an opportunity to talk openly with your audience about how the situation is affecting you, your employees, and your operations.
If you’re struggling to communicate with a tone that feels natural, take pointers from the businesses that you think are doing it well. Everyone knows how jarring an ill-timed email or marketing message can feel. Studying both good and bad examples from other companies will help you avoid this mistake.
Selling isn’t always shouting from the rooftops about your products and services. It’s about creating and maintaining connections.