Running A Small Business During A Pandemic

2020

July 8th, 2020

Running A Small Business During A Pandemic

The Daily Struggles of Small Business Owners During The Outbreak of 2020

As a small business owner, it never surprises me the amount of stuff we have to do for ourselves. Many of us have grown accustomed to doing pretty much everything, to an extent. Often it is until the point where it’s no longer cost effective as it becomes too time consuming and takes away from daily duties. This has been especially true this year, as 2020 has been one of the most difficult years in memory when it comes to running a business and we often find ourselves doing things we would usually sub out. Today I reflected on the fact that while trying to get reports done for clients, working with our children and dogs in the office (a labrador - pictured, and a beagle puppy), I had to spend part of my morning installing what I dubbed to my children as a “Booty Shootie;” aka a bidet.

We have always considered bidets as a luxury. In fact, we didn’t really consider them at all until the past few months. As it became increasingly difficult finding toilet paper anywhere, a bidet seemed like the obvious solution. So why am I sharing all this messy business? Because this is what all of my decades of experience and hard work has led to... laying on the floor in the bathroom and installing an expensive toilet seat. I’m not complaining though, in fact, I’m grateful we are in business and still doing well. It breaks my heart to hear stories of small businesses closing their doors due to this pandemic, and it appears there is no end in sight, at least any time soon… Those of us who are surviving, will find ourselves doing even more, and wearing more hats (hence the excursion in the bathroom).

I would suggest that any small business owner out there narrows down their budget to what is essential. While a bidet may not seem essential, I would argue it kinda is; especially when toilet paper is scarce, and, well, people gotta go to the bathroom. But when it comes to what is essential, we all need to take a step back and figure out what is actually essential to survive as a business. I often see businesses spend more money on expansion, than marketing. I heard from one business owner that they no longer had a budget for SEO, and were increasing their advertising budget and buying more inventory. They asked what I thought about that... As someone who worked in manufacturing for many years, I was surprised by this, as inventory is usually not something you want to grow during a downturn. Plus, advertising doesn't last, or at least doesn't retain the same results once the advertising campaign is over.

Anyway, of course this can come across as self serving, but it’s not meant to. While we would love to earn your business, my recommendation is to adjust your budget to what works for your company to get through 2020. I would recommend considering doing some digital marketing and SEO yourself if you have the time and dedication. If you do not, and do have available resources, of course we would more than happy to welcome your business. But whatever you do, don’t rely on advertising to get you through the tough times, as that’s simply an expense and only yields short term results. Make sure if you are paying for results, you actually see them. If your digital marketing can't get results, find out why. There might be a reasonable answer, that is true, and maybe it's time to hold off for a few months if the budget is more than you can handle. No matter what, take into account that advertising is not a good long term solution.

When you advertise, whether online, radio, or printed, it only lasts as long as you are paying for the ads. When your ad is gone, so is your exposure. When you focus on organic ranking, if you are visible on the first page on search engines, you should stay visible, at least for a while. I have seen people quit doing SEO and remain on the first page for months, while others only lasted a few weeks. There’s no way to tell for certain, but what I can say is that ads go away immediately, and organic rank does not. I definitely recommend focusing on your organic search engine presence first, when deciding on your digital marketing budget for the rest of 2020 and 2021.

Anyway, I need to get back to getting some reports together for my clients now that I've finished writing this; just minutes after laying on the bathroom floor installing a toilet seat… This is a true story. In fact, I offer the article photo of my labrador in the background, and the photo below, with our daughter and 1 year old puppy... Yeah, cute, I know, but not always easy to manage when there is lots of work to get done.
Beagle Bidet

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