Creative Ways to Raise Revenue When a Business is Closed
Coronavirus has hit everyone hard, but low-income families, homeowners, and small businesses are struggling in a massive way. According to Goldman Sachs, 51% of small business owners have reported that their businesses will not be able to operate after three months. Additionally, 96% of business owners have already seen an impact on their business from coronavirus. We’re staying optimistic, but keeping the worst-case scenario in mind, which is why we’ve thought up some ways to raise revenue when business is closed.
Eight ways to earn a profit if your business closed due to coronavirus
While many brick and mortar small businesses will have to remain closed for the coming weeks, there are still a few ways for businesses to generate revenue. Below are some ideas for your business to put into action.
1. Support other local businesses: we’re stronger together
Almost all small businesses are struggling—there aren’t many industries that are immune to the financial troubles coronavirus has created. However, this means that small businesses can band together to help support each other. Reach out to a few small business owners you know or businesses you like and ask if they’d be interested in collaborating and sharing your products with their network and vice versa.
For example, United by Blue, an apparel and accessories retailer, put together a landing page on their website that features other small businesses they know and love. The most inspiring part of this is that normally, these businesses may compete for consumers. In this case, they have all decided they are stronger together and would rather share the wealth so they all have better odds of surviving the coronavirus.
Another way to team up with other small businesses would be to sell their products with yours. For example, if you’re a coffee shop, you could offer a sale in which every bag of coffee comes with a ceramic mug from a local pottery shop. Consumers may be willing to spend a bit more to support both businesses and receive additional goods.
2. Offer delivery and pick-up options
Delivery and pick-up options are no longer reserved for restaurants. All different types of industries are offering these options as a way to keep their employees safe while adhering to recommended social distancing rules. From nurseries to pharmacies to veterinarian clinics, there has been serious creativity in pick-up options. If you are able to, have customers call in their order over the phone and set a time for them to pick it up. Either take their payment over the phone or take their credit card from a safe distance when they arrive for pick-up. When their order is ready and the customer has arrived, simply ask them to open their trunk, and put their items in the back of the car with a receipt.
For customers who are not able to pick up the goods or services you offer, consider offering a delivery option. Check-in with your staff and see if anyone is willing to adjust their job responsibilities to serve as a delivery driver while the coronavirus crisis persists. Be sure to have social distancing protocols in place so that your customers and drivers are both operating under the same understanding of how their delivery drop-off will be executed.
3. Let your community support you: start a fundraiser
If your business is having trouble making ends meet or is having trouble adjusting your business model to accommodate social distancing, crowdfunding is a great way to bring in donations to keep your business afloat. By starting a fundraiser and sharing it with your supporters via social media, email, or word-of-mouth, you can let your local community help you keep your lights on. Keep in mind that this is an unprecedented time and small businesses are collectively facing more difficulty than ever before. There’s no shame in asking for help, start fundraising for coronavirus to protect your business’ future.
4. Adjust your business model to aid coronavirus efforts
Many small businesses have adjusted their business model to help coronavirus efforts in some way. One example of this is this small clothing company that has launched a GoFundMe to cover the cost of making masks for essential workers. Because they aren’t able to produce clothing at the moment, they’re helping keep their factory workers in business by adjusting the jobs they’re requesting. Instead of sewing pants and shirts, Imperfects supplier is sewing masks instead. It’s a win-win situation for both businesses. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out these incredible people helping with coronavirus causes.
5. Give your supporters an event online
Restaurants are offering online cooking classes, gyms are offering virtual fitness classes, and musicians are holding concerts through social media platforms. Coronavirus has certainly required business owners and consumers to get creative and keep an open mind. That said, the age of virtual events is upon us.
Depending on your industry, there are a multitude of online events you can host. If you’re unsure or not set up to take payment for your event, start a fundraiser and ask those that attend your event to make a small donation to keep you in business. Offer a suggested donation amount of $5 or $10 to start, and you may see that folks donate more than you anticipate.
6. Step up your social media game
This may be an obvious one for your business, but if you haven’t quite had the time in the past, now is when you should focus on your business’ social media presence. According to the New York Times, Facebook saw a 27% increase in usage between February 29th and March 24th. Put simply, people are spending a lot of time on social media given shelter-in-place orders.
You can use your social media to solidify your brand voice, offer discounts exclusive to your social media followers. Or, you can try hosting a regular Instagram Live show where you answer questions about your business and humanize your brand. However you choose to use your social media platform, now is certainly the time to get started.
7. Sell gift cards
If at all possible for your business, sell gift cards that customers can redeem online or at a later date. Gift cards are a great solution because they provide your business with the cash you need to cover your overhead costs. Once shelter-in-place orders are lifted, customers will be able to use their gift cards at your place of business. This way, the patrons that know and love your business can support you immediately, while also continuing to support you in the future. You can also launch a social media marketing campaign encouraging people to buy a gift card for a friend in an effort to spread kindness during the coronavirus pandemic.
8. Consider alternative ways to find small business relief
In addition to the above ideas, there are a few other ways to find coronavirus relief for small businesses. First, see if your business can apply for a loan from the Small Business Administration and reach out to credit card companies and loan holders to see if they’re able to make any adjustments for you based on the circumstances.
Receive a grant from the Small Business Relief Fund
To help small businesses affected by the coronavirus, GoFundMe has started a Small Business Relief Fund. To qualify to be considered for a $500 grant, simply start a GoFundMe, raise $500 in donations from your network, fill out this form, and add the hashtag #SmallBusinessRelief to your campaign description. For more information, visit the Small Business Relief Initiative and Fund FAQ page.
When you’re ready to start fundraising, be sure to check out our related article, The Best Fundraising Tips for Small Businesses.
Don’t wait to get help
People around the world are looking for ways to help others during the coronavirus crisis. Start a GoFundMe and let people know that your business needs help. You can even add our Donate Button to your business’ website to make donating as seamless as possible for your customers. Get started securing your business’ future now.