Change is inevitable! This week that change hit us all like a ton of bricks. We are now working in extraordinary times and the biggest question we have to face now is “how do we adapt to that change?”

As a result of the current restrictions placed on us by the NM Department of Health, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, we are being faced with a major paradigm shift in the way we manage and run our own small business.

Since March 12, 2020, when all of this started to hit the fan, I have spoken to many business owners who are trying to make heads or tails of the whole slowdown. Most of you are working around the clock, doing whatever you can think of to stay on top of a dire situation. You are posting on social media like a fiend and have really amped up your online presence which I applaud. You are being diligent and resilient in the face of this devastating virus.

The second group of businesses whom I’ve spoken with are those who are scaling back, or ceasing operations, until this active virus situation passes. I respect those business owners for the tough decisions that they are forced to make. It isn’t easy to shutter a business that you started because of a passion which drives you to succeed. I applaud your resolve and look forward to working with you when you decide to re-open for business.

The third group of businesses that I’ve spoken to are those who have made the decision to completely close and permanently cease operations. My heart breaks for our community when a business decides to close. Each of these businesses makes a huge difference in our community. They all contribute to the quality of life in our community and I pray, constantly, that these business will find a way to come back. We need them back in our community!

No matter where you are on this spectrum in the life of your business I just want to tell you that it’s not too late for your business. It doesn’t matter whether you have been in business for years or if you have just launched your business. If you have placed your business on hold or if you have really stepped up your marketing and promotion tactics it is still possible to make some changes today that can really improve the way you capture business during this crisis.

Here are three things that you can do today which can improve your visibility in our complicated marketplace:
1. Take the time during this slowdown to adapt your operations to focus on improving your online presence
a. Re-tool your website to be more mobile friendly so people can find you when they are in the car looking for a company like yours.
b. Make sure you have an e-commerce link on your site which allows people to buy from you online without having to meet them face-to-face. If you don’t have a product that you can sell remotely are you able to adapt one?
2. Take steps to improve your online presence
a. Start a Video Log (VLOG) which will position you as the expert in your field and draw people to your business.
b. Write a web log (BLOG) – same reason as above but in a written format.
c. Share industry specific information online that includes links to your company website or Facebook site.
d. Look at, and improve, your pictures, pdf, or memes that you use as marketing pieces. These must be impeccable and clearly demonstrate your mission and why your business does what it does.
3. Branding, Branding, Branding
a. You absolutely must create familiarity for your brand (company name, logo, motto or mantra) within the public and the audience you are trying to reach. If they don’t recognize your logo they will look for one that they do know. How many of you recognize the “Golden Arches?” My son knew that one before he could read a word!

The way we get through the devastating effects of this pandemic is by helping our neighbors survive by buying from them and shopping locally. The way we get our businesses back on track is by improving the fundamental ways we run our business. Look inward at your business and make some small improvements. These small changes will produce big results but you will never know if you never try. If you’ve tried something and it didn’t work, let’s talk about it. Maybe you can tweak it a bit and improve the results.

Remember, we are all in the same boat today when it comes to the COVID 19 slowdown. Together we can make a positive impact in our community.

If you are unsure of what to do and how to make these changes reach out to me at the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce at 575-538-3785. We will help you!