A global pandemic isn't a situation many businesses will have been prepared for, however, with a creative mindset and quick decision making your business can thrive during this unusual time. The obvious answer for many businesses will be to offer and takeaway and collection only service - if you've never offered these services before it can be overwhelming to start but here are some simple things you can do that won't cost you a fortune.

Tips to help your business thrive

1. Use Facebook to set up an online page. Customers can view the menu, read reviews from previous customers and then place an order in a variety of ways (e.g. by sending a direct message to the page). Facebook pages have a lot more functionality than you might think and if you aren't wanting to invest in a website builder then this is a great alternative. Other features you can have include a map to show people your location, stream live to increase engagement and many more. Make sure you spend some time going over all the features that are available and make sure that you are really getting everything you can out of this free platform.

2. Find someone to help with social media, with newly graduated students unable to find a job it's likely you can find someone looking to build experience and earn a little extra money on the side. If you don't have the resources to outsource this task you can use your own abilities - whilst social media might feel overwhelming to begin with there are so many free help guides, from blogs to podcasts. Start small and use the power of the internet to help you along the way. Not sure what platform to pick? Think about the fundamentals of your business - if it's something quite visual Instagram is a great choice but something that is solely business to business might better suit LinkedIn since this platform has an audience of mostly professionals and businesses. Getting the word out about your business when you can't rely on people walking past your storefront is a new challenge that, if you take in your stride, could lead to a successful increase of brand awareness and teach you how to convert digital traffic into paying customers - social media is your strongest, free tool to do this.

3. If you already have a loyalty scheme or other data stored that enables you to contact your customers you can send out an email marketing campaign that reminds people you are still open and serving in the form of takeaway. Make sure you are GDPR compliant but otherwise be sure to communicate with your customers, you could introduce special offers or a new regular newsletter that continues to create a personal and positive relationship with your customers.

Have these tips helped? Let us and other readers know your tips for helping business thrive when things are tough.