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Helping your business through COVID-19

Article provided by Google

We know this is a difficult time for people everywhere, including small business owners. We want to help. We’ve gathered some useful resources to help your business navigate these challenging times.

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Steps you can take today

Keep your customers informed

You may need to adjust your business operations during this time. This could mean changing your hours, temporarily closing, or changing the types of products and services you offer. You can communicate this information to customers with a Business Profile on Google. Get started here, and once you are verified, you will be able to manage your profile.

If you now offer online services, add an appointment URL to your profile or activate bookings to add a “Book Online” button.

You can also make it easy for customers to buy gift cards or make donations to your business by adding support links to your Business Profile.

Update your Business Profile on Google

Update hours or status
Edit your hours or mark your business as “temporarily closed” if needed.

Confirm phone number
Double-check your phone number and turn on messaging to make sure customers can reach you.

Post COVID-19 updates
Use Posts to communicate timely information, like delivery options or inventory updates.

Add or edit attributes
If you now offer online services, delivery, or pick up, mark these services on your profile.

Adjust your advertising

As this situation evolves and customer behaviour changes, online advertising is one way to keep your current and potential customers up to date. With Google Ads, you can communicate the information that you think is most relevant to them during this time, like changes to your offerings, inventory, or hours.

Google Ads has built-in automated solutions that will help optimize your ad campaigns to show the right message to the right user, at the right time. To ensure your advertising is reflecting your business priorities, you may also want to update your Google Ads campaigns.

Update your Google Ads campaigns

Edit your ads
Edit your ads to show customers your current offerings.

Adjust your budget
Adjust your budget or pause any relevant ads, if needed.

Get the Google Ads app
Download the mobile app (iOS, Android) to stay connected to your campaigns.

Continue to adapt to new customer behavior

Customer behavior is changing with new regulations, so you may be wondering what your specific customers need from a business like yours right now. Consider asking them directly via your social media channels. You can also use tools like Google Trends, Google Alerts, and explore the fastest rising retail categories in Google Search for more insights.

You may also be looking to shift some of your products or services online. Start by thinking about what value you offer your customers. Are there ways for you to offer that value in a different format or online channel? For example:

  • A retailer with a brick and mortar shop might sell products online
  • A restaurant might offer online ordering for pickup and delivery
  • A personal trainer might begin virtual training sessions for clients
  • An artist might host a YouTube livestream to teach classes

If you do not have a website for your business, start by getting a domain and exploring options for building a website. Your website can be simple – just make sure you include key information about your business and how potential customers can contact you.

If you are interested in exploring online food ordering options for your restaurant, consider trying The Ordering.app, which is now part of Google. It can help you to quickly get your menu online and integrates easily with select POS (point of sale) systems.

You can also consider starting a free YouTube channel for your business. You can create videos to introduce your business, showcase what’s great about your products or services or teach customers how to do something new.

Run your business remotely

You and your team may already be working remotely, or you may be preparing for that possibility in the future. Try these digital tools to help you and your team stay connected and productive from afar.

  • Access important documents from anywhere by uploading them to the cloud through a product like Google Drive or downloading to your mobile phone or computer for offline access.
  • If you’re using Chromebooks, ensure your devices have the right policies in place to access company resources from home and to keep devices and data secure.

Build a strong online presence

To help you respond to COVID-19, we’ve put together guides so you can build a strong digital presence.

Choose what most closely describes your business to get started.

Check out these free digital skills training options

Grow with Google OnAir
Grow with Google OnAir offers free virtual workshops, events and 1:1 coaching sessions to help you get the most out of digital tools.

Primer
Primer is a free mobile app from Google that offers quick, easy-to-understand lessons for business owners and anyone looking to grow their business and digital marketing skills.

Skillshop
Master the Google tools you use at work with free online training. Develop skills you can apply right away, with e-learning courses designed by Google product experts.

Applied digital skills
Teach and learn practical digital skills using our free project-based video curriculum.

Quick Help
Quick Help is a series of short videos from #GrowWithGoogle that answer questions to help you make the most of digital tools.

Google is a proud Partner of the NSBC