- APPLY FOR LOANS & GRANTS- Take advantage of government (federal, state and local) and private sector programs including grants and loans. Helpful links include: SBA Coronavirus Relief Options, Federal Grants, NY State COVID-19 Loans & Assistances to Small Businesses, Westchester County Business FIRST, US Chamber of Commerce Save Small Initiative.
- STAY CURRENT- Make sure your website is always up to date— include your current COVID-19 health and safety measures, your store hours, curbside pickup details and your latest offerings. If you do not have a website you can do this through a Facebook Page, social posts and emails.
- LIST YOUR BUSINESS- Sign up for free business listings on Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Bing. Also take advantage of local directories and resources like the Business Council of Westchester and your local Chamber of Commerce.
- LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA- Set up and optimize your business profile/page on each network that makes sense for your business— consider Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tik Tok and Pinterest. Build a following by posting regularly and tagging where appropriate. Just as important as posting is engaging in other's posts by sharing, liking and commenting. Groups within networks are another great social media tool. Expert tip: you can try to negotiate a "share for share" or giveaway with an influencer or relevant profile and get some free exposure! When it comes to social media, you get what you give.
- COLLECT & SHARE CUSTOMER OR PRODUCT REVIEWS- Reviews have never been more important! Social proof and online reputation can legitimize your business or product, increase reach and catapult you to success. Key review sites include Facebook, Yelp, Google and the Better Business Bureau. If you don't have any reviews you can get started by asking your top fans or loyal customers to write one for you. Don't forget to leverage reviews on your website, in social media and other touchpoints.
- MAKE THE MOST OF FREE CHANNELS- Promote your offerings on free community calendars and, if appropriate, distribute press releases. Aim to get free press coverage known as "earned media".
- ADVERTISE- Broaden your reach and drive awareness with a reputable and partner who aligns well with your target audience. Advertise special offers, upcoming events, programs and classes.
- USE EMAIL MARKETING- If you are not using email to communicate with customers and prospective customers then you are missing an opportunity. You can start building an email list by using free email software like MailChimp. Set up a sign-up form and start sharing relevant content over email to your subscribers. Emails can be used to promote events, store openings, special offers, purchase status, programming and more.
- DON'T MISS OUT ON SEO- While paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms can generate traffic to websites, the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Depending on your bandwidth, willingness to learn, and the complexity of your website, you could perform some basic SEO yourself. Another option is to hire an expert.
Learn more about advertising with Westchester NY Moms.