Coronavirus Marketing Strategy Checklist for Small Businesses

It’s an unusually scary time for small enterprises because COVID-19 has disrupted operations worldwide. Every business has reacted differently to the crisis; some have suspended their business temporarily while others have transitioned to remote work until further notice.

Although everyone is trying to do their part in limiting the spread of the virus, the fear of going out of business is running high. While the impact of the pandemic has been devastating, small business owners can pivot their business strategy to save costs and retain customers to survive.

It’s important to steer your marketing strategy to align with COVID-19-relevant business goals that understand the evolving needs of consumers in the pandemic. Don’t neglect your marketing efforts, in fact, invest more in them to ensure customers you’re still operational.

To make sure you’re on the right track, we’re going to share a marketing strategy checklist that can help small businesses survive the consequences of the pandemic.

1.    Evaluate Your Marketing Budget

All businesses have taken a major hit by the pandemic, they have had to make adjustments to their normal operations to survive this challenging situation. Most importantly, various reductions are being made in finances such as the marketing budget so business owners can focus on the core business.

However, we suggest that you change your marketing strategy instead of abandoning it completely; shift towards the more affordable and effective digital marketing practices. Small businesses depend on the patronage of loyal customers for survival, and online promotional activities help them maintain their customer base.

2.   Invest and Shift To Digital Marketing

With the pandemic confining everyone to their homes, most businesses have become digital. Such is the case for small enterprises as well. If you wish to retain customers and engagement, then investing in digital marketing is a must. It is apparent that consumers are spending the majority of their time online, so it only makes sense for business owners to transition to an online storefront.

If your business already has an online presence, then now’s the time to sharpen your efforts and optimize your media so prospects can easily access your services online and support your business. Small businesses can use digital marketing in the following way:

* Tell their customers that they are open for business
* Inform customers about e-commerce and home delivery options
* Engage with consumers and reassure them during this crisis
* Provide useful information to consumers regarding changes in business timing, delays, and changes in policies
* Provide consumers information on how they can help keep the business operational, e.g., buying merchandise and buying coupons and gift cards, etc.

Other online marketing techniques include:

  • Improve SEO

More and more people are using the internet to shop or search for information; therefore, businesses must optimize their websites or blogs to boost visibility on search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a multi-layered process that helps improve the ranking of your content in search results to generate more quality leads.

There are many components to consider when implementing effective SEO, such as off-page SEO, on-page SEO, local SEO, etc. The collaborative application of these techniques helps improve the searchability of your digital media so customers can locate your services easily.

Local SEO is especially effective for small businesses because people are searching for services near them. Optimizing your webpages for local SEO will help potential customers find you with ease. Carpet cleaning Westminster, a professional cleaning business in the UK, reports that they have observed a 15% increase in local traffic since they implemented SEO.

  • Stay Active On Social Media

 Many global brands and businesses harness social media networks to upholster their audience reach, identify their interests, and build rapport with their customers. With the world isolated at home, everyone has turned to social media to connect to the outside world.

Social media is how people are keeping up with and supporting their favorite businesses. Thereby, small business owners must invest their time in creating a positive online presence even if they have closed doors to the public temporarily.

Moreover, businesses can use social media to assess the needs of their target audience and figure out the most effective way to pivot their services to the current requirements of consumers. An active and thriving presence on social media, where users can find top-quality content that is relevant to the world’s circumstances and offers some value, will stay at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Small enterprises that use this time as an opportunity to pledge their support and camaraderie with their customers will have a stronger bonding even after things go back to normal.

3.   Prioritize Existing Customers

What can you do to put your business at the front of your audience’s minds? Is what you’re doing enough? How can you improve your services to better cater to their needs? Do you understand what they need from your business right now? When carving a marketing strategy that is relevant to the pandemic, ask yourself these questions, so you know where you’re headed.

You might not be able to welcome your customers to your physical stores, but that doesn’t mean you can’t demonstrate you have their best interests at heart and generate qualified leads. At this time, customers are incredibly understanding and supportive of how businesses operate to protect their employees and consumers.

However, there are a few considerate ways businesses can build reinforce relations with existing customers:

* Reach out to loyal customers directly and notify them of any significant business updates.
* Expand your reach by using different channels to make sure your messages are received.
* Establish with them that their interests are top priority, and you will do your maximum to address those needs.

4.   Maintain Transparency

During this time of extreme uncertainty, brands and businesses must be honest and forthcoming with their followers about what’s happening in the business. Whether you’re closing doors temporarily, limiting your operational hours, or only offering doorstep delivery – it’s necessary to notify your audience of these decisions, so they feel involved.

You can post this on your website, share it on social media channels, or put up a sign outside of your physical store. Additionally, keeping your customers updated with your business operations is also important. If there are any notable changes in your procedures, let them know via e-mail, text, or social media.

Any information that can be useful for followers, who are interested in your business and products, should go on your digital media, so they’re aware of what’s going on. This includes cancelations of PR events, promotional shows, etc. that involve large gatherings, should be posted on your socials, so customers know to stay at home and practice social distancing. The point is to get their attention and to keep them in the loop at all times so they know what’s happening with your business.

Wrapping Up

When re-evaluating your marketing strategy, make sure you execute all changes appropriately so your business can get back on track when the economy reopens. It should reflect the needs and requirements of customers that speak to our current reality while allowing you to gauge their reactions and gather actionable insights.

Selling your translation business. Is it worth it?

The Mergers and Acquisition (M&A) space in the translation industry is hot. It seems like every other day, a large LSP (Language Service Provider) is buying another translation or localization company. Here is an interesting page from Slator, a translation industry website, which lists M&A activity in the translation industry.  Indeed, from perusing this page one can see that there is a merger nearly every week.

Why does M&A happen in the translation industry?

Profit margins are high in the translation industry. Which means that some LSPs have cash on hand which they can use to fuel purchases of other companies. And even if they don’t have cash, they can get funding from equity firms who are attracted by high fees for the M&A transaction.  Buying an LSP makes sense as it serves as a quick path to growth and increasing market share. Vertical leaps can also be made if an LSP does not have a presence in a certain vertical, for example in the space of patent translation. So instead of creating a new department, hiring personnel, establishing accounts and and learning about the business, the LSP simply buys a suitable company for an instant foothold. M&A in the translation industry is by no means limited to acquisition of a translation company. LSPs have been known to buy technology companies (like machine translation companies or CAT tool developers) or digital marketing companies as a way of diversifying their business.

How much is your translation company worth?

PrepareACompanyForSale.com has created a tool to give translation business owners an idea if their business would attract significant interest or if they need to make some adjustments before selling. Click here to get your score and start the process of estimating the worth of your business.

Of course, M&A is a long process with lots of due diligence required before the merger is made. But a price of 5 to 6 times the EBITDA seem to be the range in which translation companies are valued. Here is a web page that lists EBITDA multiples by industry.

Can you get rich by selling your translation business?

The short answer is: yes. If you are already rich to start with. The exits in the translation business are nowhere near the crazy levels that can be seen in the world of hi-tech. In the tech sector, a startup company valuation can be independent of the revenues or EBITDA. Anything goes and that’s why people like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos are filthy rich. For example, Amazon was losing money for years before it started making a profit. But that didn’t stop if from having huge valuations on Wall Street-the market saw the potential and priced that into the stock.

But there is no translation industry “Facebook” that has the promise of changing the future.  If you have an LSP that is not turning a handsome profit. forget about selling it. Buying a translation business has no dream factored into the price; it is a cut-and-dry business valuation which is handled by M&A professionals.

So. If you have a translation business that is selling a lot and making a lot of money, you can get a great price for selling your business. But then the question should be asked: if you are already making a bunch of money, then why sell your business?

How to sell your translation business?

If your business has been around for a number of years and is maintaining a reasonably high industry profile, you don’t have to do anything. You will get frequent emails or phone calls asking you if you are interested in selling your business. Or you will be approached at an industry conference. Here is an example of one such email:

David,
I am trying to contact the ownership on behalf of our well-capitalized client who would be interested in talking with you on a confidential basis about the possible acquisition of your company. They are keenly interested in acquiring companies that would complement their existing strategy and from the public information we could find, we think that this is a good fit.  They are ideally looking for opportunities between 2MM and 15MM in EBITDA but can go higher than this range depending on the opportunity.

So the answer to how to sell your translation business? is this: do nothing and wait for someone to contact you. That will give you better leverage and posturing for your potential sale.

Why do people sell their translation business?

Well we have already established that you can’t make a fortune by selling an translation business unless your business is a cash cow already (unlike in the tech startup sector). So what are other motivations? Retirement is one. If you have a translation business and your children are not involved, why not cash in and retire. Not everybody loves working and sometimes there are health issues involved. Or maybe you just want to stop working for whatever reason.

Another reason to consider selling a business is hitting the wall. Your business may have plateaued out and teaming up with another, larger company  will move your business onward and upward. True you won’t be the owner anymore but you will enjoy seeing your company advance and may enjoy your job more. You may make more money if the company that acquired your company does very well and you become part of the senior management team. And you may enjoy a shared vision with the new ownership which will give you purpose in your new position.

What happens to the employees of an acquired LSP?

The rank-and-file usually just keep their job and continue working as usual. Company owners of the acquired firm either retire (after transitioning with the new ownership) or get a new position in the merged company.

What is a boutique translation company?

Here is an answer I found on Quora.

Boutique translation agencies are generally distinguished by their small size, specialised focus and flexibility. They work to a totally different business model than large multinational translation agencies, aiming to provide a superlative level of quality rather than endless quantity, and because of this they are highly focused on doing a great job and building their reputation by word-of-mouth.

Boutique translation agencies are usually the targets of translation industry M&A.

The bottom line

Selling your translation business can be a good option if it fits your career goals or retirement plans. If you like your business and are making good money, perhaps check this option again when you are ready to call it a day.