Across Canada and the United States, restaurants and bars are being ordered to close effective immediately, in order to limit groups of people from gathering and slow the spread of COVID-19.

What now? You want customers to know what’s going on and to be able to contact your business, so that when this is all over they will know when you are operational again. Remember, too, that any user-generated content published now—such as Google or Yelp reviews—will be visible long after the Coronavirus pandemic has settled.

Here are some steps to take immediately to manage your online presence:

  • Update your Google My Business profile description and hours. You may mark your location as temporarily closed.
  • Continue monitoring and responding to local reviews and social media
  • Turn on Messaging through GMB and Facebook and monitor for new inquiries
  • Add a banner on your website to let customers know whether you are open for takeout or completely shut down
  • Update your customers in whatever way you can reach them: by media release, email blast, SMS messaging if you were using it
  • Focus on marketing activities you can catch up on at this time, such as cleaning up your administrative messes, doing a mini audit of your content assets, recording videos you can use in your marketing later on, and more.

Other things you need to do:

  • Check with ALL suppliers and financiers to inquire about payments or interest forgiveness.
  • Check with your provincial/state and federal government for any small business assistance and stay tuned as these decisions are still coming down daily.
  • Offer gift cards to assist with cash flow. Try a boxed solution like Loyalty Gator if you’re just getting started with online gift card sales.

Need help getting your business remote ready? Get help now from experts like Miranda Miller, digital and content marketing professional with 15 years experience. Having worked with over 500 companies ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500, she is offering assistance with crisis communications, adapting teams to online/remote work, remote business strategies and digital marketing tactics to use now to improve your recovery from a COVID-19-related decline in business.