According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), small businesses play a big role in the economy, representing more than 99% of all employer firms nationally. In Virginia, according to the latest statistics, there were 725,000 small businesses employing 1.5 million residents statewide. But small, local businesses have been increasingly challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an April 2 NFIB survey1
, 92% of small businesses reported being negatively impacted by the coronavirus, an increase from 76% just 10 days prior. Now, as states reopen and businesses navigate the reopening process and invite customers back to their locations, U.S. Cellular is sharing tech tools and tips to help small businesses reconnect to the communities they serve:
1 2020 National Federation of Independent Business. COVID-19 Impact on Small Business Owners: Part 3.
About U.S. Cellular
- Network and Go Virtual . Online collaboration tools can be used to share ideas among other local businesses, and they can also serve as a way to offer customers who aren’t ready to shop in person a virtual shopping experience. Pick a time to network or strategize marketing campaigns in real-time with neighboring businesses using ZOOM video , Skype or Microsoft Conferencing and then use those same tools to set up virtual shopping appointments and give customers a virtual tour of your store, allowing them to shop and purchase items on display for delivery or pick-up.
- Reconnect . Email, call or text your customers, vendors, suppliers and partners to let them know your business opening plan, list any change in operating hours, and communicate the increased safety measures you are taking.
- Utilize Resources : The Shop Small website has been updated to provide resources and marketing materials for businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
- Offer Free Delivery. Start or continue offering curbside or free home/business contactless delivery to add safety and convenience for customers who request it.
- Add Online Gift Cards. Set up your shop with online gift cards as a purchasing option with Giftfly. This service also allows you to organize sales and promotions to boost the bottom line.
- Offer Digital Payments & E-Signature Options. Apps like Docusign allow companies to get signatures to proposals online. With many shoppers being cautious, offering Apple Pay , Google Pay and Samsung Pay is a way to offer your customers a safe, secure and touchless payment option.
U.S. Cellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier is building a stronger network with the latest 5G technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.