Hong Kong businesses are facing extremely challenging times at present due to the spread of Omicron. It can sometimes feel that running a business is impossible in these circumstances but there is still a lot that you can achieve now or work on for the future. I created the following 21 tips for the Women Entrepreneurs Network, which I am a member of. If you are a small business owner in Hong Kong you might find the following useful too.
1. Work on your SEO so people can find you on google. Fix broken links, review your site alongside competitors’ sites, investigate quality backlinks, work on your keywords. I use MOZ.
2. Optimise every hour that you are open. A restaurant I know has created a Breakfast Club featuring a luxury breakfast menu complete with mocktails.
3. Consider collaborating with other organisations to boost both your profiles.
4. Opt to operate from a co-working space moving forward so you can upscale and downscale quickly. I work from Banyan Workspace in Quarry Bay 25% of the time.
5. Get your team together to brainstorm some creative ideas to get you in the news. Newspapers and magazines are still publishing, and online publications still need content.
6. Look at your company’s recent developments – are any of these newsworthy?
7. Take a look at the calendar of events and public holidays – tie-in activities to these days. We recently tied the launch of a new project to Global Ethics Day, which got global coverage, and we have previously utilised National Kissing Day.
8. Refine your target audience further – make your advertising budget count and only advertise to your target audience. “Everyone” is not your target audience.
9. Look at opportunities in regional and international markets.
10. Draft social media content for the next six months. Produce “how-to” videos. Follow Instagram for Business for tips.
11. Invite your customers/members/clients to provide testimonials. Get these on your website. At the same time, ask them if they could refer your business to another organisation or make introductions for you.
12. Review and re-write your crisis communications plan – practice it!
13. Draft an annual communications plan and consider all challenging scenarios, so adverse situations (excluding black swan events) aren’t surprising.
14. Review your annual KPIs – what are your goals for the rest of 2022? How will you get there? Who can help you to get there?
15. Research freelancers – interview them – get references and double-check if their values fit, this will save you lots of pain when you need support quickly in the future.
16. Sign up for a motivational course or listen to small business podcasts – check out Tony Robbins for some inspirational advice! If he’s not your cup of tea, there are plenty of others.
17. Draft white papers or write your blog content for the rest of the year.
18. Can’t meet face-to-face – pick up the phone or arrange a zoom meeting/class/workshop. I’m currently doing several drawing workshops with the London Drawing Group in the UK.
19. Get current employees to write up their job roles and procedures, so you don’t spend as much time training new employees when the market gets better.
20. Consider offering home service if it’s allowed/relevant - my nail salon is doing home visits.
21. Double-check that your google analytics tag is working on your website. I recently checked mine, and it was the wrong tag.
And one more bonus tip:
22. Ask your website designer about website security – our WordPress website was hacked two years ago, and trust me, you don’t need that on top of everything else.