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When you started the year, you never realised that 2020 will be the year of lockdown. Being a business owner, this has been a stressful time. How to maintain an income? How to pay rent? How to pay employees? Will the clients remain loyal and come back to support my business? These are all questions that keep small business owners awake at night.

Some small businesses have stayed their course and are now in need of rescue or has been forced to close their doors. Many entrepreneurs have seen lockdown as an opportunity and changed the way they do business. This has been beneficial to them because they are now thriving and is better off.

They realised that it is less likely that the clients will come to them, so they decided to go to the clients. After some research was done, they noticed that internet and social media usage increase exponentially. Therefore, going digital was key. They could reach their current and potential clients while decreasing the risk of exposure to C19.  So how did they do it? 

Going digital can be like walking on a mine field. Don’t just jump in and think that you will get clients in the first try. In the beginning there will be more misses than hits. This is when having the right strategy is key. These are just some of the guidelines to help you transfer to digital.

1. Setup high converting website or ecommerce site

Having an old outdated website is like going to a job interview with a pair of flip-flops, shorts and t-shirt. It does not leave a good impression and you are less likely to get the job. The same is for websites. If your competitors have a sleek, modern looking website that is optimised for mobile, pc and tablet, people are more likely to go with them.

Having an ecommerce site makes it easier to browse your products without physically going to your store. Integrate ecommerce store with a payment portal and your clients can now purchase your products and services from the convenience of their homes. All payment platforms charge a small service fee, but most of them are still cheaper than the in store pay point card readers. This in turn decreased the chances of spreading the virus.

2. Get to know your top clients

For me personally this is one of the most important topics. How well do you know your top clients? Do you know why they shop with you and what makes them come back? If you don’t know this, how to you expect to get more high quality returning clients? Next time you see your clients, have a chat about their interest, habits and hobbies. Make notes and this will help you reach new potential clients.

For example: A mother drops off her kids at school in the morning. On her way home she pops in at your shop to make a purchase. With this information, you can already start to target new potential clients in a 5 – 10km radius of your shop. Use the demographics to narrow down your target audience. This will help you increase conversion while keeping your cost low.

3. Create a jaw dropping special or free guide

Having an offer that is of value will help you attract more clients. This can either be something for free or a jaw dropping offer but needs to provide value to your clients. After you have created your list of top clients, an offer can be catered for your avatar(s). This increases your conversion and return on ad spent.

Example: Provide a free diet plan or an offer of first month free when taking a 12-month contract. You still provide value to your clients and this is the building blocks of starting a relationship with your clients.

4. Create your sales funnel

What is a sales funnel? This is where you take your leads to all the steps to get a sale. Depending on your offer and how well your funnel is designed, will determine your conversion percentage.

Now a decision needs to be made on how you are going to approach your potential clients. You already have setup your offer, now to implement.

Example: In the first step of sales funnel, offer your potential clients a free guide. Free is always the best seller. Here your lead to insert their details to get the guide and to opt in to newsletters or offers. When the details are entered, the lead is diverted to a thank-you page. Her you thank your client for showing interest in your free guide. This is now the perfect place to upsell another product. Create urgency like limited time/amount available.

(Buy now and get 50% off before countdown expires. OR Sign up for a year and get the first month on us. Limited spots available).

Here is where most people say “We do not give anything for FREE!!” Have a look at this example

You have a service plan that you provide at $50 a month. Your offer is “sign up for a year and get the first month on us” You will now make $550 in the first year. If the client is happy with your service, you are looking to having the client for about 4 years. This makes the lifetime value of this client $2350. So at the end of the day, you have $2350 in your business while giving something away for free.

5. Decide on your platform

Choosing your platform depends on what your goal is. Social media is used to target a cold audience and your funnel needs to be designed accordingly. Using search engines, people are looking for your products and services so they are warm audiences and your funnel needs to be adjusted to accommodate this. Using social media is much cheaper than search engines. Combine that with a funnel designed for an unaware audience, you should get a high return on ad-spent.

6. Setup ad

You should now have the following

• Client’s demographics

• Offer

• Link to funnel

• Decided on platform

Now you have everything needed to run your campaign. All platforms are different so I am not going to deep dive into setting up an ad. If all the information has been gathered, then you have everything you need to start a campaign.

7. Follow up

Make sure that you have the infrastructure to accommodate the offer and that you have people dedicated to following up with any signups. All follow ups need to be done within 30 minutes from when a lead opts in to your offer. After 30 minutes, your chances to lose the lead increases.


Now it is time to get your business on the internet map. For some it is already too late. The only way of surviving this economic recession is to go digital. You have the tools available at your fingertips to make a success of your business.


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