TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Surviving the impacts of COVID-19 is a challenge for many small businesses. A free webinar series is teaching local Tucson businesses how to navigate online.
"Giving them tips and tricks of how they are going to adjust for this brave new world that we are entering into," said Andrae Jones, the C.E.O of Octavia Social Media Strategies.
The city of Tucson, Women's Business Center, YWCA, SCORE Southern Arizona, Octavia Social Media Strategies and the Small Business Association are partnering to provide the webinars.
"We used to say that online marketing was this futuristic thing, that some day it is going to happen," Jones said. "Because of COVID-19, it's like now more than ever, it's now."
He said a business should convey three things online: "Can you solve my problem that I'm having online, and if so how are you going to do that and why should I trust you?"
Business owners learned how to market themselves online. Restaurants can make social media posts about daily specials they’re offering with photos and a phone number to order. Brick and mortar stores can create a virtual business. For example, Jones said an art studio can completely transition itself online.
"Sell some of your art supplies online and then offer art classes virtually that they can sign up for and pay for," he said.
The goal is finding ways for businesses to keep their doors open, whether that be physically or virtually, during this new normal.
"No one else will close their business down because we are just going to continue pushing on," Jones said. "We're just going to reinvent ourselves and reinvent the way we do business here in Tucson."
Wednesday’s webinar, “How to take your offline business and expand it online!” is repeated in Spanish on Thursday, 4/30. Visit Octavia Social Media Strategies to register for next week’s webinar.