Certainty Amidst Uncertainty

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We live in an unusual time. Uncertainty and anxiety reign supreme. It’s true of us as business owners and as individuals.

Lately, the anxiety of businesses has bled into their marketing in a counterproductive (if not destructive) way. At best it is a ‘save small business’ message. At worst, it is a panic.

But there is no playbook for this unprecedented environment. And I am not here to tell you what is right and what is wrong. I do, however, want to offer you a word of encouragement.

Remember your customers.

Remember how they feel and what they believe.

Remember that a principle goal of marketing is to stand out - to be unique. And in a season of unrest, your customer might not need more panic.

Instead, they might:

  • desperately need a problem solved.
  • need something good to believe in.
  • crave leadership.
  • desire to be entertained.

I am not suggesting an insensitive ‘business as usual’ marketing message. Instead, this is an empathetic and sensitive adjustment to your marketing. If your business and its product serves your customers in seasons of calm, they may need you now more than ever.

🔎 Search

A Beginner’s Guide to Ranking in Google Maps

For local businesses today, there are numerous different ways to market your brand online. The majority of your potential customers still use Google to find local businesses near them — businesses where they will spend their hard-earned money. In fact, 80% of searches with “local intent” result in a conversion.

A great resource for those with brick & mortar locations. And perhaps a good reallocation of resources while your in-store teams are working remotely.

🗣 Social

Facebook announces $100 million program for small businesses impacted by coronavirus

In a blog post announcing the grants, Facebook said, “We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.”

Facebook said the grants will be available for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. That would be an average of $3,333 per business. It could help businesses experiencing a sharp drop in traffic, but it’s a fraction of Facebook’s typical revenue. The company generated $21.08 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone.

Facebook will begin accepting applications in coming weeks. The company said the program can help businesses with rent and operational costs, maintaining workforce and connecting with customers.

If you receive a Facebook ad grant and need help managing it, I am here for you. For Cache subscribers, I will be offering my services to grant recipients pro bono. Together we will devise a strategy that most directly benefits your bottomline.

It’s not much, but I want to help my fellow small business owners maximize the benefit of this unique opportunity.

📈 Reporting & Revenue

Cash is King: Flows, Balances,and Buffer Days

In this inaugural report on the small business sector, the JPMorgan chase institute explores the financial lives of small business through the lens of cash inflows, outflows & account balances. We find that, despite the importance of cash reserves, most small businesses hold a level of cash reserves that would provide an insufficient cushion in the face of a significant economic downturn or other disruption. Using a new data asset constructed from over 470 million transactions conducted by 597,000 small businesses from February to October 2015, our analysis shows that half of all small businesses hold a cash buffer large enough to support 27 days of their typical outflows.

This report also explores key industry characteristics that help explain the drivers of cash buffers. Additionally, it offers a new synthesis of publicly available data to begin to draw together a comprehensive view of the small business sector.

JPMorgan Chase released a report where they analyze the median cash balance businesses hold by industry. There is a lot of great data in the report, but this visual was especially interesting.

🛍 Marketplace

Why All the Warby Parker Clones Are Now Imploding

Perhaps the original mistake of the DTCs wasn’t in their vision, but in their decision to take the venture capital in the first place. Now under pressure to grow even faster and at greater scale than they otherwise would have had to naturally, they are being confronted with what happens when growth slows down, the cash starts running out, and investors are expecting their returns.

There’s a reason DTC companies market on Facebook: Facebook ads are cheap to set up, and they let you target a specific audience. The problem, however, is that channels like Facebook have grown more saturated and more expensive. Now, everyone is armed with the same millions of dollars in funding; they’re all targeting the same users, and they’re all driving each other’s marketing costs up. (Marketing software company AdStage analyzed its Facebook impressions data and found that the median cost-per-click for Facebook news feed ads has risen from $0.43 during the second quarter of 2018, to $0.64 during the second quarter of 2019.)

📦 Distribution

Amazon to Hire 100,000 Warehouse and Delivery Workers Amid Coronavirus Shutdowns

Amazon.com Inc. plans to hire an additional 100,000 employees in the U.S. as millions of people turn to online deliveries at an unprecedented pace and Americans continue to reorient their lives to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.

🛠 Tips & Tools

Small, But Mighty: Resources For Navigating Online Commerce In a World of Uncertainty

Here are resources to help you in your small, but mighty, fight against the business effects of COVID-19.

A wonderful collection of credits, discounts, and free courses available to eCommerce companies during this turbulent time.

Microsoft’s GitHub acquires npm to help JavaScript developers

Friedman explains that the focus of this deal is to invest infrastrucutre and platform, improve the core experience, and engage with the community. In the future, GitHub will integrate with npm, allowing developers to trace a change from a GitHub pull request all the way to an npm package version.

Microsoft is inching closer to owning the whole development stack for a lot of sites.

🤷🏻‍♂️ Just For Fun

👋🏼 Holla!

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