Maintaining a Healthy Business During a Pandemic
It’s exciting to see storefronts reopen but there is still uncertainty in what's next. Here are a few ways to keep your business healthy.
COVID-19 has changed our daily lives in a short time disrupting brick-and-mortar business across the country. Yet, amidst the disruption there is a growing sense of community, camaraderie and support. People stayed home and businesses closed, but we found ways to stay connected to one another. Businesses got creative and popped up websites, launched new social channels, implemented curbside pickup and more in a short amount of time to stay afloat. Communities were drawn to supporting local businesses and phrases like “stand with small”, “local love” and “support small” spread across America.
As businesses begin to reopen, what happens next? We believe the growing sentiment of supporting local will remain long after this pandemic is over but there are several tactics that owners of brick-and-mortar businesses can implement after they reopen to keep their business healthy!
Continue to Pursue an Omni-Channel Approach
Many businesses stepped outside of their storefront and pursued new digital platforms. If you haven’t done this already, it’s not too late! Launching a basic website can be easy using Shopfiy, Wix or Squarespace which offer pre-designed templates and user-friendly editing tools. Setting up a Facebook or Instagram business account takes just minutes and is a no-cost way to reach potential customers. These tools will expand your customer reach and benefit your storefront long after COVID-19.
Continue to keep online platforms active after your storefront reopens. People have become accustomed to spending more time online so it’s important to keep them engaged with regular content. Having a captive audience online can help showcase and promote what you have in store so that both new and existing customers will be eager to visit once you reopen.
Go Back to Basics, Set Goals and Conduct Market Research
Revisit your mission and goals for your business. Have they changed or shifted as a result of COVID-19? Refining or redefining these fundamental areas as you reopen will help your business stay focused in the months ahead. It’s also a good time to take another look at your customers. Perhaps you’ve reached a new group of customers through new channels. Conduct market research and get to know who they are and what they like to convert them to in person customers once you reopen.
To keep customers comfortable as you reopen, think outside the box. Some may want to come in store while others may not be ready. Continue to offer curbside pickup, driveway delivery and accept payments without transferring cards or cash. Apps like PayPal, Venmo, Google Pay and Square can all be easy options for payment that customers are already familiar with. Most personal banks also offer tools that allow you to transfer funds with just an email address or cell phone number. Understand what works for your business and your customer and provide options to keep everyone comfortable.
Make Reopening Fun
While a big event may not be appropriate, there are ways to celebrate your reopening. Offer giveaways, create fun window displays and share pictures and videos of your newly opened storefront through some of those new channels you’ve created! It’s not too early to start brainstorming for future in-store events as restrictions are lessened and people become more eager to get out of their homes.
Share Positive Vibes
At the end of the day stay positive! Be honest about what you are facing but reassure your customers and your employees that your business will overcome this difficult time. Be supportive of other businesses and help build up those who may need reassurance. Create a positive community around your business that makes everyone - yourself, your customers and your employees - feel good!