As the COVID-19 shutdowns and quarantines are coming to an end in a lot of states, and businesses being able to reopen, there is still a lot of fear with business owners. Some of these fears are based on how hard they sustained losses while they closed and will they be able to recover from it. There are a few things that small business owners should start doing, if you have not already implemented a reopening strategy.
Make a Plan of Action
If you have been completely closed then you should sit down and get a plan of action started for when you can reopen. Think of ways to get more customers to come back and visit your business again. Things like a Grand Re-opening or COVID Business Survivor Opening will let people know you’re back. Be sure to check old inventory and to ensure all of your electronics are still working (cash registers, credit card machines, etc). When you reopen a business it will be important to make sure the building is clean and inviting. Air out the building and be sure to use a lot of disinfectant to remove any allergens that may have settled during your absence.
Speak to previous employees and see who is going to return and who has moved onto other employment opportunities. If you are going to be short staffed be ready to start looking for employees as quickly as you can. Just be sure to let them know that the job doesn’t start until the business is allowed to open again.
Begin to Communicate with Customers Now
Business owners should be communicating with customers through social media and email. Begin by letting your customers know that you will be reopening when your state opens back up or let them know you are now open if you are in an open state. Be clear in the message you put out so that customers can understand what you will be doing and hopefully begin to engage with you again. Let them know what your plans are, opening part time or starting at full force, and be sure to let them know what your hours and days open will be. Be sure to update all of your social media accounts (hours, days open, about us section, updated phone number, etc) so customers can find current information.
Keep your message positive and let customers know how much you are looking forward to seeing them again. What was only supposed to be a 14 day to flatten the curve has turned out to be over a yearlong shut down and this can affect customer loyalty. Many of the big box stores have been able to remain open and your customers have been using them in order to keep getting the products they need. You should immediately start to let them know the reasons to come back to your store when you are able to reopen.
Prepare for the Big Day
As soon as you get word that your state governor is going to lift the restrictions begin letting your customers what they have to look forward to. Let them know the date and be sure to advertise it everywhere you can. If you need to watch expenses then share the post in local groups in the area you are targeting. Be sure to make all posts original and don’t keep pushing the same post over and over.