Making Sure Your Business Reopening Sticks The Landing
Right now, the world has never looked more unstable. The future of your business may never have looked more tenuous. Nonetheless, as lockdown measures get more and more relaxed all over the country even if it’s a long time before we get back to living as usual… you’re going to have to get back to business as usual. By now, you’ve likely already started to grapple with the logistics and ethics of reopening your business’ physical premises, even if you’ve been operating exclusively online for the past few months.
You may even have chosen a timeframe for your business reopening. But you still can’t silence that nagging, doubting voice in the back of your head. The voice asking you if it’s too soon, if it’s ethically the right thing to do or whether anyone will actually show up when you open your doors for business once more. But with a little careful planning, the right team behind you and a whole lot of heart, vigor and enthusiasm, you’ll be able to ensure that your grand reopening sticks the landing and that business resumes with a bang!
Now, more than ever, you need to invest in success
You’re probably concerned about money right now. You’ve probably had to borrow significantly to do right by your employees while on furlough. Or you may have had to limp by on significantly diminished margins while operating at reduced capacity.
Whether your business still has the capital or whether you need to take out a small business loan, it’s important to invest in success. Upgrade your software and give your employees time to get used to it before they return to work. Give your premises a fresh coat of paint and make sure the parking lot is well marked, clean and free of weeds. Ensure that your business looks brand new and revitalized.
Get your employees excited about coming back
What makes your business great? While your products, your services, your vision and your branding no doubt all play a part in bringing customers back again and again, it’s your employees that make all the difference. They don’t just wear your brand on their uniform or have it on their desktop backgrounds… they are your brand! Every interaction they have with customers in your physical premises or online reinforces the values and ideals that your business stands for.
You’ve spent a lot of time and effort helping your employees to be at their best while working from home. Now’s the time to start getting your employees pumped about coming back. Tell them all about what they can enjoy when they return to you- including things they’ve missed and things that are brand new. For instance, you may want to use this time to invest in an employee recognition platform that allies you and your team to share and celebrate employee achievements. They can even be tied into incentive and bonus schemes. Or you might want to wow them with new uniforms, new tools or new facilities in the break room.
Their excitement and enthusiasm will be palpable, and not only will it energize your return to business, you can be sure that your customers will pick up on it.
Start generating buzz on social media
Now’s the perfect time to start getting customers excited about your reopening. Because, whether you realize it or not, your customers miss you. Nonetheless, they may have misgivings about coming back to your premises under the current circumstances. This is your opportunity to start getting them excited while also giving them the reassurance that they crave.
There are lots of ways in which you can use your social media presence and your content marketing posts to your advantage here. Share candid images of the work going on behind the scenes to get your premises ready for them. Tease new products that might be coming when you reopen. Link to a blog post which outlines all the ways in which you’ll be working hard to create a safe environment (more on that later). Create a hashtag that your customers, employees and clients can share to get excited about your reopening. This is also a great opportunity to reward those who are prepared to visit you early with special offers, discounts and exclusive deals. Which brings us to…
Send out marketing emails to your clientele with targeted offers
The buzz you create on social media will engage your existing customers while also getting new prospects curious about your brand. Every single email address in your CRM is worth its weight in gold at the moment, as it allows you to give them something that every customer craves… exclusivity! You can bring them offers and discounts that are just for them, helping to add value to every transaction and strengthen their relationship with your brand.
Voucher codes are good. But unique, single-use voucher codes are better. Not only are they immune to spamming and misuse, but they allow you to deliver targeted, highly relevant offers to customers’ inboxes. Invest in the software to create these unique codes and you’ll be able to give exclusive offers not just on products they’ve purchased before, but on things they’ve browsed on your website or put into a shopping basket which they since abandoned.
Targeted offers are a great incentive not only to buy to come in and take a look around. They may well be amenable to making a few extra purchases if they feel that they’re already getting a great deal.
Make sure everyone feels safe
This is a time of great social, political and economic upheaval. The current political unrest on top of the COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of people nervous about the world outside their doors (even though they are sympathetic to the causes of those protesting). You have the power to create an environment in which they, and your employees feel safe.
This means making sure that your air conditioning is immaculate and that the water that has collected in the tanks has been run through the system and is ready to use safely. It means enforcing social distancing and hand washing, as well as providing easy access to hand sanitizer. It means providing masks for employees and offering them to customers who would feel safer wearing one. It means making sure you and your team are extra-vigilant when it comes to cleaning surfaces that often come into contact with customers’ hands such as door handles, service counters and elevator call buttons.
It also means taking the time before you open to address customers’ concerns and questions on social media and share the answers for all to see either on a blog post, a video or somewhere else on your website or social feeds where customers can see them.
If customers are able to feel safe on your premises, and can see how hard you’re working to create a safe environment, they are much more likely to maintain trust in your brand long after the COVID-19 virus is a distant memory.
Think of it not as business as usual, but business better than usual!
Finally, we all stand at a crossroads, inside and outside of our business endeavors. Do we want to pursue a path towards business as usual? Or do we want to aspire to business that’s better than usual. Now’s the time to bounce back as a business that’s leaner, more efficient, more caring, more ethical and more sustainable. It’s time for your business to reopen as the best version of itself that it can be.