When you’re ready to reopen your business after a long pandemic closure, remember to tap into low-cost strategies for marketing your reopening. You can do this by revamping your online presence, enhancing your social media strategy, and making sure your business is physically safe for customers to enter. And if you’re managing a remote team, make sure you adopt effective communication techniques to keep business running smoothly.
Boost your online presence
Reopening after a closure will be tough—not only will you be dealing with financial setbacks, your customers may also be reluctant to return to your business due to virus concerns. One of the best things you can do before reopening is boosting your online presence. Revamp your website, and be sure you’re included in local business resources such as the Montrose Chamber of Commerce website, so your community can easily find your services and contact you.
Enhancing social media
Social media is an incredible tool for reaching your customers: it’s free, easy to use, and can work wonders for connecting with your audience and providing information.
If you haven’t already, make sure you’re communicating with your customers through visual content on social media. Post photos and videos, and don’t be afraid to livestream a couple times as you get ready to reopen. One great strategy is to livestream a tour of your business to highlight any changes you’ve made to make your business more safe for customers.
Be sure to update your store hours on your social media profiles, and include any other specific information such as capacity restrictions. If you can, consider offering sales or discounts to help encourage customers to return, and advertise them on all your social channels. Anything you can do to re-engage your customers will go a long way to helping your business reopen smoothly.
As you advertise your reopening plans, make sure you’re following health and safety guidelines to safely reopen your brick-and-mortar.
Because different states and local jurisdictions have varying rules for reopening, find out what’s required in your area for minimizing the spread of COVID-19. You’ll need to find out the maximum capacity that’s allowed in your business, and ensure you follow those guidelines by having staff keep count at the door.
As you prepare to reopen, establish how you can do business safely once customers are in the door. You may want to increase the number of staff you have for each shift to help manage customer flow and disinfect commonly touched items. It’s also a good idea to place markers on the ground to keep customers six feet away from one another while standing in line. And, ensure that everyone is wearing a mask while inside your business to help keep staff and customers safe.
If you’re struggling with paying for changes to your business, consider applying for government or nongovernment small business grants or loans: you can get some much-needed funds to help make your business safer for reopening. A few options to consider are SBA Express Bridge Loans, the Main Street Business Lending Program, and traditional SBA loans.
Remote team tips
If your team is still working remotely, it’s important to establish strong communication methods. Try adopting regular goal-setting through Slack or other platforms where your team members can tell one another their goals for the workweek. This will allow your team to support one another in their goals and will also serve to keep everyone accountable for their productivity.
As a business owner, check in with your team individually to help foster connection. Private check-ins will allow your team to feel valued and validated in their unique struggles, and will help foster trust at the same time.
Getting those first few customers through the door after you reopen will feel great, so be sure to follow these tips to smoothly get back to business. Boost your online presence and connect with your local chamber of commerce to gain their support. Adopt health and safety guidelines to make it safe for customers to return, and apply for financial help if you need funding to reopen. And if you have a remote team, harness good communication skills to stay connected and boost productivity.
– Naomi Johnson