As our health system stabilizes and the cornavirus is contained or at least the spread slowed down, many small and medium size businesses will be aching to get back to work. While we wait for that day to come there are many different things we can be doing to prepare for the big come back. As I make up this list, I figure that most businesses will still have to observe physical distancing of six feet and masks will be mandatory. This article is for all three groups of people involved with your business reopening, employer, employee and customer. I believe all people involved have to understand all aspects of what Returning to Work means.
To Do, Before you Get Back to Work:
- Create a new business plan for three months, six months and a year time. This plan should also include getting back to regular service and also if the business has to close again due to the pandemic flare ups. A vaccine should be available within a years time, but if longer your business plan should be revisited at this time. Your marketing plan is the most important section to your reopening!
- Keep in contact with your employees, inform them when and how you will be opening your business. – ask them for any ideas on opening that you can incorporate into your business plan. Employees will be able to help you with your marketing plan or even your marketing. Having consistent contact with your employees around the current situation or when you might be opening will ease stress levels during this time for both you and them.
- Contact all your suppliers to see if there will be any delays on receiving your first shipments.
- Think about physically marking or placing barriers in your business for distances or directions required by guidelines for reopening.
- Find a supplier of masks for your employees. I would suggest a number of cloth mask per employee that can be washed, making your employee responsible for upkeep and cleaning. The employer will be responsible for cleaning supplies at the business.
- Signage for your business on how your business is dealing with the guidelines set out by local government rules to be open.
- Signage for changes to your business, such as new services or products.
- Facebook, if your not on it you should be. Your facebook page is a direct connection to your past and future customers. Just starting up discussion on what might change and what you customers want to see changed could be a great way to stay in contact but also give you some social interaction.
- Your website, should be updated or be thought of as a new stream of income or lead generator for new customers. Since physical distancing there has been a huge surge in online shopping, ordering and delivery. I can see an increase in people making appointments online or even googling your business, to see what measures you have put in place, before they think about visiting your business. Some businesses like Domino’s pizza haven’t missed a stride during the pandemic. They have the perfect business model for an online business plus still offer pick up & delivery and when it is allowed again, dining in. In fact, Domino’s has grown during the pandemic and has had to hire thousands of drivers because of increase in deliveries.
The last two paragraphs are both part of your marketing plan, and I mentioned them separately as I feel they are two areas that should not be overlooked. Attention to details are more important then ever when it comes to the online parts of your business which includes your website, facebook and other marketing techniques.
Saving Costs before Reopening your Business.
- If your a business owner renting space, I suggest getting a hold of your landlord and working out any plans for a decrease or deferral of rent. Landlords don’t want you to be out of business, by you going out of business, landlords will have a harder time paying their mortgages, business expenses and getting new tenants. It’s in both your mutual interests for you to stay afloat and making money.
If you’re a building owner (and business owner) your options are to defer mortgage payments or to set up interest only payments with your mortgage company. Again, it is mutually beneficial for your business and the mortgage company to come to some kind of plan to help your business survive and prosper.
For both cases above I suggest deferring or paying interest only payments for as long as possible, as when businesses go back to work, business will be slow and it may take a while (up to a year) before business comes back to normality, what ever normality will be at that time.
- Facebook page, it’s free but it will take you a bit of time to get familiar with, designing the page and then coming up with posts. The best part is that it is free and you most likely do have some time to design and create posts.
- Google my Business, is also free. It may take a bit of time to figure out but the time now will help your business get ranked on searches. Download your Ultimate Guide to Google my Business by clicking on the highlighted area.
- Learn how to advertise on Bing Ads. I suggest Bing Ads (now Microsoft Advertising) as it is cheaper than Google Advertising and there is less competition, therefore giving you the best bang for your bucks, to draw in new customers. The best thing about advertising online with pay per click ads, you can target your advertising to a specific area and a specific field. Contact us through our chat to get a link to Bing Ad Training.
- Check out your website; are there areas that can be added or updated? Is there a way you can inform and sell products or services online? Will new customers or old customers be able to use your website to it’s full potential? Is there a cheaper rate offered for what you are paying for hosting? Or all of the above. Check out our website WebDesignMade.com to get some other ideas on how to save money with your online presence.
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