Due to the global pandemic, businesses are facing challenges daily. As you are pivoting your business, consider how your decisions will prepare your business for positive growth in the upcoming months. The steps you take now will be essential to your business as you begin to resume more regular operations.
Change Your Messaging
Talk about what your business is doing now. Inform your audience of the steps you're taking to maintain a safe workplace for your customers and employees. This could be everything from offering delivery for essential items to providing curbside pick-up options. Your messaging should reflect what your customers are experiencing and how you are assisting them. Here are some messaging tactics to consider:
Encourage your customers and/or offer support. Talk about what you're doing to support both individual customers and your community as a whole. Encourage your customers and remind them that you're all in this together. These messages can go a long way toward making your customers feel supported in a stressful time.
Express excitement to get back to business. You might not be able to open your doors just yet, but let your customers know what you’re doing in the meantime to plan for your reopening. Keep your customers informed with the latest updates while letting them know you’re excited to see them again when the time is right.
Your business may look different now than it did before the shelter-in-place orders, and that's okay. We’re all experiencing this unprecedented time together. Keep your customers informed about the changes you've made and how it will impact them so they know how they can support your business now and in the months to come.
Connect With Your Audience
Whether your business is open or closed right now, use this time to stay connected with your customers. The points of connection you make now will have an impact on the future of your business. Your efforts to stay connected will help you remain top-of-mind, even if you aren’t open for business. Consider:
Sending emails. While your normal marketing emails might not align with the times, try shifting your messaging to offer updates about your business and inform your customers what they can expect from you during this time.
Create interactive content for social media. Videos, polls, and discussion questions will keep customers engaged with your brand, even if they can't come into the store. By engaging on social media, you can connect with your customers and remain top-of-mind as your business makes changes.
In addition to providing a medium for you to share updates, social media and direct-to-consumer emails are great ways to stay connected with your customers. Use this opportunity to get a better idea of what they need from your business, both in the midst of this crisis and in the upcoming months.
Plan How You'll Reinstate Normal Business
Business as normal will look different for all industries across the country. Not only do you need a clear plan for serving customers when you're ready to reopen, but you need to consider what changes you'll need to make to help protect employees and customers. Create a detailed plan for your reopening so that once you have a date, you will be prepared to reinstate normal business.
Will you be offering a promotion or deal? As businesses begin to reopen their doors, deals and promotions are opportunities to get consumers back in your business. This is also a great way to show support of your customers by offering a more affordable product or service during a time that might have caused financial stress.
What will you do to help keep your business safe and sanitary once you reopen? In order to comply with health and safety guidelines, your business will have to instill new measures and precautions. Not only are you keep your customers safe, but your employees too. Let them know the changes you’re making so they are able to have a safe and easy experience when doing business with you.
When should you start executing your plans? You may not have a set date for reopening, but the sooner you have your plan in place, the better. While each state is under different orders, it’s wise to begin planning for how you will execute your plans. Once you’re able to act on those decisions, your plan will allow you to prepare your business for a safe reopening.
Create a 'Welcome Back' Campaign
Whether or not you have a reopening date in place, begin planning a ‘welcome back’ campaign. Use this campaign to inform your customers that you are in the beginning stages of planning to reopen your business when the time is right. You want to have a message that is timely and thanks your existing customers for the support they have shown your business.
A ‘welcome back’ campaign is an excellent way to embody a sense of community as people are eagerly looking towards a new normal. Utilize social media, your website, and your local TV station to market your business as you prepare for positive growth in the upcoming months.
As a business owner, you are always thinking about how to best position your business, even in the midst of a pandemic. The decisions you make now can have a huge impact on your business's success in the future.