The ABC’s of ReEntry: Tips for Small Businesses to ReOpen

It is almost time – depending on your area and type of business it may soon be time for a grand re-opening! Beginning to step back to the new normal is a cause for celebration but it is no time to take for granted.  Consumer jitters, unemployment challenges and continued health and safety concerns may make re-opening even riskier than being closed.  That’s why we’ve assembled some ABC’s to make your return to work as smooth as possible.

Adjust Your Business Model:  This feels big but it is an important consideration.  Given the current reality, how can your business uniquely react and pivot to serve customers in new ways.  Can you take appointments, provide curbside delivery or some version of online shopping? Even something as simple as a daily Facebook Live video showing new stock or sales (and highlighting your sanitation precautions) can help customers get excited to shop.  As you consider your business model, start by thinking through these elements:

  • What you sell
  • Whom you sell it to
  • How you deliver it

Beautify Your Space: Now is the time to do any needed upgrades.  Build that accessibility feature, add a fresh coat of paint, install lighting – whatever your space needs to feel fresh and modern, now is a great time.  Even something as simple as fresh flowers indoors or outdoor landscaping can help customers feel invited and welcomed in.  Beautification also gives you a chance to think through sanitation locations.  Don’t just set hand-sanitizer on a window ledge, can you set up an attractive display that includes sanitizer, paper towels or any other elements customers are looking for to feel safe? Helping customers feel welcome and glad to be in a beautiful space (that is not their home) will help them spend a little longer shopping and could result in higher sales.

Communicate: Finally communicate, communicate, communicate – as things are different and hours or offerings may be in flux it is urgent to make sure consumers know what is happening.  Outdoor signage with new (if temporary business hours), signage for parking lot pickup, floor decals to communicate social distancing for lines, even signs to note if customers are required to mask.  Sure a marker and a poster board can communicate but take the extra time to create something professional and attractive based on your business logo and identity.

And don’t forget employees during all of this.  Communicate schedules, PPE requirements and messaging for customers early and often.  Your staff are your brand ambassadors, make sure they are informed!

Finally, communicate when business resumes.  Look at any assets you have – email lists, customer databases or social media following.   Now’s the time to create and share custom invites letting them know your business is back to work.

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