Updated: Sep 7, 2020
Guest Post By: Naomi Johnson
If you’re a business owner getting ready to reopen after a long pandemic closure, sticking to a budget-friendly marketing plan takes some careful planning. Fortunately, there are free and low-cost ways to get customers back in the door without compromising your bank account, whether it’s using social media to communicate with customers or reconfiguring your store layout to make people feel safer while shopping or visiting.
Sensible Online Marketing When you’re thinking about efficient ways to reconnect with your customer base, remember to harness social media to your advantage. Social media platforms offer plenty of free ways to connect, whether it’s through live streaming content or posting information about reopening plans. Just make sure you do your research with demographics ahead of time.
Live streaming is one of the best ways to reach customers: in your videos, you can offer information about your reopening plans, and ask customers what measures they would like to see in order to feel safe to return to your business. For example, polling your audience for chief concerns can help guide the measures you take to keep your business safe from virus transmission.
Regardless of whether or not you choose to live stream, you should make a social media plan so you post regularly with pertinent information for customers. This can range from administrative details such as opening hours and restrictions to announcements about special offers and promotions for reopening.
Smart Business Re-Openings
Businesses everywhere are coping with new operating restrictions, whether it’s limiting capacity or redesigning floor plans to account for physical distancing requirements.
If your business operates with in person customer visits, be sure to consider physical distancing measures based on what works for your store or commercial space. While these proactive actions can protect you and your business from liability, some customers may still seek to opt out based on pre-existing conditions. With millennials spending two hours a day researching topics on their cell phones, they may read that some doctors have spoken out against face masks in the wide range of preferences today.
Some changes to your store will require an investment, so consider looking for ways to get funding to help you. There are plenty of grants and loans available for small businesses who are coping with COVID-19 setbacks, including both government and private options. Government options include the SBA Express Bridge Loans and the Main Street Business Lending Program; companies such as Verizon and Facebook even offer small grants for businesses facing hardships.
Remote Work Collaboration
If your team is still working remotely during your reopening, consider ways you can foster more effective collaboration.
Communication is key when you’re managing a team of remote workers. With in-person meetings unavailable during the pandemic, you must learn to adapt to primarily using email, workflow apps such as Slack, and video conferencing.
Another key aspect to improve remote collaboration is trust. Your remote team will be working independently for the foreseeable future, which means as a manager, you need to learn how to trust your workers and avoid micromanaging. Your team will appreciate your confidence in them, and you’ll likely see heightened productivity as trust builds over time.
While you want to maintain trust, accountability is part and parcel of a successful remote team. Establish regular check-ins with your team at the end of each workday and help address any issues that may arise for your team during this time.
If you need support in managing your business and remote team, consider professional coaching advice from Angelina Carleton. She can help you find areas where you can make improvements, whether you are a business owner, founder or solo entrepreneur. She also offers group advisory sessions for your team, a service family owned businesses lean on.
Reopening your business may feel like a lot of work, but if you harness social media and make changes to your store to reduce the risk of virus transmission, you’ll be well-placed to make a great comeback. Use live streaming to connect with customers, and adjust your floor plan to make customers feel safer when they visit. And, if you’re still managing a remote team for your small business, remember that communication, trust, and accountability are keys to success.