The last few months have shaken the business community to its foundation. While many are reeling from the instability in our local economy, it’s imperative that we find the opportunities in the shake-up. They’re there… if you look for them. Every change, while difficult, brings with it a chance to return smarter, stronger and better than before.
1. Reconnect with your customers.
Now is the time to communicate. Email, social media, radio, digital, magazine, even 1-on-1 conversation (from a 6-foot distance) as they come into the store. Over-communicate with your customers and prospects. Let them know what’s changed, what hasn’t. After weeks of staying at home, people are craving connection. Give it to them.
2. Relentlessly remind people
that you are there, open and ready for customers. Remind them early and remind them often. There will naturally be a lot of competition for the dollars that are spent locally, and some customers may be more hesitant to return than others. Most likely, customers will return in waves as consumer confidence grows. Get your name in front of them. To disappear from public communication would, at this point, be disastrous.
3. Reaffirm your position
in the marketplace. Your customers, prospects and employees need to know that you are there for them and ready for them to return. Your brand needs to communicate solid positioning in the marketplace without sounding desperate.
4. Reward customers
with exceptional customer service. Go back to basics – to what set you up for success from the very beginning. When a customer enters your store, greet them with a smile and welcome them. Show appreciation for their business. Say thank you. Follow-up later to see how the product or service is working.
5. Rediscover your passion
for why you do what you do. A wise mentor once told me, when times are tough – live out of your passion. If you’re simply chasing money, you’re responding to fear. Instead, reconnect to what you love about your business and why you started it in the first place.
6. Re-evaluate your business model.
What about the “old” way of doing business does it make sense to leave in the past? This is a perfect opportunity to hone your model and fix old issues. Be selective about what aspects of your business are brought forward into this new season with you. Don’t just go back to business-as-usual if there are aspects of that old model that didn’t really serve you.
7. Redefine your goals.
Obviously, your goals prior to coronavirus may need to be evaluated and adjusted. You may find yourself way off target and need to modify timelines. You may find that what you’d wanted before no longer applies. Begin from this new starting position and adjust your goals to fit a new target. Same rules for SMART goal-setting apply: make sure they stay specific, measurable, realistic, accountable and time-bound … and you’ll be back on track in no time.