4 Key Strategies for Businesses Transitioning Out of Lockdown
We may not be there yet, but the time is coming when businesses will reopen, and people will go back to work. Are you doing things now that will ensure that your business is one of those that will bounce back when that happens? Let’s look at the key strategies that companies are using to stay top of mind with their customer base and come back strong.
1.Network with Other Business Owners
You aren’t in this alone. The COVID-19 crisis is affecting every industry in one way or another. Your competitors are dealing with some of the same issues that you are. Physical networking groups aren’t meeting as usual, but most have found a way to continue their networking over digital channels.
This is a time when business owners need each other more than ever. Find out what other businesses are doing to weather the shutdown. Find ways that you can support one another in your efforts to stay afloat. Bartering services has never been as popular as it is now. Even companies that would normally compete against each other are trying to find ways to carry each other through to the other end of the tunnel.
2. Creative Cash Flow Strategies
The lack of cash flow is one of the hardest hurdles to get past for most small businesses. How do you continue to pay rent and lease payments without an income? How do you pay for inventory that is sitting on the shelves? Several businesses have been attempting to alleviate their cash flow crisis by thinking outside the traditional parameters of their business.
Restaurants are a great example of this. Whether it is the local diner or national franchise like Perkins, restaurants are offering more than just takeout meals to their customers. With shortages in food supply chains, many restaurants are offering their commercial food stock for sale. For instance, you can now order frozen steaks or burgers from Perkins, along with other items from their freezer and pantries.
Other businesses are finding other ways to serve their customers while keeping their doors closed. Pet stores and veterinarians are delivering pet food and other supplies to customers. New York temporarily waived existing laws to allow drive-through pickup of individual cocktails. Selling gift cards for future use has also been a tactic for getting interest-free money without going to the bank.
3. Community Contributions Count
The news outlets are doing their best to provide positive, uplifting content during the crisis. Stories of people and businesses making contributions to support and encourage healthcare workers and seniors have been common themes. Here are a few of those stories.
- Florists delivering bouquets to hospitals to beautify nursing stations or to nursing homes to brighten up the days of seniors in lockdown.
- Catering services and pizza delivery services providing free meals to healthcare workers.
- Starbucks is giving out complimentary beverages to healthcare workers and emergency personnel for a limited time.
- Discounted rides for healthcare workers from Uber.
- Serta Simmons Bedding is donating mattresses to hospitals.
- Contributions to local food banks from a variety of businesses.
As you can see, just about any business can find a way to make a contribution that demonstrates support for their communities. Companies who offer support in these ways are sure to be remembered when they open up to the public again.
4. Empathy Is the Word of the Day
The one thing you DON’T want to do as a business right now is to come across as self-focused or trying to profit from the pandemic in any way. You should couch all your communications in empathy for your customers right now. “We understand and we care…” should be the main ideas reaching your customers and community through social media, emails, and any other channels you use to reach the public.
What you say isn’t the only way you show customers that you care about them and their concerns. With so much communication limited to telephone and digital channels, a personal touch to your customer concerns and feedback is more important than ever. Think about it. Many of your customers may have spent hours on hold waiting to talk to someone about their unemployment claim or their credit card payments. When frustration levels are high, it doesn’t take much to push someone past their patience limit.
Transitioning Into the Unknown Future
No one knows for sure how the reopening will be accomplished or how long it will take. But, eventually, businesses will reopen
, people will go back to work, and some sense of normalcy will return. Then, just like now, how you communicate with your customers and the public will be critical. Guest-Note
is leading the way in the next generation of personalized customer service that minimizes delays in response time. We’d be happy to help you get ready now for the days ahead.