Create a plan now to avoid being overwhelmed
To successfully reopen your business requires much more than unlocking the door and hoping your old customers will just arrive. This process will look completely different from when you first opened your business. Excellent preparation, planning, strategy, effective communication, and LaZer execution will differentiate those who remain open for the long term—from those who won’t.
Prior to reopening your business, you will need to establish whether or not your clients/customers will come back as they did before. For example, if you run a barbershop and have been closed for the past two months, what did your clients do during this time? Did their significant others start cutting their hair at home? Will they continue to cut it at home, or will they come back to your shop once you reopen?
If you are a restaurant owner doing takeout over the past two months, did your customers frequently order takeout? Did they start cooking more at home, and eating less takeout? It is important to assess whether or not your customers and clients will return in the same capacity as before, or whether your business will look different once you reopen.
Prior to reopening, I recommend reaching out to your regular clients and customers to let them know you plan on reopening and invite them back to enjoy your services. This is a good way to not only inform them that you’ll be open for business, but also to gauge interest and response to your announcement. This is also a perfect time to run a promotion to get clients and customers to re-engage with your business and get excited to come back.
It is essential that you are able to assure your clients that your space is safe and you are adhering to proper social distancing regulations. Be sure to promote sanitizing and disinfecting practices and illustrate social distancing within your business space. Make sure you follow state guidelines.
The safety and confidence of your employees are also crucial when you reopen your business. It is important to effectively communicate with them, officially bring them back to work (if they were on furlough) and provide them with any personal protective equipment necessary for them to do their jobs and protect themselves. I also recommend having a plan in place to pay your employees if it takes longer for clients and customers to return than you anticipate. Take a look at your business finances and determine how many clients you will need to break even. Planning for the financial unknowns will make your reopening as smooth a process as possible.
Be aware that the reopening process has a lot of moving parts, and things may change quickly and frequently during your reopening process. I recently had an appointment with my physical therapist who had been closed for some time due to a COVID-19 positive patient. As she begins to reopen, she is scheduling patients two hours apart which gives her enough time to appropriately sanitize her equipment. She has also been providing masks and gloves for patients who do not have their own, and taking each patient’s temperature as they come in. Your business may not need procedures as in-depth as this, but it is crucial to analyze what you will need to do to keep everyone safe and healthy, and ensure your customers’ concerns are addressed.
As you begin to reopen your business after this long period of closure, thoughtful planning, preparation, strategy, effective communication, and LaZer execution will yield the best results and allow your business to thrive while keeping your employees and clients safe and healthy.
Schedule a free consultation to discuss how to navigate your reopening process!