We are all well-aware of the current world-wide unpleasant situation caused by Covid-19. It has impacted almost all types of interaction from social friendly hang-outs to business meetings. Almost every government around the globe has come to limit public gatherings in close proximity, which is known as social distancing.
This has led to severe disruption for businesses. Perhaps two of the sectors that have been troubled the most during past few months are retail and hospitality. This is because these two include face-to-face businesses and have the highest footfall among the businesses of other sectors. However, there is always a silver lining at the end of every gloomy tunnel. Just keep in mind that we are all in this together.
Hence, with ultimate sense of solidarity and sympathy, we deem it our duty to stand by you in general, and our community in particular. This article is meant to mitigate the tough situation that businesses in retail and hospitality sectors are going through and hopefully help them emerge from this difficult times with a promising future. Here are some guides to secure your business.
Open As Ever
Even though almost all brick-and-mortar businesses in the retail and hospitality sections such as restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs and other alike businesses have closed down in compliance with the precautionary measures, some essential shops such as food shops, pharmacies, corner shops, hardware stores among a few others are still allowed to operate. In case, you can by any reason stay open, you need to broadcast it through every channel you have. The reason is that some people might think you are closed down too. By posting notices on the storefronts, emailing directly to your customers, texting them via SMS, you must let them know that you are still open.
If you expect your customers to purchase your merchandises or services, you need to assure them that all your operations and areas, particularly the high-touch areas are sanitized and cleaned on a regular basis and according to official healthcare instructions. Therefore, on your social media you should broadcast about social distancing, cleanliness, and alike concepts. Let them see you really care about people’s health and make sure your products and services are safe to buy and use. You need to gain their trust.
Informing your potential customers that you are open and all safe is only a small part of a bigger picture: digital marketing. Making a thoughtful use of this side of marketing, you can maintain your connection with your customers. Don’t let the “out of sight, out of mind” nibble away at your customer base. In addition, you can benefit from promotional strategies. If put to good use, they will help you reach higher virtual footfall.
This trend emerged a couple of years ago and now proves to be substantial, given the current situation. Now that online shopping has gained more popularity than ever, even among those who previously would have never betrayed their in-store shopping code, you should grasp the opportunity and start selling online. So in your communications with your potential customers, make sure they know they have the option to buy online and won’t have to risk their health by walking on the streets.
Again, in case you are allowed to operate by any reason, you can offer curbside delivery or pick-up. If you have enough resources like labor force, and rich inventory, you can surely think of taking orders online or on the phone or even through other platforms. Curbside pick-up streamlines the shopping process for customers. Consequently, more and more customers will be attracted to you.
These were some tips to help those who are trying to endure this inevitable slowdown and make sales. Now let’s deal with the back office aspect of the business and have a look at the following tips to help oil your system for present and future operations.
Contemplate the Future of Your Business
Whether you are open or closed down, it is still a good opportunity for thinking deeply about where you are heading. Considering the current and the foreseeable post-Covid-19 situation, you can brush up on your strategies and refine your approaches. Go over the current problems and tackle them.
Train Your Staff
If you can afford to keep staff on the job, you should start training them now. Things aren’t going to be always like this. Your customers will start browsing in your stores again. So if you don’t want a further trouble with untrained staff members, you should start helping them think forward to the future, now. If your team are still working, but you can’t have customers on your premises, dedicate some time to teach them new techniques and practice the interaction with customers. And if you are completely closed down, and your team are at home, you can still do all of those items through voice and video calls.
Go Through Your Inventory
One of the things that has always been, without use of a well selected EPOS system, cumbersome is stock-taking. With all the hustle-and-bustle in businesses like night clubs, pubs, bars, and restaurants, you are almost never able to find the possible discrepancies. Therefore, now is the best time to do it.
Support Your Employees
The last but not least, is your own employees’ well-being and health. Don’t forget that they are your most important asset. Many small and mid-sized businesses are struggling and might even be close to breaking point. But you as employers should remember that if your staff feel you really care about them as human beings and support them in crisis like this, they will tend to return the favour when the chips are down.
To sum up, it doesn’t matter how unprecedented the current situation might seem, it is still resolvable. You just need to know how to manage and come through. Long story short, to save your business, you need do stay safe, cautious, and positive.