The following is a guest post from: Naomi Johnson.
Reopening your small business will be an important step in getting back on your feet after navigating the pandemic closures. As you prepare to reopen, Hayse Marketing recommends that you keep in mind the need for a cost-effective marketing plan that will allow you to connect with customers without compromising much-needed capital. Along with marketing, put together a plan that will allow you to reopen with physical measures that will keep your staff and customers safe.
Marketing your reopening
When you have a plan in place for reopening, think about low-cost ways to reach your audience and customer base. One of the best cost-effective marketing strategies includes using social media.
If you don’t yet have a social media presence, make sure you set up an account that is a one-stop shop for what your customers need to know: your new hours, your plans to keep them safe while at your business, and what specials you’re running for reopening. Social media is incredibly powerful for small business: one study showed that 90 percent of marketers say it’s vital to their business. Not only does it help you connect, but it also increases your customer base and helps you build brand awareness.
If your business already has a thriving social media presence, be sure to harness the opportunity to connect with your audience. There are plenty of ways to do this, such as live streaming videos that explain to customers what physical changes you’ve made to make your business safe and virus-free. Live streaming has been shown to be an effective marketing tool, as it will allow your customers to feel more connected to you.
When you’re making plans for opening up, be sure to make any necessary physical changes to your business. If you need help or guidance as you consider what type of changes may be required, consult health and safety experts VPPPA.
If you run an office space, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommends coming up with guidelines around how many workers can be in the office at any given time. Additionally, many offices require temperature checks and masks while indoors. An employee wellness plan can help keep everyone safe while allowing work to resume.
If you own a business that relies on shoppers, be sure to adapt to make it safe for them to enter. A few ways to do this include requiring masks, providing hand sanitizer for people entering your business, and managing traffic flow to keep people moving in one direction. You can also install plexi-glass shields for cashiers in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.
In order to keep customers six feet away from one another in line, you can use stickers or tape to indicate where shoppers should stand while waiting. One great low-cost option is providing senior-only and at-risk shopping hours to accommodate those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
These changes will help your customers feel much safer when in your business, so take as many precautions as possible to ensure a low-risk environment.
Financing your reopening
Some physical changes are low-cost, but others might require more capital. However, if your business is struggling, even the cheap adaptations can take a bite out of your operating budget. If you need financing to help you reopen and hire back your employees, consider taking out a small loan or applying for small business financing.
Government funding is available through the Small Business Association (SBA) Express Bridge Loans, the Main Street Business Lending Program, and other traditional SBA loans. You can also apply for non-government funding; companies such as Amazon and GoFundMe offer private sector financial assistance.
Hayse Marketing realizes that reopening your small business after a long closure may feel difficult, but if you harness the power of marketing through social media, your chances of making a comeback will skyrocket. Use tech tools to connect with customers and grow your audience. And, take precautions to keep your customers and staff safe. Your reopening will be a smashing success without going broke, thanks to your good planning!