How to Get Your Customers Back As You Reopen in the New Normal
This is a guest post from Naomi Johnson (see her info at the end of the article) – we hope you enjoy it.
After months in lockdown, there is truly no stopping restrictions from easing up at this point. However, the reality is that COVID-19 is still a threat, so it’s far from business as usual. This means that as you reopen your business, you do have considerable responsibility for both your team and your customers to keep the risk of transmission at a minimum and their safety at a maximum.
Needless to say, the new normal comes with new obligations. With these, you not only need to take the necessary steps in the right direction, but you also have to adapt your marketing strategy to offer your stakeholders peace of mind—and, in turn, keep your business running smoothly.
Plan, prepare, and practice.
Reopening a business in a pandemic is daunting. However, turning to reopening guidelines from the CDC is undoubtedly the best place to start. Establishing health- and safety-oriented protocols protects both your staff and customers, and will provide peace of mind as well.
This will entail prioritizing hygiene and changing workspaces accordingly (e.g., the distance of tables in a restaurant or desks in an office). You might need to rethink how you manage hot desking, consider limiting foot traffic, or accommodating work-from-home arrangements. Perhaps it’s time for hybrid schedules or fully remote work; think through what is best for both staff and clientele in the long run.
Tweak your communication.
Of course, implementing the necessary changes to your business is just a fraction of your reopening efforts. You also need to appropriately communicate these changes to get your customers to come back and attract new ones. This invariably means key modifications to your marketing strategy. Remember that people were affected by the pandemic in different ways, so to better reconnect with your public, you’ll want to do so with empathy—providing support without overdoing it.
Now, marketing encompasses a good number of things, but as you reopen your business in the new normal, Send In Blue suggests narrowing it down to a few essential marketing actions. For one thing, keeping your webpage and business pages on social media updated with your new hours, social distancing measures, and more is a must. For another, you can also run digital marketing or email campaigns to announce your reopening—perhaps even sweeten the deal with special promotions.
On a related note, your efforts at good communication should not be limited to your customers. In fact, it’s just as important to maintain effective communication with your staff or team of freelancers, as well. This is especially true if your business is adapting remote work policies full- or part-time. Regular communication is a must for everyone to stay connected. Good collaboration hinges heavily on good communication, after all, as do awareness and trust.
Leverage available support.
Lastly, all these changes and new measures can be overwhelming and maybe even costly—that’s a given. For this reason, it will serve your business well, indeed, to recognize that you can find and get the right kind of support you need at any given time. Case in point, many ‘new normal’ changes can be costly and you may be hard-pressed to make such an investment. However, there are several funding options that you can look into like SBA loans or even grants like the ZenBusiness Grant Program.
Similarly, if you’re unsure how to proceed with your business at what continues to be an uncertain time, you can also look into business coaching. A service like Aspire Business Development can help you with your marketing approach, leadership initiatives, and more.
The new normal demands changes and maybe even new ways of doing business, but they’re nothing that you can’t adapt to. With adequate preparation, communication, and support, you can even do so with relative ease. Keep health and safety at the forefront, and you’ll be on the right track.
“Naomi Johnson created lifebasedbusiness.net for small business owners, creatives, solopreneurs, boss babes and bros, and side hustlers who are committed to designing their careers to accommodate how they want to live, instead of the other way around. Through her site, Naomi offers practical advice and inspiration to help others adopt the life-based business mentality and change their lives in immensely positive, fulfilling ways.”
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach