Updated: 3 June 2021
ActionCoach is the world’s largest business coaching company. As the country continues to open up, they’ve provided some essential guidance below to help you adapt to the new environment. You can also register for a free coaching session by following the link at the end of the article.
To be viewed by a prospective customer as a responsible and safe business, you will need to be seen to be cleaning continually and offering a safe environment. Place barriers/screens between tables and desks, and give your team the necessary PPE. Using directional arrows and marking up the floor to show 2m spacing can also help customers to socially-distance and reassure them that you care about their safety.
Communication with your team is key – whether it be colleagues, customers, or suppliers.
Some team members may need reassurance when coming back to work, fearing they may be entering an environment of potential ‘harm’. As a leader, you must strive to clearly demonstrate the safe facilities your team members can expect when they return to work, as well as how they will interact with customers.
From meetings to working areas, capacity to toilets, reflect on and adjust your existing standards and protocol. Everyone’s situation is different, so listen to your team to understand their needs and concerns.
Firstly, do not focus on your ideal customer, think about deals for different target audiences. We suggested reading Instant Advertising by ActionCOACH founder Brad Sugars, which offers a plethora of ways to do this.
Don’t forget to reintroduce yourself to existing customers too. You need to think about what would bring them back to dealing with you. People may be hesitant to step out of the safety of their homes, so what would they need to make the first step?
Once you have come up with some ideas, get working on attracting your top 20% of customers back. Devise something that will really make them feel special and valued. If a customer feels like they are wanted back, they’ll be more likely to come back.
Re-opening isn’t only a big thing, it’s an exciting thing! Getting enthusiastic about opening will not only motivate you to get the business up and running again, but will be contagious with your team members and customers.
Make an effort to document your journey and spread the good news about every milestone you achieve. Announce every step on social media and local media (radio, newspaper, etc.) Cause noise about special deals and dates, as well as the safety precautions you are taking. Post pictures, videos and get noticed.
There’s no point re-opening in a grand way if the numbers fail to stack up.
You need to know what the business is going to make and what it’s going to cost. To do this you need to identify your break-even point and profit break point. Use your money wisely, and devise a comprehensive strategy on how you can turn the money you have in your bank account into future money.
With any big moment in your business it pays to be prepared, so make sure you keep extra cash on hand for anything unexpected.
The world has changed a lot over the last year, so it’s important to check over your tactics for generating revenue to make sure they’re still relevant and optimised.
Re-do your marketing plan and complete a SWOT analysis for your business. Examine what your competitors are doing – down to their pricing and offers, even the content on their website. Take a look at your customer buying habits and question whether these will have changed during lockdown. How can you pivot to meet them? Help and educate your customers more on the benefits of using you.
There’s more ways to market your product than ever before, so test and measure different messages and platforms. Consider video testimonials, social media campaigns, and using feedback questionnaires to guide you.
Digital adoption has accelerated dramatically during the pandemic. As a business owner and leader, you need to embrace the change and connect with your customers in this new world.
Firstly, build a database of customers and associates so you can both create and maintain those valuable relationships. As well as notifying them of news and offers, let people know how important they are to you and your business.
If fellow business owners, local media, politicians, etc., have helped you on your journey, thank them too.
The world has changed and you’ve re-opened, but you still have to consider where you’ll be in the next 90 days and beyond.
Create a 90-day plan if you are still in survival mode, and then create another 90-day plan that will ensure your business will thrive.
When doing this, think of the positives and negatives of re-opening. You can’t afford to make simple mistakes around the safety of your team, your customers and your suppliers, so plan ahead to get this right.
ActionCOACH is here to help and, thanks to our partnership with Funding Circle, you can get an exclusive FREE Gifted business coaching session. Click here to register your place.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not represent those of Funding Circle. Funding Circle is not authorised to, and does not, provide investment, tax, legal or regulatory advice. To the extent permitted by law, Funding Circle does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on, such information contained here. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional adviser or seek independent specialist advice.