In March, when things started to shut down in Canada, many people assumed it would be a matter of weeks before things were back to normal. That has not been the case – months later, most areas are still closed and many nations continue to experience increases in detected cases.
All is not lost, however – there are promising advances in vaccine trials and a variety of other good news. Canada is working on plans to reopen now that they’ve established some measure of control over the spread of COVID-19. Leaders know you can’t stay closed forever.
What can you do to prepare your business for success as Canada reopens its economy? Here are some tips:
Focus on Safety
The number one thing to do is to keep your establishment, customers, and staff safe every day in your business. This means enhanced cleaning, sanitation, and distancing to avoid a new spike and possible re-closure.
Even more importantly, these steps will help you stand out to customers. Everyone wants a safe place to shop and have fun – when you provide that, you’ll be top-of-mind for future activities. Even after this crisis passes, the positive reputation you’ve built will serve you well.
Make sure you enforce the use of masks and social distancing in your store. Limit how many customers can enter at a time so everyone feels safe and stays healthy.
Ramp Up Digital Sales
The businesses that have done best during this crisis have been the ones that can sell their products and services online. If you’ve been able to do this, congratulations! If not, now is the time to develop a robust website and build your search engine optimization (SEO) and online reputation.
The vast majority of consumers start with an online search when they are interested in a product or service. With the right online presence, your business can be one of the first that they see. Make sure you’re using the right keywords and focusing on your local area.
Your blog should provide high-quality advice that helps potential customers understand and value your products and services. You can also build an email list where you send exclusive discounts and targeted information to encourage repeat purchases.
If your digital presence isn’t where it should be, it may be time to call in the professionals. Our SEO experts have helped over 10,000 small businesses succeed with online marketing – we’d love to help you too!
If you’ve ever said, “Well, this is the way we’ve always done it,” it’s time to throw that tired phrase out. If there’s anything the COVID-19 crisis has shown us, it’s that we must embrace change and be ready for disruption – even significant, worldwide disruption – at any time.
Let this disaster pop your bubble in a good way and make you less complacent about your business and the economy. What can you do to improve your resilience so that in the future, you’ll be less susceptible to significant crises?
You might want to diversity your supply chain, for instance. Many small companies struggled because they had only one or two suppliers. When those shut down, the company had to close as well. Look for ways to have multiple providers and put backup plans into place.
You can also review your products and services and see if a pivot is in order. Maybe you need more diversity in your product line, or you need to create a delivery service so people don’t have to come to the store.
Finally, look for new needs in the marketplace that your company can solve. Can you provide protective gear people need? Can you offer useful software for remote work? Can you provide new ways to deliver products and services so people don’t need to leave home?
A mechanic can offer on-site repair, for instance. A bakery can start offering bread delivery to homes. There are dozens of ways you can adapt to the new marketplace.
Refine Your Leadership and Communication Skills
As a small business owner, you’ve been under a tremendous amount of stress this year. So have your employees and customers. How can you use this time to grow and become an even better leader and communicator?
Many business leaders have found themselves having to learn new technology, such as Zoom or project management tools, to keep deliverables on track when folks are working from home. You may have had to practice communicating over video instead of in person.
While we will eventually return to normal – especially if a vaccine is approved by the end of the year – many of the changes we’ve experienced will remain. It will now be normal to schedule a video call when you can’t be present, or to work from home if you’ve got an extended illness.
As a leader, learn to help people set goals and focus when they work remotely. Develop your written communication so that it’s clear and concise. Help your employees stay motivated by learning more about what makes each individual tick.
When you take these steps, you’ll be a better leader no matter what comes next.
Get Your Company Ready for Reopening
Many businesses are both excited and nervous about reopening, and with good reason. The U.S. has shown how cases can spike as testing improves and more people travel and work together. Fortunately, death rates remain low.
As you prepare for reopening, you probably have a long list of things to do. If updating your website and digital marketing are on that list, let us help. We can provide top-notch SEO and web development at an affordable price.
Ready to learn more? Contact us today!