You may have noticed a drop in your in-store sales lately. You are not alone, one-fourth of all small business owners say that they are selling 42% less than before. Keeping your customers’ attention can be hard when they are stuck at home.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to stay in business during the quarantine. Here are 5 easy measures you can take today!
1. Stay Connected Online
One of the best steps to take to stay in business is to reach your audience online. Increasing your social media presence keeps your audience engaged and helps boost your online sales. You could also offer online sales or coupons to get customers’ attention.
You can use social media to link people to your website and remind them that they can make purchases from you online. With many people staying indoors and practicing social distancing, your best bet to staying in business is to broaden your online presence.
While reaching your audience in person right now is difficult, many of your customers check their social media every single day. Posting online is a great way to market yourself and an important part of running a business in the digital age.
If your business is not suited for making sales online, you could try offering gift certificates to potential customers. When quarantine is lifted you could draw in many people who were holding onto their certificates and are excited to finally use it.
2. Show How Clean Your Store Is
Keeping your business clean is important to stop the spread of the virus. This is especially so with restaurant management– customers want to see staff engaged in disinfecting stores, more so if they plan to eat there.
Another way to display your cleanliness would be to put up signs around your business. This lets any customer know you are actively doing your best to keep them safe. Signs should show your updated hygiene protocols, increased cleaning routines, and how often you disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
If your business’s hours changed to allow for more cleaning time, post signs that have that information too. Showing customers how clean your store is can give them peace of mind. Plus, they will likely choose to shop with you over another business that does not clean enough.
3. Check-in With a Business Management Consultant
Talking to a professional about any issues you have is always a good idea. They can give you advice on staying in business during these tough times.
MBB Management is a great place to start. They specialize in management counseling, franchise counseling, and hotel counseling, plus more! They will let you know what you can do right now to make your business survive quarantine, and assist you with recovering afterward.
MBB Management has over 100 years of experience in hospitality and offers business management consultants to improve your store. If you feel lost or stuck with where to go next with your business, speaking with professional management consultants can help ease any worries that you have.
4. Make Sure Customers Can Clean their Hands
Of course, it is important to have hand sanitizer and hand soap on deck for your employees. However, customers should also know where they can clean their hands. Enforcing hygiene practices in your store is effective at preventing the spread of coronavirus and makes everyone that comes through your doors feel safe.
Putting signs up guiding customers to the restroom is a good idea and encourages more frequent handwashing. You also might want to hang up signs with the CDC’s handwashing guidelines near bathroom sinks. You will get more foot traffic if people know that there is no risk while shopping with you.
Also, make sure to offer customers hand sanitizer- especially if they do not have access to a restroom while in your store. Leaving hand sanitizer out for employees is a good idea and seeing staff frequently cleaning their hands makes customers feel more relaxed.
5. Expand Digital Customer Service
Make sure your customers know they can easily reach you, without having to break quarantine. Offering email and phone support is a good place to start if you do not have it yet. If your audience can reach you, you are more likely to stay in business.
Again, social media makes a big difference here. Offering video conferencing to your customers helps them feel more personal to you, without them having to be there in person. FaceTime, Skype, Discord, and Zoom are great apps to look into for video chatting.
You can offer your audience the ability to chat online too. Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp are good options for customer service over text. Some people also are more comfortable communicating this way than over a phone or a video call. Plus, messaging also works well for solving quick problems or those needing a fast response.
In short, the more digital customer service options you can offer, the better. Everyone has their preferences on what to use, so you broaden your chance of reaching customers this way.
If you are worried about staying in business during quarantine, one of the most important things you can do right now is to make sure you can still reach your audience. Keeping them engaged is how you can keep up sales. If you need help doing this, talk to a business management consultant.
You also need to make sure you are taking steps to keep your store clean and disinfected. Customers need to see that you are concerned about their health and doing everything you can to keep them safe. Trust between your business and audience is what keeps them around during quarantine- they need to know they will not get sick from shopping in your store.
Those are 5 ways to stay in business during a quarantine! Hopefully, you were able to pick up some useful tips for your store. We all need to support each other during the pandemic to keep our businesses afloat.