Don't pull your locks out during lockdown 2
MANY BUSINESSPEOPLE will feel like pulling their hair out today.
But, the bald fact is (ho-ho) that while lockdown 2 will force a slow down, it doesn’t have to be a follicly challenging time for owners. It’s a very good time to make a start on at least some of the things that usually languish at the bottom of ‘to-do’ lists during ‘normal time’.
Getting systems, security and cyber up to speed is one thing (actually, it’s three things).
And keeping customers updated with what you’re up to is another.
No business can afford to forget about its customers during this or any other lockdown. Because without the people who pay for your products and services, business will remain in permanent lockdown.
Let’s get digital
Most businesses are reasonably comfortable with the digital channels that allow them to share their messages. What some are less sure about is what to write.
You could simply tell people what you plan to do while you’re handling fewer transactions (and update them with your progress during this period).
Lockdown 2 offers the opportunity to do what ‘normal times' get in the way of. Looking at data, crunching numbers, analysing performance. That’s right: all the dull stuff. Or ordering new signage, re-jigging retail space and re-training staff.
Whatever you do, share it
This is a great time to share your business’ story. How did it start? What inspired you to get going? What do you do that’s different from your competitors? What can you tell them about your team?
I spoke to a chef-owner recently who followed his father’s footsteps into the kitchen. He described how impressed he was going to dimly lit markets early in the mornings for raw ingredients and seeing how they were transformed into food that looked like edible art for customers arriving the same afternoon. He spoke with such passion you couldn’t help but be gripped. People love this kind of emotion. Share it. They’ll thank you for it with loyalty and recommendations.
It’s also important to keep your own team members in the loop. Some will be worried about their jobs, money… their sanity! Letting them know you’re there is often all they’ll need to keep their morale at optimum levels while they are working from home or on furlough.
Promote your team to brand ambassador level
It’s a great time to deliver newsletters so people know what is happening in different parts of the business. While paper version of your news are difficult to deliver at this time, a PDF, Mailchimp or similar message would let people know you still have them in mind. By asking them to share your messages they can become brand ambassadors for your business.
It’s time to explore new opportunities. Embracing technology is clearly a big part of this. Not just for communication purposes but for transactions as well. Most retailers and restauranteurs can’t open their doors, but they can open their virtual ones and find a means of delivery. Those businesses that cannot function during lockdown, like hairdressers and gyms, could provide useful information to show their customers they care about them even when they’re not making purchases. Those that do can be confident they’ll be front of their customers’ minds when they’re allowed to open their doors again.
It may be tempting to start losing your locks during lockdown 2. But, whichever way you look at it, it’ll be a lot less painful to make the most of the situation, do what you can do and keep communicating with the people at the heart of your business.
Get in touch if you need help defining or sharing your story.
Thanks for reading.