Are you worried about how your business will bounce back as life reopens post-lockdown? Richard Crawford-Small is an Amazon #1 Bestselling Author and award-winning business consultant who uses proven techniques to help ethical business maximise efficiency and grow. Read on to find his tips to help your business reopen withg a bang.
1. Face your fears now
The prospect of coming out of lockdown with a small business can be daunting as much as it’s exciting. “The first thing to get you into the right mindset is to try and face your fears because once you deconstruct them and work out what it is that’s actually scaring you you can really start to tackle it so that you’re ready to move forward,” says Crawford-Small. “Sometimes it helps talking to a third party, such as a counsellor or business coach, because their neutral perspective can shed a different light on a problem or area and help you see it differently. Other times it’s just about getting the ball rolling and making a start, whether that’s unpacking stock from the garage or contacting staff about a return to work plan.” Ultimately, any steps taken towards returning to work are a step in the right direction.
2. Make sure that you’re COVID-Safe
Ensuring your business is COVID-safe is a vital part of the reopening process but how do we go about it? “Update your risk assessment to manage the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your business. This will help you to understand what you should do to work safely and protect people,” explains Crawford-Small. “Think about how you will manage the requirement for keeping your workplace clean and offering customers and staff the opportunity for frequent hand washing to reduce the potential for coronavirus to spread.” And communication here is key. “Make sure that you consult and involve your team in the steps you take every step of the way,” adds Crawford Small
3. Remember what makes you different
For most small businesses what makes them stand out from the rest is exactly that – their difference. “Remember what makes you different, whether that’s the product you make, your ethics, the way you manufacture or market yourself and so on, and hone in on that USP,” says Crawford-Small. “The lockdown has seen a resurgence in people supporting local high streets and independent retailers. For that reason it’s never been a better time to remember what makes you different and celebrate that. Put yourself out there and promote your business to anyone who will listen!”
4. Reconnect with your client base before reopening
No matter how good your business is it won’t be successful if you don’t have that human connection. “Lockdown has shown just how much people rely on human connections in their lives and it’s no different in business. Try to form strong, meaningful relationships with your clients and by doing so you’ll not only ensure people trust and value you but also that they return to you for business again and again. Fortunately we live in an age where these relationships don’t have to be in person, so utilise different social media platforms in order to engage with people of different ages and demographics,” explains Crawford-Small.
5. Review your prices and your product offering
“Now is the time to ask whether you’re charging the right price for what you offer. In most cases, people aren’t charging enough. Ask yourself whether you can add products into bundles or increase some of your charges for your services. More times than not, it can make a huge difference to your bottom line,” says Crawford-Small.
6. Re-launch. DON’T reopen.
“This is probably my most crucial piece of advice,” says Crawford-Small. “This is your time to be noticed and it’s vital that you reopen with a bang rather than simply open your doors and wait. Can you re-launch with a product offering or a seasonal offer? Talk about the exciting things you have learnt during the past nine months and engage with your customers to get them through the door.”