The pandemic has been going on for months now, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty. As a small business owner, you probably know that all too well. While it’s hard to say how long the pandemic will continue, you can still take action now to help your business ride it out. Below, learn about the changes you can make to keep your business going strong.
Rethink Your Layout
Do clients and customers come into your business to shop or receive services? If so, you will want to start by providing the safest environment possible for your employees and customers.
The CDC is your best source of information when determining what changes to make. For example, it’s recommended that you look for ways to increase physical space between customers and employees to reduce the chance of spreading infection.
In order to allow for proper social distancing, you may need to rearrange your business. Your approach will look different depending on what type of business you have. If you have a reception desk or service counter, for example, you might want to install a plexiglass shield. If you have seating or equipment available for patrons, strategically removing tables or other pieces will make it easier for people to avoid close contact.
No matter how easy you make it for patrons and employees to maintain distance from each other, your business probably can’t function without some degree of person-to-person contact.
Luckily, there are numerous ways to reduce or even eliminate unnecessary contact. For instance, switching to a contactless payment system is a great solution. Allowing customers to place orders online and opt for curbside pickup is another option.
Focus Your Efforts Online
Implementing order pickup and contactless payment methods is a great starting place. Another way to reduce unnecessary contact is to start providing virtual services wherever possible. Many businesses can benefit from offering virtual consultations and estimates, such as those in the real estate, legal, diet and fitness, home maintenance, or interior design industries. For example, a handyman could video chat with customers via an app like Zoom to diagnose a home repair, eliminating the need for in-person estimates.
If you sell products rather than services, you may consider opening an e-commerce store. Not only will this allow your usual patrons to keep supporting you, it also gives you an opportunity for people outside your community to discover your products.
Keep in mind having a user-friendly website is the key to providing good virtual services or a running successful e-commerce store, so you might want to consider making updates.
Outsourcing Tech Projects
Making changes to your physical location is probably something you can do yourself. However, implementing an online ordering system, starting an e-commerce store, or revamping your website to provide a better customer experience is often hard to do alone. Moreover, it’s not always easy to justify the cost of hiring a staff member to take on responsibilities like these.
Working with CloudShyft can serve as a one-stop shop that can design, manage, and deploy your e-commerce site, test your software, and provide social media experts to reach your customers in new ways.
As a small business owner, you’re probably used to making constant changes to keep up with the times. While the pandemic is different than anything we’ve encountered in our lifetimes, it helps to frame it as another challenge for your business to adapt to and overcome. Making changes to your store to improve health and safety is a starting point, but to really help your business thrive, you may find it’s necessary to devote some energy to online projects, too.
Special thanks to Katie Conroy at advicemine.com for contributing to the Cloudshyft blog.