Times are tough for small business owners and entrepreneurs as they navigate the shifting sands of the Covid economy. So Inc. Uncensored and the UPS Store are presenting special bonus episodes geared specifically for small businesses, with host Shannon LaNier getting stellar advice from CEO and Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec about everything from marketing to negotiating financing to what the post-Covid economy might look like. In this episode, they talk about what you should do to prepare to reopen, assess your employee needs, and maintain a relationship with your customers in the meantime. “If you’re not in touch with your customers when they can’t come to you,” Robert says, “then they’re not going to come to you in the future.”
A lot of the work business owners need to do right now is reassess: what may need to change about how you offer your products and services in the future? It’s not likely people will want to discard the delivery, curbside pick-up, and ecommerce options they’ve been given during the pandemic – how can you best fit that into your existing business model going forward? How can you advertise your commitment to cleanliness, since sanitizing and social distancing will remain important for awhile? How can you celebrate reopening in a positive way? Robert suggests various tactics like cross-promoting with another business, throwing a party for your best customers, giving free appetizers every Friday – something that allows you to keep in touch with your customers, engage with them, and provide them some value.
You also need to assess your team. On a practical level, if your business changes, your employee needs may change somewhat as well. For example, a clothing retailer may find themselves needing more help pushing sales on social media, and fewer in-store sales representatives. Do you have who you need to move forward? But also check in with your team on an emotional level. “Don’t assume they’re the same as they were,” he says. People have been scarred by this experience, from being unemployed or having their pay cut, or because of personal experiences that may have taken their toll. Make sure they actually want to come back to the team. “And you know what? You’re part of that team,” Robert adds – check in with yourself, as well. Get all this great advice and so much more on this episode of Inc. Uncensored.
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