What is proving to be one of the hardest economic climates to run a small business, the situation is proving to be full of many challenges.
The government rules will be continually changing and whilst you need to abide by these, you can get creative and think about how your business can adapt, and still keep the tils operating – even at a reduced level. This will inevitably mean changing the way you may typically run your retail business and being open to learning new things.
Here are some tips on how to help your retail business survive during COVID-19:
Delivery of goods– offer an option for customers to have their purchases delivered. Many retail businesses have also started to offer free delivery for suburbs or townships close to the business to entice customers.
Click and Collect- many retail businesses may already have this option in place, but letting customers order online and only come to the store to collect their products is a measure to help prevent unrequired interactions.
Get online– if you haven’t already, set up an online store. It creates a brand-new world of opportunities in the cyber sphere. Communicate with your customer database and let them know through emails and social media that you have this option available. You may even want to host a grand opening party via video conference to create a bit of hype when you launch it.
Join an online marketplace – there are a number of online marketplaces, like Amazon, eBay or Gumtree (to name just a few) that you can open up an online store to market your business and move your stock.
Drive-Through-create an option for your customers to place an order online or via phone, have the goods ready to go and pack it in the car for them. This is a way to keep a safe distance, save on delivery costs and still get your products to your customers.
Keep marketing– fortunately with channels like Google Ads, your brand can still be promoted and out there in the marketplace 24/7. If you do have to reduce costs and can’t spend on marketing, focus more on social and join some community groups to network and promote your business, it is important that you keep your hard-earned brand and reputation alive.
Rethink the plan- while your business may have provided one type of product in the past, look at ones you can rejig it to fit the current climate. For some businesses in the food industry they have turned to creating produce boxes filled with locally sourced items and their own goods for customers to recreate their own meals at home.
Stock levels- look at limiting or reducing your current range of products to best-sellers, or staple items that won’t sit on the shelves forever and downsize any unnecessary orders.
Network- talk to other small business owners in your area and look out for each other. Have a chat via phone, email or social media to brainstorm and possibly create opportunities you never knew that existed to help cross promote each other’s business or help out in some way.
Remember it is always important to ensure your insurance policy is in place, paid-up to date and that you have the right cover to protect your business. Your insurance policy may extend to provide cover if you’ve started to deliver your goods and services.* If you have, it is important to let your insurer know of the change in your business activity
* Subject to the terms and conditions of the policy, which will likely include the exclusion of cover for motor vehicles and motor vehicle related incidents
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