With over half of Americans now inoculated against the coronavirus, things are finally opening up. Restaurants have been serving dine-in patrons. Sporting events have slowly taken in spectators. We can even start watching movies at the cinemas again in some places.
If you’re a business owner, this means that it’s time to start preparing your business establishment to welcome walk-in customers. This depends, of course, on your local city regulations. This can happen as soon as now or still indefinitely. But just as your business needed to adjust to the new normal last year, you’ll also need to adjust to the return to normal…or the closest thing we’ll ever get to it.
So dust off your shelves put on some pants, and start wearing shoes again because we’re back in business!
Remember when back in the day, there was never any time for you to fix that clogged toilet or replace that broken floor tile? There were always customers using them, and you could never find a window to attend to these repairs.
Maybe your shop had to close down physically and operate online because of the pandemic. You technically could have, within the past year, attended to these repairs. But if you haven’t, it’s totally understandable. Overnight, you had to adjust to a new reality that literally turned everything upside down. Surviving was the name of the game, and a broken shingle could wait.
But now, things are starting to look up. Having adjusted this past year, with the prospect of a return to the outside world, you can gradually start prepping your place for your clients. This time, the change can be less traumatic. You can plan it and carry it out in phases.
Look around your shop and check for things that need to be fixed. Call a carpenter to fix broken furniture. Call a service to restore your roof (important for the coming rainier months). Hire a plumber to ensure that bathrooms are in tip-top shape (a washing area is probably the most important amenity you can have right now).
Hiring these services will not only get your space ready for your patrons. It will also help workers whose businesses may have slowed down during the pandemic.
Stay Clean. Stay Safe.
Contrary to what you may be thinking, we’re not exactly going back to normal. It’s going to be more of a transition to another new normal. We’ll resume some of our previous activities, but certain behaviors will have changed perhaps permanently.
Last year, you had to transform your brick-and-mortar establishment into an online business. This year, you’ll be transitioning back to the physical world, but with certain adjustments and accommodations.
Your space should now have some post-COVID must-haves, like sanitation equipment. Hand sanitizers should abound. A powder room for handwashing is even better. You should also consider transforming your workplace into a more airy, better-ventilated area. Creating an outdoor area would also be a major perk.
It’s like what they say about coming out of a difficult situation–you become wiser and stronger. Some of these health and safety measures are, after all, good practice whether there is a pandemic or not.
Make some noise
You might not be the only one excited by the reopening of your shop. Your clientele could be, too, so make some noise about it. Get the word out and build some excitement for it. It will not only lift everyone’s spirits, but it could also translate to more exposure and sales.
Announce your return on your website or social media channels. Maybe you could even offer a reopening promo. Just make sure to prevent having too many people come down to your shop all at the same time. That would be dangerous and bad for your clients and your business. Ensure that your reopening is carried out safely and gradually.
Hybrid is the future
Even though you’re transitioning back to your brick-and-mortar existence, it doesn’t mean you’re going to start abandoning your digital shop.
By now, your customers have grown accustomed to the convenience of transacting online. Perhaps you’ve also seen its benefits in terms of creating a wider reach for your business. The online world isn’t something you’re just going to forget. In fact, it’s actually the future.
Your business can now be a hybrid of both online and offline customer engagement, and that’s a good thing. It prepares you for the worst and sets you up for the best.