How to prepare your business for the second wave of COVID-19
Although we are all doing our part and staying optimistic about getting our businesses back up and running normally again, there is a strong chance that COVID-19 is about to make a comeback. As predicted earlier this year, a second wave of COVID-19 is starting as case numbers are starting to climb again. According to the COVID-19 Modelling Collaborative, a joint effort of scientists and physicians from the University of Toronto, University Health Network and Sunnybrook Hospital, Ontario’s second wave will likely reach its peak in mid-October. It’s safe to say that none of us were ready for the impact COVID-19 was going to have on our society and our businesses back in March, but you can prepare your business for the second wave now as best as you can to lessen the impact it might have the second time around.
As many of our clients have made big steps in the past few months to reinvent themselves these are a few ideas for you as to how you can prepare and innovate your business in case a second wave creates a secondary shutdown of some sort.
1. Review & update your online platforms
Your social media platforms are your direct line of contact with your customers in today’s virtual world. Review your social media accounts and ensure you have access to your accounts and that all your business’ information is up to date on your profiles. Be sure to update your business’ offerings, phone numbers, and customer support email addresses as well in case there have been any changes in key policies or even in your business hours. It’s also important to make it clear to your audience how to connect with your business because if the last 6 months have taught us anything, it’s that the power social media has to drive sales for business’ is amazing and how important it is to have strong communication lines open and accessible to your clients or customers.
2. Update your online accessibility
Assess your current digital presence and think of ways you can make it easier for customers to interact with your business and to buy your product or services online. If your business sells a product, prepare by having an online store built and available ahead of any shutdown. Update your website and create an online selling strategy so that your customers learn that they can shop online now and later as well if another wave of shutdowns happens. If you don’t already have an online store ask yourself what can you sell online and make a list of what you need to change on your website to be able to have customers buy online. Be sure that your store employees, receptionist team, or managers have access to communicate with your customers on your social media pages as well making sure to add a ‘shop now’ button to your profiles that links through to your online store. Giving customers easy access to your team so they can still buy from you is crucial to keeping the engine running. You may even want to think about extending or varying hours of operations and other services to increase customer benefits. Whichever the case, be clear, concise, and available on your social media pages. They will be a staple in your modified selling state.
3. Train and prepare your staff for a second potential shutdown
This year has been a test of quick thinking for businesses along with adapting at lightning speed to keep the lights on. The first shutdown left many business owners and their staff with a thousand questions of how the business will continue to run. That is why you should create a game plan now and prepare your staff today for the possibility of a second wave happening. Yes, we are all staying as optimistic as possible about our businesses not needing to temporarily shut down again, but the reality is they might, and you need to be prepared. Ensure that your staff understands what the possibilities are and that in the event of a shutdown, what will happen for them. It was hard the first time around to find ways to work remotely and to create remote, contactless methods in many businesses. Now is the time to review, reassess and reflect on how it happened the first time, so you can make improvements for a smoother transition if you’re needed to modify the way you conduct business again. Taking the time to even document the procedures, create new processes, new training guides, etc. will only help eliminate some of the stress and anxiety your team felt earlier this year.
4. Have a plan…for everything
In the event of another shutdown, you should prepare a social media content plan and have your staff implement it now so that they are used to is and it becomes a well-oiled machine before it’s desperately needed. What type of content will you post? What will you be promoting? These are questions you should answer now and have ready. You might even think of it as a fire escape plan or as we like to call it a COVID bi-pass plan. Include a feasible budget for online advertising and a plan as to how you’ll spend it starting today so you can build up your brand awareness ahead of your competition and envision how you’ll maintain it if revenue streams start to waver. If you don’t have the staff to create and implement a social media or advertising plan, hire an agency — like us — to take care of your content and communications for you.
At 3SIXTY Marketing Solutions, we can help your business prepare for the second wave of COVID-19. Whether you need help running your social media, creating a new and more accessible website, an online store or creating a budget, and plan as well as assistance executing a successful ad campaign, we’ve got you covered – 3SIXTY. Reach out to us today by calling our office at (705) 252-4180 to set up a virtual meeting and let’s work together to get your business ready for the second wave. Stay safe and stay kind!