Make no mistake: our ‘work world’, alongside nearly every other aspect of our day-to-day, has fundamentally changed amid COVID-19. However, for many business owners, there may just be a light at the end of this tunnel. As the US state governors roll out multi-phase plans aimed at safely reopening, business owners, CEOs, executives and employees grapple with one clear question: “Is my business ready for a post-pandemic world?”
It may feel impossible to answer such a question wholeheartedly, but let us assure you, BrandRep is here to help your business navigate these next steps forward. First, let’s acknowledge: COVID-19 will change how we work, where we work, when we work, and how we effectively interact with those we work with - and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With so much unknown, a sound reopening strategy ensures a smoother, safer transition. Below, we have compiled a comprehensive list of 5 critical tips to help your business open its doors to a new world, successfully.
1. Rebuild Workplace Morale
COVID-19 will have affected each of your employees differently. Some may have faced the illness of a loved one, loss of secondary income, child-care and schooling concerns, financial uncertainty, the shift of priorities, and most certainly: overall collective anxiety. After two months of limited outdoor activity, it may feel jarring to leave the home, let alone step into a professional setting. It’s imperative to consider that some of your employees may struggle with worry and unease surrounding a workplace re-entry.
Where possible, use full transparency to reassure your employees that safety precautions and state guidelines are being closely followed as part of your reopening strategy. Consider keeping all employees up to date on cleaning efforts, new social distancing strategies shifted hours, even mask implementations to foster a greater sense of trust: their health is your number one priority!
If appropriate, consider turning a focus towards team building and community as a whole, even vocalizing the positives of returning to a collaborative workspace in Zoom calls or Slack channels. After many months of remote work and isolation, employees may be craving that collective comradery! Acknowledge that while your workplace may not be the same as it once was, you are still a dynamic, committed team - stronger together!
In the spirit of community, inspire confidence in your employees that any concerns or questions they may have around reopening will be welcomed and addressed.
We don’t have to tell you: a happy, healthy, motivated internal team often translates to a happy, healthy, thriving business. Employees that feel safe, respected, and involved are free to use their fullest capacity to create, collaborate and climb towards post-COVID-19 success. Now more than ever, leaders should look to ensure just that through transparency, reassurance, and community.
2. Begin To Ramp Up Paid Online Advertising
If you haven’t fully harnessed the power of online advertising for your business, it’s not too late to capitalize on this powerhouse platform! With some businesses opening their doors and others shifting hours, availability, and beyond - now is the time to keep your customers up to date. Capture their attention and ensure your reopening is supported through paid advertising! As customers anxiously await the return of their favorite businesses and services, many are primed and prepared to support where possible.
While some businesses await reopening orders, you may be able to take advantage of this ‘limbo’ period with full advertising efforts. Whether you’re preparing to open in the immediate future or gearing up with a strategic plan, investing in paid advertising through Facebook or Google Ads keeps your customers up to date, and your business, top of mind.
Focus on advertising to the customers searching your product using Google Ads, or put your advertising in front of those who are most likely to purchase from you with Facebook Ads
Don’t know where to start? Not a problem. BrandRep’s online and social media advertising experts are prepared to help your business navigate paid platforms with ease - for optimal success!
3. Maintain Social Media Communication
Transparency is key with employees and customers alike! Effectively communicating your businesses’ plans to move forward in a post-pandemic world evokes brand trust from both new and repeat consumers. Continue to promote your business on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Google My Business. With social media usage and screen time at all-time highs, your audience is active online - so your business should be, too.
If you’ve maintained or even implemented a strong social media strategy during quarantine, don’t ‘go dark’ once your doors reopen. Think of your social media channels as extensions of your brand’s customer service: highlighting your unique story, team, expertise, offerings, culture, and key information. Don’t forget: your social media channels are often where potential customers gather crucial decision-making factors - a healthy profile with incentivizing sales and giveaways, clear industry authority and offerings, and a personable tone can make or break it. As consumers step out into their own new normal, many are looking to see how favorite brands and businesses will pivot and provide for them. Social media posts are a great way to communicate just that. Here are a few samples of social media topics to inspire your reopening social strategy:
Posts promoting current shifts and changes that will impact how they consume, shop, or use your service (curbside pick up, shifted hours)
Posts highlighting the efforts taken to ensure safety for both employees and consumers, if applicable
Services or products offered at unique prices
Video or graphic-style quotes highlighting a ‘note from our leader’
A gift card drawing for anyone who likes and comments on your posts
An online coupon that can be redeemed if shown to a cashier
Videos or posts of customers returning, documenting the ‘new normal’
Once back in the office, you may not have the time to dedicate to your brands’ social media management. Let BrandRep take it from here! We can manage full editorial calendars, campaign creation, posting, engagement, and beyond: you can get back to work with confidence that your social media presence is working hard for you!
4. Take A Look At Your Business Plan
It may be time to re-evaluate your business plan.
You may need to consider how your business can pivot and adjust to this new world. Business plans that worked seamlessly pre-COVID call for some fine-tuning as we look to reopen. For example, if your business relied on foot traffic to a brick-and-mortar location for the bulk of your sales, it may be time to consider digital expansion in order to accommodate online shoppers.
We recommend you take a look at two different scales:
How has your industry changed or evolved during this time?
How can your small business pivot to cater to such change?
Pay close attention to what other industry leaders are doing to protect their people, pivot post-COVID, and cater to customers' ever-evolving needs!
5. Familiarize Yourself with CDC Guidelines
The CDC has begun to outline clear processes for businesses given the green light to reopen. To ensure the health and safety of your business from the inside out, it is imperative to heed their advice closely.
Please see the FAQ section found here, on the CDC website, for the most up-to-date information.
While COVID-19 has rattled our nation, shaken our systems, and shifted the work world we once knew, we hope to turn our focus towards a brighter future for all: filled with opportunity, unique new advancements, and healthy success. We understand the incredible strain this has put on your business, and while these steps forward may feel uncertain - know this: we will continue to provide crucial resources, clear guidance, and honest expertise to help guide our community through the unknown!