The current pandemic has hit businesses hard. In most of the country, people are facing restrictions that prevent them from shopping as they always have. For your business, this may mean you can't bring people physically to it. It presents a challenge perhaps unlike any you have seen since opening your doors. Finding ways to navigate this world might make the difference between thriving and closing your doors.
Connect to Your Customers
Perhaps the most critical element of operating during a pandemic is connecting to your customers. People miss the daily interactions to which they have become accustomed. In this environment, personal messages matter. Take the time to communicate. Acknowledge the fear people have, but find ways to instill hope. Make them feel like they matter to you—not just as paying customers, but as people. When people return to the stores, they will remember those who connected with them when they needed it most.
Move More Online
When people can't go to the store, they turn to online shopping to get what they need. If you do not have a solid eCommerce function already, this is the time to build it. Any sales you can build now give you a chance to maintain revenue and keep your team employed. Whether you ship your products or provide delivery or pickup options, this can keep you afloat and differentiate your service during a difficult time.
Look at Small Business Loans
It may be impossible to maintain your usual revenue levels while customers are stuck at home. Fortunately, the government has expanded small business lending to help companies stay afloat. When you look at your needs, focus first on your essential staff members. The longer you go without being able to pay your staff, the less likely those people will still be on your staff when you open up again. Investing in your people is critical to your success down the road. Beyond this, look to your costs and understand what you must have to maintain your lease payments and other basic operations. Take advantage of the opportunities available to keep your head above water.
Plan for the Future
Finally, keep an eye on what your business can and should be down the road. The coronavirus pandemic will eventually retreat, but something else will come. Look at basic structural ways to protect your customers, and to serve the customers who may still be wary of shopping in person when stay-at-home orders are lifted. Sanitizing shopping areas and increasing available space now will help you protect your shoppers and make them feel more comfortable.
The current pandemic has revealed how unprepared the world was for what will always be inevitable: mass illnesses due to contagious outbreaks. If you stay connected to your customers and use the time to become more nimble and safe going forward, you will do more than come out intact. You will make yourself stronger for an uncertain future.
To help merchants during these challenging times, Nuvei has created the Merchant Guru program. One of its core components is the Social Media Launch Pack. It's a turnkey solution for merchants to quickly and easily advertise their services and/or products via social media. What better way to reach new customers or remind your existing ones that your business is still open during the pandemic? Learn more.