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13 Tips Store Owners Must Know When Reopening – Retail For The People

13 Tips Store Owners Must Know When Reopening

13 Tips Store Owners Must Know When Reopening

Boutique owners reopening tips for your store and staff in the age of the Coronavirus.

Hi retailers! It’s been several months of business not as usual for all boutique owners due to the Covid-19 pandemic and after weeks under quarantine, many states are gearing up to begin the phases of re-opening. This is wonderful news for most small business owners. Before you start singing the hallelujah chorus as your allowed opening date is confirmed, please read through and implement these suggestions so your retail store can reopen well with the best interest of your business and staff top of mind.

RETAILERS REOPENING BASICS FOR YOUR STORE:

  1. If you have not done so already, stop everything you are doing and evaluate your current business plan. How will your business need to adjust so it will be able to thrive in this changing landscape? Create your pivot plan! 

  2. Look at your operating costs and your new business plan. Get clear on what your current costs and new costs will be once you reopen.

  3. Create a revised cash flow plan for the next 8-12 months. Give yourself some margin! We hope the worst is behind us but we don’t fully know.

  4. Cash is king. Do all you can to not make payments on credit cards. 

  5. If you received SBA loans or government aid, talk to your accountant or bookkeeper on how they recommend you document the use of these funds. At the very least, if you received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) when you received an email from the SBA, please set up your loan account through the email link.

  6. If you are not online yet, do it now. You need a website and a seamless POS/inventory system. The pandemic has proven that this is a must for every retailer.

  7. Send an email newsletter out to all of your customers and let them know to what capacity you are open. You would be surprised if we told you that over 70% of specialty retail does not take advantage of this opportunity for FREE marketing!  Don’t be one of the many store owners who assumes everyone knows they are open again when in reality, you must tell your customers what you want them to know and what you want them to do!

RETAILERS REOPENING BASICS FOR YOUR STAFF: 

  1. Create your safety procedures as they relate to the government’s regulations for your area. Add this information to your team handbook for easy reference. Print signs to hang on your door, or at the entrance of your store so staff (and customers) are clear on what you will do to keep them safe.

  2. Start training your team on the new safety procedures prior to reopening. Zoom is great for this! Remember, following these new safety rules takes a team effort to succeed so be proactive and start the training today. We recommend more than one training and if you haven’t done so yet, weekly Zoom or FaceTime meetings with your team to help keep everyone feeling connected is necessary. 

  3. Flexibility and understanding are more important now than ever. Ease into the opening with your team, meaning give everyone a little grace. Remember, this has been a hard season for everyone and the personal responsibilities and demands on your staff will be different now as you reopen than they were pre-pandemic. 

  4. Trust your team. If they feel sick, encourage them to stay home, and don’t require a doctor’s notice to call out sick. The medical professionals are overwhelmed, and if a member of your team feels poorly its best for everyone that they stay home. 

  5. Celebrate the little wins. We have had a lot of bad news lately so make it a company standard to celebrate the little moments of success or “wins” as they happen in your store or with your team. 

  6. Empower your team to imagine and create innovation for your business. Reopening feels like an emotional high after being closed for months, but what happens if your store sees only a handful of guests each day or each week? Use this slower time to tap into your team’s creative genius. Ask you, team, for ideas to improve the business or increase sales and traffic. Give them permission to take a risk and try something new with the best interest of the business in mind. This time of uncertainty is where real growth can occur if you as the owner/manager are willing to trust them enough to take a chance. 

 

If you need help navigating this changing retail environment, feel free to reach out directly to one of our retail advisors. Retail for the People is here to help you succeed and thrive! To your success!