It’s been a very strange few months for small businesses, especially in Victoria. But as things are starting to get moving again, it’s crucial that you have a clear plan for how your business will look in this new world we’re entering.
 
A small number of businesses have already opened their doors this week, with hairdressers and barbers doing a roaring trade from last Monday, and there’s every chance a large number of retail and hospitality businesses will be back open next week sometime, or early November at the latest.
 
We’ll await the Premier’s Sunday press conference for that.
 
But I’ve spoken to a number of small business owners in recent weeks who say they’ve had to take a good look at how they operate their business – almost like going back onto your L plates – to figure out if what they are doing and how they are doing it is the best way forwards.
 
It’s back to basics.
 
For example, I know a number of businesses have introduced “buy now, pay later” as part of their business model, just to get transactions flowing and get employees back to work. Especially with Christmas trade about to ramp up, there will still be the demand for goods and services that people hold dear so that is something worth looking into in my opinion.
 
The most important tool at your disposal as the business landscape changes will be your ability to communicate effectively with your clients or shoppers. I’ve said this a number of times this year that the ability for your business to stay in touch with your clients and keep the lines of communication open is essential to your future.
 
It’s been hard with dates for re-opening changing, but get on the phone, or update your social media channels to keep customers informed. If things change, they will understand and continue to support you.
 
Explaining to customers what your business is likely to look like in terms of social distancing, and how you will meet and trade will at the very least have you in their minds and ready to return when you are able to open your doors. Look at every avenue that you have (social media, radio etc) to make sure that you are an open house when we get to a COVID-normal.