Has anyone checked on you lately? It’d be fair to say the national mood is an anxious one, for small- and medium-sized business owners more than anyone. As we prepare for a situation we’ve never faced before, we wanted to offer you a few ideas to reinforce your business and some words of encouragement as we all prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
1. Communication soothes frayed nerves. Whatever your day-to-day operations looks like now, email customers to let them know. Hours of operation, changes in merchandise, availability of online or over-the-phone ordering and gift cards that can be used now or later are all key topics to help customers make informed buying decisions.
2. If your brick-and-mortar store is open, make it as safe as possible for customers to visit. Clean thoroughly and often. Provide copious hand sanitizer to visitors. Consider propping your door open during business hours, as well as offering curbside pickup so customers don’t have to physically enter the store to get what they need.
3. U.S. business owners are doing their best to adapt and tighten costs as states enact curfews and business closures. Unfortunately, some slow down in business feels inevitable for all. If slow down or other factors lead to cash flow problems, consider looking into your options for small business relief programs.
4. Just as this situation demands extraordinary flexibility from you, the companies you partner with should be modifying their operations to help. Particularly as social distancing becomes the norm, online payroll options like direct deposit become vital. Take a moment to see what your partners are doing to help you weather the storm.
5. If you don’t already have an online presence, this is a good moment to establish one. Plenty of consumers are looking for creative ways to support local businesses, like buying gift cards in advance, and having online payment and ordering options boosts their ability to easily support your operation. Also be sure to share all of your purchasing options with customers via social media early and often.
There are plenty of uplifting quotes circulating social media. But one, by the beloved TV personality Mr. Rogers, often gets cut off before its true end. Rogers shares the advice of his mother — “look for the helpers” — during fearful news. He ends with, “To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”
Now that we’re adults, we carry the responsibility of being helpers. We want to do anything we can to support you and your business during this complicated, uncertain time. Our Service Center can be reached at 888.963.3600, and you’re welcome to call your Heartland sales rep any time. No worry or question is too small.
We believe in you. We’re rooting for you. Let’s get through this, together.