Should I Go, Or Should I Wait? Re-opening Tips

Stay at home orders are being lifted, businesses are beginning to reopen. Our world is being turned on its head again, and normal will never be the same again.

As we begin to reopen our doors and essentially relaunch our businesses, here are some things to think about to get you started.

Be very careful about what and where you make cost cuts
Uncertainty naturally causes us to restrict, and this is by no means bad. You may have to make cuts in order to get things back on their feet. But Inc Magazine contributor, Graham Winfrey, cautions to you make those cuts wisely.

In his interview with Manny Cosme, the CEO and President of a CFO and Bookkeeping business, he was advised to make projections before you make cuts. Cosme said that businesses need to think about growing their way out of the crisis.

He said, “Every cut that you make is going to cut your ability to generate revenue or keep your business going, which is not something you want to be doing right now.” So think very carefully about what, and even if, you are going to make any cuts as you reopen.

Look closely at your business model
No matter how much we wish we could just go back to the way things were, we have all experienced significant changes over the last few weeks. Nothing feels better than returning to some sort of normalcy.

But one thing we have learned over this global health crisis is the ability of the entrepreneur and the business owner to pivot and meet their consumers’ needs where they are. Changing your business model in light of the pandemic just might be what saves your business.

Graham Winfrey suggests you ask yourself 3 questions:

● What should your business model be when you come out of this?
● Is your current business model viable? If so, how can you hang on until it’s viable again?
● Are there ways you can pivot all of your expertise into a better revenue stream?

Along with his panelist in the article on Inc, Cosme believes that it comes down to changing one or more of the following within your business model:

● What you sell
● Whom you sell it to
● How you deliver it

Evaluate local support options
Throughout this crisis, many federal and local supports have been extended to small business and their employees. Graham suggests that you look to your local chamber of commerce to see what local support programs may have been crafted to help you as you reopen your doors.

Create policies to ensure the safety of both your employees and customers
After you have completed the above steps, now you should create your communication plan for letting your customers know you will be open for business.

George Brandt in his article in Forbes suggests you approach it in three steps: Emotional, rational, and inspirational.

Be authentic
George suggests that you connect with your audience in an authentic, relatable and compassionate way.

Empathize with your consumer that you know this was difficult for them as well as for you. George quotes PrimeGenesis’ saying, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Lay out the facts
With calm composure, polite and authoritative, lay out the hard facts of the current situation. For them and for you.

George defines the facts as “things that any rational person would agree are true no matter what bias or perspective they bring to the situation – objective, scientific truths as opposed to subjective, personal, cultural or political truths, opinions or conclusions.”

Think ahead and paint an optimistic view
George recommends that you ground all your communication with Mayfield and Mayfield’s meaning-making and direction-giving language, meaning providing purpose and value: be – do – say.