Things to do for your business whilst at home if you’ve temporarily closed
If you are a business which has been temporarily closed in accordance with the Government guidelines, you might be wondering what you can do for your business during this time? In this blog, we take a look at the variety of things you can be doing for your business even if your doors are temporarily closed.
1. Review the financial situation of your business
The first thing you are likely to be looking at, if you haven’t done so already, is the financial situation of your business and digesting what support is available from the Government. There is a full range of business support measures currently available to businesses and employees. We have put together a summary of the Government Coronavirus business support which outlines the key details of the grants and loans that you can apply for.
If your retail business is closed and you have employees, then you have more than likely placed them on furlough. We have put together some more in-depth guidance around making a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. If you are looking for access to financial aid to prevent your business from collapsing and enable you to re-open your doors when the lockdown is lifted, you might want to consider the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme or the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.
2. Take this time to access and review your businesses performance
Downtime is not always a luxury when you are open for business as you have orders to bring in, customers to serve and stock to keep updated. But taking a step back can be a great opportunity to review and plan for the future of your business.
Look at your product range. For most businesses 80% of the revenue actually comes from only 20% of the products and this time gives you a chance to understand what sells the best. You can also look at new ranges and displays, consider what would work well in the future and take a chance to clear old stock.
3. Increase your business’ online presence
Having an online offering is crucial, in this current climate with an increase in online sales due to the closure of businesses. Whether this is your first foray into taking your business online or you are taking the time to review your current website, getting digital is a fantastic opportunity to give the best foundation for your business when you are able to open the doors again. Here are some things to consider:
- Is the branding cohesive?
- Put yourself in your customers’ shoes – how does your site work for them?
- Have you got updated photos of stock? If not take some, while you can
- Look at free online opportunities like Google My Business
- Consider setting up a Facebook Business page, or review your existing one if you have one
- Try some free online courses to expand your digital marketing knowledge
4. Scale your social media
Social media has been a job which many independent businesses have been plugging away at for years but it is now more relevant than ever. It is your opportunity to connect with current and future customers. How will you reconnect when you are open again? The secret to successful social media is not getting on every platform you can, it is about being on the platform you enjoy using yourself. You will naturally be more engaged and so will your followers.
Not only is social media a great tool for sharing your shops story, it’s a place to be inspired. Follow other businesses and digital creators and see what inspires you.
5. Collaborate with other potential businesses
This is a fantastic opportunity to connect with other local businesses and people you have wanted to work with for a while. Plan a future photo shoot or blog post and use the time to make connections and keep creative.
Don’t discount your competition. The store down the road isn’t a competitor, it’s an ally. Together you could be a lot stronger.
Retailers have been embracing ways to improve sustainability on the high street. Making new local connections now could be an effective way of enhancing your supply chain or creating opportunities to collaborate in the future.
6. Consider offering a delivery service
Many retailers have adapted quickly to offer a delivery service, especially essential businesses, but if you don’t currently offer delivery why not take some time to work out costings and the logistics of adding this to your store. The lockdown has seen many customers beginning to look for local produce and this trends is likely to continue.
7. Get organised
There are many different aspects of running a business and some tasks can easily fall by the wayside when you are busy focusing on keeping your business going. Take this time to get organised and review processes; here are some suggestions:
- Use the time to improve your systems by making spreadsheets to make your life easier, from managing orders to cashflows.
- Review how you spend your time in store and whether practices can be improved or readjusted so that you are maximising efforts to boost your store’s presence and offering
- Review your insurance. Check your cover limits and that your insurance is still in date. Whilst it could be tempting to cancel your insurance to claw back some cashflow, if your business premises are left unoccupied this creates risks such as break-ins or property damage
How can The Retail Mutual help you?
We have put together a dedicated resource hub which contains FAQs, lots of useful Government links and information, and other useful content that can assist you through this time. If you have cover with us and can’t find the answer you are looking for on the hub, please get in touch and our team will be able to assist with any questions that you may have.