Businesses in Stouffville have all been impacted different due to COVID-19 pandemic.
In our previous article, we discussed how some businesses have adapted by taking their Stouffville business online with ecommerce. However this solution doesn’t work for all business models.
From small businesses to large corporations have been affected by the pandemic leaving some with no option but to permanently close their doors.
Shopping behaviours have drastically changed. For better or worse businesses will have to figure out how to adapt and potential growth opportunities may exist in the new economic conditions.
With the growing unemployment rate due to closures and layoffs, we should be mindful of the individuals and families who have been affected by the pandemic.
The following ideas can help your Stouffville business adapt and hopefully weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Work from home
As offices across the country shut down, many have had their entire staff work remotely and some cases may have changed the way many busnisses operate.
Tools such as Zoom Meeting, Slack, Teamviewer and other tools, employees could still continue to communicate with each other and clients.
As long as expectations and goals are being met, perhaps this new and improved work lifestyle may become a new standard as employees can avoid any commutes, parking fees, food expenses, 407 bills and are generally happier.
2. Offer pickup or delivery
Residents in Stouffville are leaving their homes less frequent to visit stores. Most of us can probably relate to the experience of having to wait in a long line up at the grocery store and many of us have adjusted our habits to online ordering.
Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes and Door Dasher are 3 order delivery apps that have seen surge in downloads with many restaurants seeing as much as 80% of their revenue from food apps.
Many Stouffville businesses have offered curb-side pickup so customers didn’t have to enter stores either due to restrictions or to limit interaction.
Of course in order to accommodate curbside pickup, businesses in Stouffville would require a website with ecommerce to place orders which brings us to the next point.
3. Focus on online sales
Having a strong internet presence has become more important than ever before. In fact, ecommerce businesses such as Amazon have seen a surge in online sales.
Just having a website simply isn’t enough. It’s important for businesses to shift their advertising & marketing dollars towards search engine optimization, PPC and social media marketing amongst other online methods.
While it can be enticing to invest as little as possible into a website, this usually results in poor visibility in Google or worse, losing would-be customers to competitors who invested in hiring a professional.
4. Limit in-store customers or take appointments
With social distancing measures in place, brick and mortar shops had to limit the number of customers inside their stores.
Floor markers should be used for line ups so that patrons are safely distanced 6 feet apart.
Many Stouffville businesses have found success by adopting an appointment only schedule. This is an effective way to control the flow of customers to ensure social distancing measures.
This has worked well for both beauty and retail type businesses.
It’s important to have clear communication with clients and what specific measures they should follow, or what to expect when they arrive.
5. Adjust hours of operation
Some Stouffville businesses have decided to extend hours as a result of cutting down on the number of in-store customer or patrons.
Other businesses have done the opposite and cut down hours to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Offices have started experimenting with new work-life models allowing for a more flexible schedule.
For safety measures, perhaps implementing alternate or staggered work hours with different start/end times may be an effective way to promote social distancing.
6. Implement workplace safety measures
A clean environment is a safe environment for both staff and customers.
When entering or exiting stores, many Stouffville businesses such as Shopper Drug Mart and TD Canada Trust have visible stations with hand sanitizer dispensers. This is also good to protect employees to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Face masks have now become a requirement when visiting stores. This its not uncommon for people to have masks in their glove box or hanging from their rear view mirror.
By implementing the above safety measures, customers visiting stores have a better sense of safety.
Stouffville businesses should develop a safety plan to ensure that employees and customers are protected against the spread of COVID-19.
A sanitization routine should be implemented to ensure that the business is free from any spread.
Employees should be at a safe distance when in the workplace. Spacing out office desks or adding partitions will better protect staff.