Is your business ready for the new year? Whether you plan on reopening your doors next year or you own or manage a business that soldiered on throughout this whole pandemic, there are some preparations to consider that can make your 2021 better for your customers, your employees, and your bottom line.
Here are the top three.
One of, if not, the biggest concerns continues to be safety. Whether it’s the safety of your customers or employees, it’s up to you to make sure that everyone is healthy and virus-free. For this reason, it’s absolutely critical that you have measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
This includes things like requiring everyone in your store to wear masks when necessary, setting up sanitation facilities like hand-washing stations, or limiting the number of people inside your store at any given time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social distancing is still the most effective way of preventing the spread of the virus.
Many stores also use infrared thermometers on stands so everyone coming into your stores can check their temperatures themselves. Some buildings even have ultraviolet lights or lamps that have the ability to disinfect the area without harming the people around.
The pandemic has been tough on everyone, and commerce is no different. Many businesses, especially micro to small ones, have closed down because they didn’t have the ability to cope with the ongoing pandemic. According to a Yelp report mentioned in this Forbes articles, in September, it was estimated that 163,735 small businesses have closed since March 1. This is truly sad and unfortunate news.
However, many businesses have also explored alternative ways they could still operate or even thrive during the pandemic. Here are a few of the most prominent changes in doing business.
- Online Purchases – Of course, most businesses now have a website, social media accounts, or both. Whatever online platform you already have, giving your customers the ability to make their purchases there is a trend that’s never likely to go away. In fact, according to Statista, even before the pandemic, e-commerce has been on the rise. Now, it’s become a necessity.
- Deliveries – This goes hand in hand with online purchases. It doesn’t make much sense if the customers are able to order online but will still have to show up to your store to get their items. It can be an option, sure, but deliveries are safer and more convenient for everyone.
- Cashless Payment – If the nature of your business requires some actual face time with customers, it’s important that they have the option of making cashless payments. Not only will it be safer, it will also be significantly more convenient.
Finally, to be truly 2021-ready, your business needs to up its atmosphere. This year has been difficult for everyone and even though you still may not be expecting a lot of people to come flooding the stores next year, it’s important to keep the ambience of your store pleasant.
This includes things that some may consider now as tedious like keeping your storefront presentable with lawn care or snow removal or keeping your store’s shelves neat and orderly. It also includes more intangible things like a more positive culture within your employees. All these contribute to how people may feel when they do business with you.
You should help your customers and your employees to feel better about the new year because if there’s one thing that people are hoping for about 2021, is that it will be better than 2020.