May 18th marks the return of students to schools, as well as the reopening of restaurants and small businesses, according to the pandemic deflation plan in Portugal. However, many companies don’t feel ready to come back to activity. If you have not yet planned your business, Media em Movimento leaves you with a seven step plan here.
Planning is halfway to success, whatever the activity. Take note of these seven steps and get to work in bringing back your business.
1.Set the date
Without this decision, there is no plan that will be worth it, because only by planning the phases until the opening date will you be able to know if you have conditions (or not) to resume activity. Ponder the pros and cons and make the decision.
The resumption date is defined by you, it is not legally imposed. There are restaurant owners who will open later, either in May or June. Assess the costs of staying open, even without customers. That is what you should consider in the decision.
2.Make a Schedule
Actions and tasks up to the opening day should be listed indicating the person responsible for monitoring until execution. For micro-companies, whose structure is smaller and sometimes centered on managing partners, this schedule can be simpler as long as it meets all legal requirements for this purpose.
3.Organize the team and delegate tasks
After the schedule is made it is time to involve the team and prepare the associated logistics. In small businesses like stores and restaurants, employees must be called upon to collaborate. From cleaning and disinfecting the space, to prepare articles available to the public, everything must be prepared with the utmost care.
Train your employees for the new rules of social contact and make sure they are accompanied on the spot during the first days of resumption.
4.Prepare the communication of the recovery
With everything organized, it’s time to communicate to your audiences the date of resumption of activity. Segment your audiences by internal, external and mixed, this will help you to develop personalized messages, adapted to the needs of each one.
Let’s start with internal communication, the most important in the resumption:
To employees: a written communication must be sent informing the opening date, the new rules and expectations regarding customer service. Defining the rules of the game is very important for managing and receiving feedback.
To suppliers: it is important to ask for guaranteed delivery dates not to affect the availability of your service. Communicate what you expect from them and always have alternatives for last minute delivery failures.
To your business partners: involve them in the process and ask them for help in publicizing your activity. Business networking is easier this way.
External communication should not be overlooked, so we suggest the following:
To your customers: send an electronic newsletter notifying them that you are going to open by the following premises and that you are ready to receive them.
Prepare some treats to thank them for their preference, believe us, this will bring long-term results.
To the press: send a note to newsrooms stating what you did during the pandemic, how you organized and what you are preparing for on your return. Avoid being commercial, tell them your story or search for a PR agency that is specialized in media consultancy.
5.Plan access to facilities
The client’s journey should be rethought according to the new rules of World Health Organization. Make sure you have all the personal protection conditions available at the entrance of your establishment. Make sure to show your cleaning and disinfection rituals as this will contribute to the confidence index in your commercial space.
However, you can always suggest at the entrance to your establishment
6.Have alternative means of payment
One of the recommendations is to avoid using cash in the act of payment. Safeguard that you have ATM, mbway or other means for this purpose. This will speed up your service.
7.Have a take-away or delivery solution
If you have never delivered, this is the time to test and do it. There are businesses that have remained active only through deliveries and have proven to work well. Do not lose customers just because there is no way to deliver and provide your service. Whether by phone, WhatsApp or Facebook, organize your team or have partners for that purpose.
Seven simple but challenging steps for those who need to resume their business after pandemia.
Mafalda Marques, General Director Media em Movimento
If your company is still in a layoff and preparing to resume, find out more in the webinar organized by Media em Movimento. This webinar is in Portuguese.