Crisis plans

R is for R(e)-opening! 6 Tips to Help You Reopen Seamlessly

Raise your hand if you are a business owner who recently had your entire world turned upside-down? For us, we’ve been in the trenches with R clients as they’ve shuttered their doors, launched take-out menus, and now as many look to Re-open businesses, which in some cases, have been around for more than 20 years. Wow, things can change with the blink of an eye, can’t they? First, we want to say, whether you’re a client, a friend, or new to the RPR blog, we are here with you. Seriously, this is a time to band together and to be flexible, forgiving, and open to the new world we live in—a touchless, mask-wearing world. We see you and your pretty eyes in those masks, and we R here to help! Below, we’ve pulled together six tips to help you R(e)open and thrive in this ever-changing world. 

 

Make a plan. For many of you, the new rules, regulations, and stages of reopening are hard to keep up with—they change daily, and just as you seem to catch your groove something new pops up. Deciding when to open, re-open, who to bring on board, and what to do with your furloughed staff can be mind-boggling, let alone thinking about your marketing messages during times like these. First things first, take a deep breath and sit down. Let’s write a plan—a new plan—here’s what we need to include:

 

  1. Dates and guidelines for your city, what you are going to do, and when you want to do it. Start with a projected date of opening at (25% 50% 100%) capacity and re-hiring (XXX) employees to get things up and going. Call your staff even if they are furloughed, most probably want to come back ASAP. They most likely miss you—and their jobs—too. 
  2. Once you have a general outline, set up a Zoom call with your crew, review the plan you have and let them know, yes, things are changing so please be patient and flexible, and that you are, too!
  3. Share your plan with your staff. This may involve retraining them on new systems for cleaning, for customer service, for everything (it will be like you just opened!). We know it's frustrating, but take the retraining seriously as the last thing you want is a customer to video your staff NOT meeting new guidelines (if you need help in the HR department, let us know—we have resources to guide you).

 

Make a Plan B. If we can learn anything from the past few months, it’s that we all need a Plan B. There are a lot of what-ifs in the world of business right now, so be PROACTIVE vs. reactive, meaning prepare for things to continue to operate under a “new normal” and/or potentially even revert to stay-at-home orders, but this time you will be ready to make your business marketable!

 

Prepare for things to be touchless. Many places plan on keeping curbside shopping, free shipping, new website features for online ordering, and more from the past few months. We can say most of our lives are now MORE THAN EVER online, so get those online shops and websites up to snuff. (Psst: we can help here, too.)

 

Think outside of the box. Now is the time to offer up something new—to your menus, to your websites, to your business. We are seeing some make masks, some make new kinds of menu items (cue in family-style take-out meals), and some make new kinds of lemonade from these lemons. Perhaps this is the time your business thrives in a way it never has before, because, really, why not?

 

Take this time as a lesson on diversifying your offerings, adding merch, launching new product packaging, making your site shoppable … whatever it takes! Let us know if you need more suggestions or want help executing—we’re here to help!

And, as always, be patient and be kind. Your audience, clients, and customers are all in a state of unknown, and are adjusting, too! Have your social messaging be bright, informative, and positive. Remember your words have POWER, so use them accordingly!