With the fear of stating the obvious, we are living through unprecedented times.
Th Covid-19 pandemic has impacted businesses across world and local business in Oban are no exception.
Some businesses have opted to wait out the pandemic, while others have pivoted and changed how they operate.
While the future post-Covid remains uncertain, it can’t hurt to be prepared to hit the ground running.
So I’ve compiled a short list of proactive strategies that businesses can implement to help once lockdown ends.
Relaunch sooner, rather than later
By relaunch, I don’t mean opening your shop before you get the go-ahead.
Instead, relaunch your social media profiles and keep your customers up to date.
Your goal is to stop your customers from forgetting about you, and while you can’t just post are you missing us? every day, you can educate them on your new guidelines, share projects you’re working on, or new ideas.
When business go back to normal, or whatever the new normal will be, you want to be at the forefront of people’s minds and ensure they haven’t forgotten about you.
Taking a proactive approach and posting regular, quality content as much as you can now, so that when you do open, you will already have been constantly showing up in their feeds.
Businesses that neglected digital before the pandemic would have struggled to stay connected with customers.
Future proof your business by embracing all things digital. It’s where your customers are, it’s where your competitors are, so it’s where you should be as well.
Start communicating with your customers in the online world and build a relationship with them.
We have previously compiled blog posts on:
- How to build an engaged following on Instagram
- Tips on getting more likes on Facebook
- Why every local business should be using email
- And why you should have a Facebook group
Diversify your income
Is there a product or service that you can introduce into your business so that if something like this ever happens again, you are still able to operate on some level.
A good example of this is restaurants who started selling a DIY Pizza Box, which included everything you need to make a pizza at home – dough and toppings – which they sell and deliver to your door.
More locally, an Oban beauty salon was able to continue selling bespoke nails by offering a stick-on nails delivery service, where clients would measure their nails and have a set delivered to their door.
Local pubs are delivering pints to doorsteps, restaurants have opened for takeaway, and personal trainers have moved their business online by offering online workouts.
Get your thinking cap on and come up with some ideas that you could possibly implement.
Could you sell an e-book of recipes? An online course? Deliver your product?
Collaboration is key
If there’s one positive thing to have come out of this pandemic, it’s that it has brought communities closer together.
Neighbours have been helping those in need by delivering shopping, picking up prescriptions, and just ensuring that those around about them are as safe as can be.
Oban as a whole is a very community-minded town and I don’t expect that to change post-lockdown.
Business can and should help each other as much as possible when the new normal begins.
A great way for them to do just that is to get involved in a new initiative called Oban Business Club.
“Let’s work together to help each other with business development and position Oban as a place of enterprise, culture, tourism and a university town.
“Join local experts, who can share experiences, specialist knowledge and skills to help overcome our common challenge in rapidly changing world.”
Business can sign up to the club by visiting: https://www.obanview.com/meetings/oban-business-club/