Best Practices for Your Business During COVID-19

Kathy Snow

Best Practices for your Business during COVID-19

Businesses all over the world have had to drastically change their day to day operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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There are many different ideas floating around on what each business should be doing during this time. But what practices are the ones that your business should be adopting? Check out these tips for your business if you are continuing to stay open, or if you are on lockdown.

Restaurants:

Staying Open:

Is your restaurant staying open? Store fronts may be closed, but pick up and delivery services are in full swing! Take some time to go over the best practices for delivery, the extra expenses of adding another delivery vehicle, and potentially transferring some of your staff from regular waitressing to delivery services. 

Hygiene Practices:

Delivery and pick up services are the only available way to get food to your customers, so this is the perfect time to think of new creative ways to see how you can create contactless delivery. Look into paying through apps or online payments so that the driver and customer do not interact while delivering the food. 

Cleaning your store every day is still just as important as when customers were using it. So take the time to clean every nook and cranny so when your store can open again it is in tip top shape. As well it will help ensure that no new viruses are clinging on to any surfaces. In the meantime, cars that are being used for delivery need the utmost attention and care. Ramp up vehicle cleaning, including giving each delivery vehicle a good wipe down after every delivery. 

Do you and your business have questions about handling social distancing? Check out our article on Social Distancing and Your Business for tips on how to communicate your newly  implemented hygiene practices.

Marketing Practices:

With all of the new safety measures your restaurant is taking, it’s important to let the public know that you are still in business and that you are keeping safety and hygiene top of mind while running your business. Social media platforms are a great free resource to let your customers know your latest deals as well as how your business is responding to COVID-19. 

On Lockdown:

Take this time to do some much needed spring cleaning. Time off doesn’t have to be wasted, take the time to have a look at your restaurant and see what you can do to revamp your physical appearance in your restaurant. Old chairs starting to wobble, tables that are scratched, placemats that need a good scrub? This is the perfect time to put in some elbow grease in your restaurant and sand down those tables for a fresh new look, deep-clean those table clothes that may be a few different colours at this point, and get out the tool kit for any chairs or screws that need some TLC. 

Marketing Practices: 

Just because your business is closed, or on a modified schedule, for now, it’s important to keep your business top of mind, and to support your local neighbourhood.Think of this as an amazing opportunity to think about new innovative and creative marketing plans to get your business back on its feet when you open back up. Look into different marketing practices; from direct mail marketing to digital marketing such as social media and email marketing. 

Learn more about marketing innovation and opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic by reading our article on How to Continue Advertising During COVID-19 to Help Your Business.

Home Improvement:

Hygiene Practices:

If clients slow down, or if your business is on lockdown, take this as the perfect opportunity to keep your materials up to date. Do an inventory check – see what materials are new, what needs to be updated and which ones really need a replacement. 

Marketing Practices: 

With everyone in their houses, customers will have a lot more time to have a look at what areas in their houses really need some tender loving care. Think about what used to be the “touch points” between you and your customers and shift those to virtual touch points until further notice.

Take your home improvement projects outdoors. Advertising for a beautiful outdoor living environment to prepare for the warmer weather. Outdoor painting, sheds and decks are great home improvement projects that you are able to do without having to go indoors and can do it without any contact between you and your customer. 

Have a look around your own house and try to think of the main places in your house that you see could use TLC next. Flip this idea into a marketing plan. Advertisements such as “have you been noticing ___?” could really make consumers have a good look at their house and notice things that they wouldn’t normally notice during their busy work week. 

Outdoor Services:

Best Hygiene Practices:

For many landscaping services, this is usually the beginning of your season – eager to get going but unable to begin, this is a good time to ramp up your engines and make sure everything is working without a hitch. Start with your own properties – this will allow you to try out all equipment, and see if anything isn’t working the way it should be. 

Once your equipment is clean, switch to contactless services. Being an outdoor service means you don’t have to go indoors or make any contact with your customer. Lawn care, seeding and planting are all tasks that you don’t have to be in the house. With the weather finally warming up and school being online, families will have more time to hangout by their pool. Offering contactless pool openings and maintenance, as well as lawn care services are in full bloom.

Best Marketing Practices: 

Whether or not you are in business, now is a great time to amp up your services for when spring is ready! 

It’s a great time to review your services and educate your customers on everything that your business offers. Take a look at the marketing you are currently doing. Does your business have a website? If the answer is no, try looking into some website creation programs, see if there is an easy step by step website builder. Not technically savvy? Head over to DRMG.com to see the website building services we provide! You can decide just how large of a website you want to build and work with someone to build a website with you; don’t worry, we will handle all of the technical aspects. 

For the time being, it’s important to get the word out about your contactless services. Lawn care, planting and pool maintenance can all be done without having to interact with your customer. So advertise that spring is here and lawns still need to be maintained, pools are ready to open!

Automotive Dealerships:

Best Hygiene Practices: 

With a potential decline in customers, now is a perfect time to ensure that all your vehicles are kept clean and up to standard. Head on in with your strongest cleaning equipment and give all the vehicles the cleaning that you would do for your own. For interactions of people continuing to come into the shop, be prepared to limit customer interaction. Allow customers to stay in the car except (and to pre-pay for their service through e-transfer). You can also see if you can plug your machine in closer to the customer’s vehicle so they don’t have to get out of their car while paying. Consumers that are still going into work will need oil changes and tires changes as the season is changing, so it is important to arm your shop with any practices that can limit face to face interaction. 

Ramp up the sanitation between each customer – this is anywhere from wiping down the machine after each customer use, to washing the area or any tools used in between each car.

Best Marketing Practices:

Get your creative juices flowing! Now is an opportunity to really sit down and think about what your summer and fall deals and marketing campaigns will look like. Have a look to see what each car company is doing and see if your dealership needs any additional marketing. With consumers working from home, offering free pick up and drop off to allow customers to stay home and stay safe while still providing car services.

Do you have an auto shop? Be prepared for the influx of customers that are still going in to work – most customers will need their tires changed soon. Look into seasonal deals, and most of you auto shops can be business as usual. Business might slow down, but tires will still need to be changed, and oil changes are still needed for those commuters that are continuing to work throughout COVID-19.

Dentists:

Best Hygiene Practices: 

Due to COVID-19, sanitation is even more important than ever. Take the time with your dental office with the closure and spend some extra time cleaning. Head on into the office and take extra care cleaning handles, bathrooms and seats.

Best Marketing Practices: 

When the state of emergency is over, there will be a huge surge for all dental practices. Be prepared for this time. Consider having a part time employee get back to work and begin booking dates again for when the practice opens back up. Get the word out that your practice is booking appointments now, so get your appointment before the wait! 

When your business is open again, consider having extended hours – this surge in appointments might need more time. If you are able to extend your hours and get more appointments in, you will be able to bounce back faster. Let your customers know through advertising. Give them your extended hours and hours that they will be able to book appointments.

Financial Services:

Due to the fact that many people unfortunately had to take some time off work during the COVID-19 situation, the time for taxes and looking into their finances is now.

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This is a great time to ramp up advertising to let individuals know you are in business and ready to help.

Best Marketing Practices:

Virtual interaction is key, so look into tools that allow for virtual meetings. A perfect free tool is “Zoom”. This app allows for virtual face to face interaction.

If you don’t have the best webcam or you know your internet connection isn’t always perfect, look into the questions you would need to ask through phone meetings.

But how to market that you now have these online advantages? Using online digital marketing is a great adaptation to the nature of the COVID-19 situation. Look into social media channels for their best uses. Take a look at your target market; are you looking to target businesses? LinkedIn is a great platform for business professionals to connect and communicate. Are you looking for families? Facebook is a large platform that allows you to create a target demographic and pay to boost posts to get the word out. Does any of this sound like a hard math equation? Not to worry, DRMG is here! Give us a call and we will be happy to sit down with you and go through advertising options and will be able to help you narrow down which digital marketing channels are best for your practice. 

The COVID-19 situation is changing every day, so be prepared for adjustments and planning – try to take some time to plan ahead. Plan for worst case scenarios as well as best case scenarios but always remain positive, we will get through this and come out stronger when it’s over.

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