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How to help your business prepare for additional COVID-19 shutdowns/lockdowns

The world is an unsettling place and life as a business owner can be extremely stressful with the uncertainty over local lockdowns and business shutdowns and changes in operating hours with little notice.

It can be hard to predict what will happen next week let alone next month, so we've put together some suggestions on how to help your business prepare for the worst case scenario of new shutdowns or lockdowns in your area:

- Make sure your business has an online presence so you can operate online if your physical store, office or premises has to close. Make sure you have a website that you can sell your products from, from clothes to food orders, Wix makes online shopping websites easy and fun to setup as well as shop from and are perfect for your customers as they are user friendly and have a separate mobile version of the site so customers can shop or order your food direct from their phones. Need help setting up your Wix website? Get in touch with our team today for a FREE quote!

- Make sure you have social media accounts set up - we would recommend at least having Instagram and Facebook as they will allow you to keep your customers and clients up to date with what's going on with your business, from opening hours during lockdown, to new regulations and even special offers you might be running. Don't forget Wix sites can also be linked direct with your Facebook business page now so people can shop your Wix site from your Facebook page through your own Facebook shop (see ). You can also now sell products from your Wix site on Instagram too (see ).

- Don't forget to post regularly on your social media channels to ensure you keep your customers informed during any shutdowns or changes to opening hours. Pre-scheduling software like Buffer and Hootsuite are great ways to schedule your posts for the week in advance and get analytics on how those posts are doing.

- Send out regular newsletters to your customers to keep them up to date with opening hours and special offers as well as how they can order your services/products online - this will help keep any disruption to a minimum and help you maintain your loyal customer base.

- Be flexible! Think about how you can continue operating even with shutdowns, lockdowns and changes in operating hours:

  • Staff - can they work from home?

  • Go online - can you move some or all of your operations online so you can continue sales?

  • Payment plans - your clients may need extra help during the pandemic. Think about having special offers, reduced fees if they pay early perhaps or offer them a payment plan where they can pay in instalments.

  • Products - perhaps look at changing/improving your services or products to what your clients need in this climate

- Don't be afraid to speak with your bank manager about potential loans or financial help during these uncertain times.

At the end of the day, the world is a pretty unpredictable and uncertain place at the moment. No one really knows how the COVID-19 situation is going to go, or when it might end and life get back to a "new normal." But. having a plan in place for lockdowns helps you feel more organised, in control and prepared for the worst case scenario and also allows you to put in place a plan for your staff and keep them informed of your plans.

And finally, a phrase to remember:

"Tough times never last; but tough people do" - Robert H. Schuller.

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