Before I leave for a long trip I make sure that my car is ready to go – gas, oil, fluids, brakes, tires.  I want the journey to be enjoyable.  I don’t want to deal with problems.  As our businesses reopen, now is the time for you to check on things before you are going 70 mph with customers in front of you. Here are a few areas for you to address.

Start with a review of your team members.  Assign who is returning to work and when. Communicate any new procedures that you have implemented.  Address any concerns that your employees might have.  Train everyone on CDC guidelines, and how to handle customers to maintain high levels of service while keeping everyone healthy

Next, check your finances. Looking at second quarter profit and losses may not be easy; however, you really need to know where you stand.  You probably need to adjust forecasts for reduced sales and therefore inventory.  If you received any SBA loans, make sure you understand the terms of repayment.  In short, redo your financial plan for the next 90 days and then for the remainder of the year.

Ramp up your marketing. Hopefully, you have been staying in front of your customers, even if you were closed.  Now is the time to update your website.  Make sure that your hours, policies, and product offerings are up to date.  Refresh with some new images.  Use blogs and vlogs to educate your customers on what you offer, how to buy, and why they should buy from you.  Use social media and tie your posts back to your website.  Have a Grand Re-Opening and turn it into a celebration! Be sure to reach out to your loyal customers through email or social media and have a special offer just for them.  Then, feature your customers on social media – “We are so excited to welcome Joe back to our store! We can’t wait to see you too!”

Finally, adjust your attitude.  Yes, these past few months have been difficult.  Now is the time to be positive.  As a business leader, our community needs you, your employees need you, and your customers need you.  Believe that you will thrive and you are on your way to making it happen. Your positive outlook is infectious, and that is something we are all happy to spread.