Your business may be forced to close during lockdown, but this most certainly is not the time to go silent.  Keeping existing customers informed is one reason that a visible presence is important. However, you could still work on retaining your customers and attracting new business for when you reopen.  

Develop a stronger relationship with existing customers

Keep communicating with existing customers. This could be via an email, social media post or a direct mailing to advise existing customers that you may be closed but you will be back. Look to build up loyalty with these customers, send a questionnaire or survey to encourage interaction, tell them you value opinions to look for service enhancement opportunities that you can put in place when you reopen.  You may be surprised with the answers you receive and by acting on them, you can show you care and value opinion.

Review existing marketing streams

Now may be a great time to work on how you’ll operate your social media and website going forward.  Consider asking for feedback on the changes people would like to see. You may not always like the feedback, but it could help you better appeal to your target market, both existing clients and new.

Step away from a hard sell and  pushing products and services to appeal to the growing need that people have to feel cared for by a business.  Why not create some ‘how to’ videos or advice articles centred on your products or services.  Introduce yourself, your team and perhaps explain what you have been doing to keep busy while you are closed, bring a sense of real people behind your business to your audience. Remember too, there are grants and funding available for business through many different schemes so investigate and find out what could help you fund perhaps a paid campaign or two to really broaden your reach.

Make plans for reopening

It is easy when you are running a business to take a ‘think on your feet’ approach to marketing. However, this can mean you forget key messages, repeat or even waste valuable opportunities through lack of time to fit it in to a busy schedule when it could have maximum impact.

You will be planning budgets and stock levels in advance. So, why not look at your networking activities and marketing campaigns, and get them planned and ready to go.  Think about the timing of your re-opening and how you can bring in world events, source images and plan your copy in advance.  Once you have a date fixed to re-open you can firm up release dates for each item, so you do not have this to do once you actually reopen.  

The more you can organise now, the more you will be able to concentrate on your customers and enjoy being open again when the time comes.