As a former brick & mortar retail shop owner, I do know the importance of customers being able to shop for your products and services in the space you are paying rent to occupy. As an administrator of a large higher education department, I have spent the past few weeks preparing to have employees who are unable to work remotely return to a safe workplace. I did some reflection today about what would I do if I was still a retail shop owner. Here are the five questions that came to my thought process.
1. Why are you opening for the public?
This is a great question to make sure you believe your best option is to physically open to the public. Have you leveraged all electronic and/or curbside opportunities? I have heard fantastic ideas of business innovations from restaurants creating 'family meals' either pre-cooked or for you to cook at home to creating shopping via Facebook and/or a website. Last week I shopped a virtual vendor fair and actually bought a few items. This is your chance to be innovative and potentially increase your customer base.
2. Have you walked the customer experience to see how many ways they could possibly come in contact with shared surfaces?
The goal of the CDC guidelines are to ensure shared surfaces are clean and there are so many shared surfaces in a retail shopping experience. Your customers are going to want to have assurance that you are protecting them as they are shopping in your business. Pay close attention to how you will address door handles, carts, baskets, product racks, etc.. How will you maintain an inventory of disinfectant products?
3. Will you require masks?
This is an interesting opportunity to show your customers that you care about their safety. A mask is a simple way where people can protect the transmission and make other customers feel safe. We know some business are giving masks to their customers.
4. How will you address non-compliant customers to the CDC guidelines?
Have you thought through the conversation of a customers who isn't demonstrating an awareness of following the CDC guidelines for ensuring safety in your business? Signage that conveys expectations and consequences for those who don't follow social distancing and/or masks and/or other behaviors.
5. How will you handle if an outbreak happens in your business?
Your employees should be the priority for ensuring safety. If they become ill, it will be devastating to your business. You are creating risk to them by making the decisions to open to the public. Prepare yourself by talking with your attorney to ensure you know what will happen to your business if an outbreak were to happen. There are HIPAA regulations around sharing of medical information which could impact your decisions and how you talk to your customers.
See my previous blog post titled "Having Vision during the Pandemic - You've Got This!" which conveys that I know the stress you are under however I encourage you to think through the five questions in this blog post to consider if it is worth opening because the safety of yourself, employees, and customers is a priority.
We would like to be able to help you through this. I have recently established protocols for employees returning to work who are unable to work from home. Only employees that can't work form home should be working.
Please send us feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and how we could help you.
Dear Business Owners:
You've got this. Today is the first day after the past six weeks that I've been able to sit down and write this letter to you. I've been leading a team through an abrupt closure of our office and movement to remote working. Every day I've thought of you. You have set up a business with your passion, your own time and your own resources. Every day was hard enough without thinking there was a pandemic on the horizon. Of course, we watched movies about it and thought about it, but then one day we woke up and it wasn't a thought, it was reality.
I understand that your vision is masked with uncertainty right now. I know that you are grieving so much and that you have had to watch devoted employees have their world turned upside down. You've watched your financial situation be unstable. You've tried to be nimble and pivot but you are exhausted and can't see light at the end of the tunnel.
You are what inspires us to have jobs to have an income we can spend on your products and services. We still need you!
You are safe reading this blog and I would like to speak to you to grab a notebook and start to write your fears, your hopes and your vision. No, we can't go back to the way your business was. You will need to go deep and see your business in two phases, short term and long term. What resources are you wishing you had right now? Make the list. What are those products and services you have dreamed about? Dig them out of the trash or file cabinet and/or write them now. This could be your season to reinvent. What are some short term goals (including down sizing) that will allow you to reach your long term vision? Today is the first day for your fresh start.
As I write this I'm listening to music. Get your favorite music playing around you for inspiration.
From my heart to yours. Let me know what happens from this letter.
Your Vision Possible,
From New Mom to Real Estate Agent
At Goenner Consulting, LLC we are passionate about people living their dreams. A few years ago, we met Katie as a new mom. We had the opportunity to come alongside her as owners of a local maternity shop & spa in Princeton, Minnesota. Today we are writing to once again support Katie as she launches her real estate business.
Katie is a good listener and will provide you information as you work through the process of home buying and selling.
If you are in Central Minnesota, please follow her on Facebook contact Katie at (612) 978-7833 or email@example.com to schedule a meeting to discuss real estate options.
Welcome to 2020! We are excited to launch consulting and marketing services to birth business owners. Over the past year, Amanda, Founder, YOMA and Faith, Founder, Goenner Consulting, LLC have been working to provide social media and website resources for expecting families of Minnesota with Pregnant in Minnesota and the new launch of Pregnant in Wisconsin.
Back in 2016, Faith and Amanda worked together to build Mama Gracie's Pregnancy Shop & Spa, a one-of-a-kind retail and service maternity establishment. After the sale and renaming of this business, Faith returned to her career in higher education leadership and Amanda obtained her BA degree in Business and Marketing. They met again in 2019 and have a common vision to see small businesses be successful.
Combining Faith's business expertise and Amanda's marketing content development, we are now offering the following service packages to help build your business.
FREE website listing on either or both Pregnant in Minnesota and Pregnant in Wisconsin.
Basic Monthly Birth Business Consulting /Marketing Services: $40/month
We are also interested to learn more about other problems or barriers we could help you solve in your business to make YOUR VISION POSSIBLE. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I remember where I was sitting and I remember crying as I watched episode after episode of small business owners sharing their barriers, their passion and their goals in small town America. This was my story. I remember the day The Small Business Revolution Season 1 changed my life.
I was so excited to have finally wrote the business plan, won a start up business award, signed the lease and secured the vision for my dream to be a business owner.
I had attended Profit Mastery, I had worked with a SBA Consultant, I had joined the Chamber of Commerce, I attended Rotary, I had data of babies born in central Minnesota, we were writing blogs and posting to social media, we had met so many local people and still I wasn't financially doing well. This story ends with another entrepreneur buying the business, moving it to a larger community and re-branding it. Thankfully we didn't have to have a funeral.
The Small Business Revolution, which is a movement, has demonstrated that communities MUST be engaged and together for small town Main Streets to survive. Small businesses need support from city council, nonprofits, economic development leaders, residents and other businesses to thrive. Stories are coming in of communities being inspired by The Small Business Revolution show. They are being inspired to get together and choose to make decisions to allow their communities to survive.
TODAY I MET THE SMALL BUSINESS REVOLUTION
Meeting Amanda Brinkman, Host, The Small Business Revolution has been a dream of mine because of the energy she brings inspires you to be more. Earlier this fall I wasn't able to attend her keynote at the 2019 Connecting Rural Entrepreneurs Conference and was so disappointed. I am so thankful for the community-based Village Bank who sponsored the event today at ModernWell and the co-presenters of Amanda Brinkman, Aleesha Webb and Erin Newkirk for their wisdom. This is the first event in a series of events to help small business owners. Check out Village Bank Facebook Page.
Nuggets from today:
Please let me know your story in the comments below or send me an email to email@example.com. Happy Entrepreneuring!
Today is the day to wake up grateful.
Today is the day to finish the unfinished project(s).
Today is the day to say "Hi" to everyone you see.
Today is the day that you will make it to the gym.
Today is the day to start an inspiration blog.
Today is the day to reconcile with family and friends.
Today is the day to make decisions that will create your dreams.
Today is the day to start a hobby.
Today is the day to prioritize your time on the weekends.
Today is the day to call someone you are missing.
Today is the day to let everyone in your family know you love them.
Today is the day you will read "God Loves You!".