As businesses emerge from the Coronavirus lockdown period, it is important for retail owners to recognise that the days of opening a shop and expecting customers to pop in are a thing of the past.

As we approach a ‘new normal’, it is vital to think of innovative ways to encourage customers to return once again.

Preparation is key for survival. To help you consider aspects that will help your business thrive, here are my 5 top tips to maximise potential:

1. Know your numbers. It is always important to understand your profit margins for products and services but knowing your numbers is about so much more than that. How much does it cost to gain a lead for a potential customer and how many would you normally convert into a paying customer? Whether you are opening back up for business or welcoming customers adjusting from online purchases to in-person visits to your store, knowing the numbers in your business is key.

2. Keep in regular contact with your customers. This is paramount. You should have continued to engage with your customers throughout lockdown anyway, but make sure you reach out now to make contact. Share your good news stories, promote new products, share pictures of your shop/services and interact with your customers. Your social media platforms are the easiest and most-effective way of keeping the conversation going – keeping customers in the loop is crucial for retaining them.

3. Invite your customers by ‘appointment only’. Your customers need to know that they will be safe in your premises. Create a robust appointment system with allocated time slots for your customers and maximise this one-to-one time by cultivating a relationship with them during their visit.

4. Promote the importance of ‘shop local’. Supporting your local high street by incorporating ‘shop local’ into your messaging – place stickers in your windows and shout about it on social media. Now is the time to create a community of abundance and there’s no better way than highlighting just how important that really is. Don’t forget, by shopping local, people need not travel unnecessary distances.

5. Start a referral group. Clubbing together with other local businesses will give you a lot more clout: you can offer each other guidance and support, as well as sharing ideas for best practice. Having the chance to interact with like-minded business owners promotes a healthy environment – imperative for exiting this period stronger than when you went in.

If you would like to chat further about your business, please take advantage of our free business coaching sessions and lets ensure your business thrives together.