Here in the Midwest, things are starting to reopen slowly. While the pandemic is far from over, the local vaccination rate is high, and hospitalization is low. As a result, businesses are experiencing an influx of customers. I want to talk about what that looks like for business owners after such a challenging year. Here is some of my advice as restrictions are lifting, as well as what has worked for us at Nickel & Suede.
Execution is Everything:
Make sure you are executing things well. Now is the time to be on your A-Game. Regardless of what business you own, you have a fresh start with a lot of people right now. How can you be incredibly consistent? Address where your business is having trouble being consistent. Let’s find those things and fix them. It is so important to perfect those foundational pieces so that you can build something successful from them.
Try New Things:
You know what you’re doing, and you do it well. Now is the time to try new things. Life isn’t the same as it was before the pandemic. Style has changed. How people entertain and interact has changed. It could be as simple as selling a product in a different or new format. We have so many great things we’re trying at Nickel & Suede that we think will resonate with our customers. Surprising and delighting your customers will always be relevant.
Keep it Personal:
A personal experience with a brand is crucial for customers to be loyal and remain with the brand. How do customers interact with us? What are the touchpoints we can do excel at? I like when I go somewhere, and they know me. It feels so good that they know me, know what I like, and suggest new things to me when I go in. We like to lean into that experience whether a customer is visiting our retail stores or speaking with customer service.
Costs are always relevant. As things open and people are carefully deciding how and where to spend their money, watch your expenses. Make sure you are executing as well as you can with as little cost as possible.
Say Yes More Often:
Being open to opportunities and saying yes will always lead to more. If you want to grow, you have to say yes to the opportunities presented to you, and more will come. The more I can say yes to, the better I will be prepared for future opportunities. Small opportunities are practice for the big ones.
Talk to People:
Getting out of your own space and your own head is important. I always like to talk with other business owners to get a sanity check, for networking, and for advice and suggestions. What’s working for them? Things might be running differently, or something that used to work maybe doesn’t work any longer, and how people shop has evolved and continues to do so. How businesses advertise and use social media is constantly changing. How are other people finding growth? What is working for them? How are you staying in front of customers in new ways? It always helps to get an outside perspective.
I have employees, and it is so important to take care of them. How can we make this a great environment and have perks that make sense? Investing in your employees will retain and attract good people who want to be successful.
The pandemic forced most industries to think differently, and it will be interesting to see how companies innovate moving forward. At Nickel & Suede, we had to step out of comfort zone more than ever this past year, but we also learned a lot and found success in ideas we never expected. Let me know what you found most helpful, and be sure to share your tips in the comments below.
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