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Adjusting to the New Climate of Business: Practical Advice for Small Business Owners
  • 26 March 2020
  • Leo Covey

Adjusting to the New Climate of Business: Practical Advice for Small Business Owners

In times like these, there are no clear or easy answers. Now more than ever, it is important to tap into the inner drive and unique skills that drew us into the world of business ownership. Here are some guidelines to use as a gut check.

  1. FOLLOW STATE & LOCAL LAWS: If you are living in a heavily affected area, follow your state and local laws to monitor which types of small businesses will be allowed to remain open during the pandemic. Information about essential businesses, which are permitted to remain open, can be found here.

  2. PUT SAFETY FIRST: If your business is permitted to stay open, think of the safety of yourself, your employees and your customers before anything else. This means practicing social distancing and enhanced sanitation procedures to combat the spread of the virus.

  3. COMMUNICATE CLEARLY: Use social media and e-newsletters to spell things out for your customers, who will be curious about what efforts you are taking to keep people safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Also, if you are a small business retail operation, please clearly communicate changes to your store hours and phone-answering protocols.

  4. BE OPEN AND TRANSPARENT: If you are experiencing supply or service gaps due the current situation, acknowledge them to your customers so that they can look for solutions elsewhere.

  5. ASK FOR HELP: If your small business is in dire straits and needs help, do not be afraid to ask for it directly. Communities are rallying around their small businesses now more than ever.

  6. CONVEY THE RIGHT TONE: Monitor your social media and other lines of communication to make sure that your tone is aligned with the way people are feeling. During stressful times like these, people want guidance, support and help. Avoid being perceived as opportunistic or capitalizing on the situation. While your business intentions may be right, the slightest off-tone message can create backlash for your small business.

  7. PREVENT PRICE GOUGING: Help prevent second-party price gouging by limiting orders on essential retail items during this time. We are all in this together.

  8. PIVOT AND ADAPT: Use your entrepreneurial know-how to adapt to the current reality whether that means changing your operating hours or the entirety of your 2020 small business strategy. Across the country, we are seeing the resilient small business owner community shift and respond to this challenging situation. Yoga and exercise studios are offering virtual classes. Wholesalers are now creating retail, direct-to-consumer models. Restaurants are adopting a “general store” approach and selling ingredients for millions of new homebound cooks. Curbside service is becoming the new normal to help people maintain social distancing.

The UPS Store retail locations are designated as essential during the coronavirus (COVID-19) and remain open to provide critical services to our community such as mail and package receiving, shipping, printing and notary. We are made of over 5,000 locally owned and operated locations across the country and we stand with you during this time. Throughout the U.S., your neighborhood The UPS Store locations are doing their best to help their local communities and other small businesses during these uncertain times.

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