During these unprecedented and unpredictable times, we are continuing to support our small business community. 

While, as a nation, we are bracing for the potential impact that COVID-19 might have on our businesses and economy, retailers must continue to look for innovative ways to trade in order to lessen strains on cash flow or even grow where they find opportunity. 

Here are a few tips and tools for business owners during this time...

Make your precautions public 
Customers feel better when they see that you as a business are taking this situation seriously. So make sure your customers understand exactly what precautions you’re putting in place. Keep communications clear and unique to your establishment.

Go virtual
Ask yourself, what are the alternative revenue streams you can begin to generate? If you are a chef, can you offer online cooking classes? If you are a therapist, can you do virtual consulting? If you have the best customer service in your industry, can you do online training courses?  The main thing here is to figure out what is unique to your business and then consider ways to capitalise on this, over this period.

Set yourself up for after lockdown
What are you putting in place now that can show dividends after the lockdown? Just because you can't deliver yet doesn't mean you can't sell. Keep your customers engaged and supporting your business by offering a digital platform or promoting the buying of digital vouchers... see below.

For advice on how to re-open your business after lockdown you can download our toolkit by clicking here.

Go digital
If there was any time to go digital; it’s now. Product-based stores can set up simple online stores through platforms like Standard Bank’s SimplyBlu which are easy for even the most technophobic out there. Click here to discover more

Promote buying digital vouchers
Customers can still support your business by buying vouchers to spend when the current situation blows over. This will ease up your cash flow while your turnover is down. Some establishments are offering discounted vouchers so customers will be more likely to purchase now and get more value later, i.e. a voucher worth R100 will be sold for R80 during the lockdown period.

Your customers may also be willing to assist your staff for nothing in return. Consider selling 'support' vouchers that your customers can purchase that go directly to helping your staff cover their personal expenses.