If you have to close your doors to renovate your wine shop, whether because of an accident, natural disaster, or even just years of neglect, your first reaction might be: can we survive this? After all, closed doors means no revenue for many businesses. But there can be a silver lining to those storm clouds. Here’s how. [level-members]
Setting aside for the moment that a natural disaster should not be a business disaster – we’ll discuss business interruption insurance in another column – what can you do to get the most out of what is likely to be a tough situation.
First, get the word out. Let your regulars know that you’ll be closing in advance if you can. If you can’t, let them know you’re closed but aren’t gone. Make sure they know you’re working hard to re-open.
Second, keep communicating. Once you’ve let your customers – and local media – know that you’re working hard to re-open, keep them up to date on your progress. Do they care that you’re getting a new, larger refrigerated case? Probably not, but they will care that you’ll have more cold whites, rosés and bubbles available for last minute shopping before a party or dinner. So give them the details of what you’re refurbishing, expanding, and improving.
Finally, keep moving on your other marketing and communications. You probably can’t do any tastings while you’re renovating, but you can keep up your weekly food and wine pairing recommendations, for example. (And do check your local regs. If you can do a tasting on the sidewalk while you’re renovating – and the weather’s cooperative – by all means, do it – and promote it like crazy!)
There’s no doubt that closing your doors temporarily – even if it’s a planned closing – can be an enormous blow to you business. But if you reach out to your customers and keep communicating, you’ll may find that you wind up with a stronger business after you’ve weathered the storm. [/level-members]