How and where to communicate with customers

Year 2020 and 2021

Financial planning for 2020

Year 2022 and beyond

THINGS TO DO TODAY

Use some of this "downtime" to plan your operation and prepare your business for the "New Normal". Below is a comprehensive checklist.

PURCHASE ESSENTIALS

Your goal is:

  • Protect yourself and your employees.
  • Create a safe environment for customers to interact with your business in-person.

To achieve the goal, purchase

EMPLOYEE TRAINING

Your goal is:

  • Protect your business from liability.
  • Train your employees to follow new health-oriented processes.

Some ideas on how to achieve your goal:

  • Set up guidelines on frequency of employee hand washing.
  • Maintain a sign-in sheet in which they record their temperature when they come in to work.
  • Have them wear a mask all the time. If you need identical and durable masks for your team, you can order some from Occasion here.
  • Create a cleaning schedule for the common space. Common space must include front-desks, work spaces, bathrooms, doors and door handles/ knobs, common work tables and chairs.
  • Create areas that each employee must clean during their work shift.

Order Identical Masks For Your Team

RE-ARRANGE YOUR SPACE

Your goal is:

  • Build trust with your customers, as they will need to feel safe when doing in-person events.
  • Re-arranging the space will be a critical part of the planning.

Mentally prepare for the following:

  • Maximum occupancy will be cut in half for the foreseeable future.
  • Or, "no more than" guidelines will be in place. Example: Group size no more than 10; No more than 20 people inside the store at any time.

Some ideas on how to prepare your space of re-opening:

  • Mark the floor with tape as guide to make sure customers maintain safe distance when they walk up to the counter to transact.
  • Re-arrange your seating chart to create more physical distance while customers do activities. See graphic to the left as an idea.
  • Move extra chairs or tables so customers cannot use them.
  • Otherwise, mark them as "keep empty" so customers know not to use them.
  • Install plexiglass whereever necessary.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS TO OFFER

Your goal is:

  • Bring back customers who were cancelled and refunded in March and April.
  • Create revenue opportunities for your business with a 90 day outlook.

Some ideas on how to create a calendar of events:

  • If you haven't given customers credits yet, then reschedule them for new dates and times. Here's how you can do this on Occasion quite easily.
  • If you have given them account credits and refunds, offer the same calendar of events if possible and give those customers the first opportunity to come back.
  • Public or Private Events that reinforce customer trust in health safety will do well. Example: "Experiences for Families" will do better than group events with strangers.

CUSTOMER CHECK-IN PROCESS

Your goal is:

  • Protect yourself and your employees.
  • Create a safe environment for customers to interact in.

Some ideas for customer check-in process:

  • Require customers to wear a mask when they enter your business.
  • Voluntarily ask customers to check their temperature using a contactless thermometer like this one on Amazon.
  • Instead of exchanging cash or credit cards - have customers use "contactless" payments as much as possible. Contactless payments are Apply Pay, Android Pay, Tap and Pay that your point of sale will support.
  • Start selling at-home experiences immediately through Occasion. Learn more about at-home kits and experiences here.

COMMUNICATING WITH CUSTOMERS

What's good for health is good for business. See below for some tips on communicating with customers.

On your Website...

Show new and existing customers you are taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of the disease and you're creating a safe environment for them to engage with your business.

Do this:

Create a new section on your homepage and call it - "Our Covid19 Response". See how we did it on our homepage.

What to highlight:

  • Hours of operation; post them even if they haven't changed.
  • Community effort; share information on what you are doing to help other business, organizations, customers or people in general.
  • Cleaning plan; share 3 - 5 things you are doing in your business to provide a safe environment for your customers.

Free Website from Occasion:

On April 15th, we launched Journeys, a free website builder to help you lower your monthly expenses, upgrade the design and make it mobile friendly.

Check out Journeys from Occasion

On your front door and in your store...

Show customers that you are taking regular steps to clean your space and provide them with a safe environment.

Do this:

Print and post your "Cleanliness Code" so it's visible to your customers.

What to highlight:

  • Cleaning Schedule: Highlight a very specific cleaning schedule. Example: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu - every two hours and Fri, Sat, Sun - every hour.
  • Hand washing Reminder: Create a hand washing rule for employees. Example: A through G wash hands every odd hour. H through Z wash hands every even hour.

In your email newsletters...

Have a dedicated section in your email newsletters to show your continued effort to prevent the spread of Covid19 - this will go a long way in encouraging your customers to do business with you.

Do this:

Towards the bottom of your email newsletter template, create a section called "Our Covid19 Cleanliness Plan" and link it to the section on your website as suggested above.

On your social media...

Delight new customers discovering your business for the first time via social media by showing you care about their safety and health.

Do this:

Record a video using your cell phone, upload it to your Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok or wherever else you are.

See example to the right.

OPERATING IN THE "NEW NORMAL"

Adjust your business to operate in this new reality with social distancing and health safety as high priorities.

STEP 1

Reset your expectations for the next 18 months

Customers are going to remain uncomfortable going out and doing things in large crowds or with strangers. This will have negative impact on your revenues for the foreseeable future.

  • Low Occupancy: Customers will not be coming back in droves to do in-person experiences. 70% of customers will still be uncomfortable doing activities amongst crowds for up to 6 months according to one study.
  • Staffing Issues: Employees will be concerned about their own health and with generous unemployment benefits they may be hesitant to return to work. Less staff may mean less experiences, which may equate to lower revenues. This is the case already with many businesses.
  • Covid Confirmation Plan: In the unfortunate instance where a customer is diagnosed with Covid19, be prepared to communicate with other customers the patient may have come in contact with. Occasion offers the ability to email a roster very easily. In addition, you and your staff will have to quarantine for at least two weeks.

STEP 2

Lower your monthly expenses by 25% immediately

We believe your only business objective for 2020 should be to remain in business. We recommend cutting your monthly expenses by 25% immediately to adjust for a shortfall in revenue.

Here are ways Occasion is helping your reduce your monthly expenses:


STEP 3

Making money in the post-Covid era

Making money in the "new normal" will require your creativity and willingness to do things you haven't done before.

In-person events will recover when you re-open but only partially. So, you will have to combine them with at-home experiences that are virtual to grow your revenue faster.

A STRATEGIC MAP FOR 2022 and Beyond

Consumers want more experiences but there are some collective challenges for us to overcome

Permanent change to consumer behavior, possibly.

Social distancing withstanding for months, people doing more virtual meetings and events, skepticism about quickly returning to normal is strong evidence consumer behavior has changed.

We are betting that this change in consumer behavior is permanent and will become acceptable as months go on.

Businesses that are able to offer at-home experiences will grow much faster and recover more quickly than those businesses tied to in-person experiences.

Learn more about how to offer at-home experiences through Occasion.

Savings will rise and consumer spending will decline

People are losing jobs and hence, losing their incomes. The job losses initially were in hospitality related industries but now, are rippling to other sectors of the economy. This may take months if not years to recover from.

Typically after a recession, people start saving more. However, after a depression (deep recession), people start saving a lot more. See chart to the left.

With a lot fewer people with jobs, and those who work saving more, overall consumer spending will be much less.

Declining mall traffic

Big box stores have stopped paying rent and are closing. Subsequently, malls or strip malls will experience low traffic. It is predicted that 50% of all malls may close by 2021.

If your business is mall dependent or strip mall dependent, this may hurt your chances of staying in business at that location. Hence, your physical location will also contribute to how quickly your business recovers.

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