• Arlena Mack

Preparing to Re-Open your Coastal Business

The COVID pandemic has struck much of the British economy, but none more-so than businesses that rely on seasonal trade. While businesses required to close at some point or another, the rate of lock-downs has destroyed many important trade seasons and left them far more disadvantaged than many other sectors. But with the role out of vaccines being accelerated, many businesses are seeing an end in sight and are preparing to re-open fully when the lock-downs are over. For coastal businesses that may have not seen any operation since COVID started, it is more important than ever that they launch their first post-COVID season with an impact.

As a result it is important to make sure that your business re-opening, is more than just a return to normality. Many other businesses will be doing the same, but even worse businesses that have managed to maintain even a small presence will be fresh in customers minds whilst your business will likely have to fight for all the recognition it can get. The first and most important bit of advice this blog can offer as a result is to make yourself known. Whilst the first open coastal season will be big and full of people looking to get out of the house (especially if Brexit does continue to make people unsure of European holiday plans), by the same merit it will be extremely competitive. It is important for any business looking to gain the most out of this period that they stand out by utilising at least basic advertising techniques. Even the simplest efforts like leaflets, social media campaigns of simple promotional offers all give customers an incentive to specifically use your business. Another major element predicted of this season is that whilst everyone will want to go somewhere after COVID, their financial resources are likely to be strained. Making your coastal business financially appealing with deals or simply encouraging consumers to spend their limited cash on your business is something that your business will want to focus on.

To continue however, the second best advice that can be given is to also modernise. More than any other the time, your business is likely shut fully down and if there is a time to update without disrupting yourself it is now. Other businesses have the same opportunity and you don't want to get lost behind. This can be seen exemplified with many food businesses in areas where the lock-down lifted for a while. Their business models often switched to delivery focus, but even when not under lock down this whole new layer of customers remained open and for many of them, creating an unprecedented number of new customers. For a coastal business especially, modernising can help combine with the first point to really strengthen with your reopening. Online loyalty schemes, social media campaigns, websites and even apps are becoming all more common ways to connect with your customers. It is always worth considering if your business model can make full use of these new approaches. If so, invest when making the jump is easier and it could give you that identifying edge to make your business pop when it needs it the most.

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