5 ways to get your business ready for Freedom Day
We know the Australian small business landscape has changed so much in the past few years. The pandemic and restrictions have been devastating to small businesses everywhere especially businesses located in Victoria and NSW. An Australian Bureau of Statistics survey found that 66% of SMEs reported a decrease in revenue. These businesses have also had to invest in sanitation stations, security guards to ensure customer compliance, and more measures to help keep the community safe.
The NSW Government has announced that on the 11th of October, NSW businesses can expect greater freedoms, including the ability to reopen and operate. This day is being called Freedom Day, and for SMEs having been limited in their ability to operate, this day can’t come soon enough!
The market is ready to grow again and consumers are eager to get back to normal, go to restaurants and cafes, browse the aisles of retail stores and meet their friends at the pub. It has been a long time since we have had face-to-face contact with our customers, with many businesses using click and collect, delivery options and in some cases not being able to operate at all.
When Australia reopens, demand from consumers will be high across all sectors, and thankfully travel will begin to reopen, bringing the tourists!
So how can you as a business owner prepare for Freedom Day?
1. Health and safety
Safety measures will still be required to ensure your business is ready to welcome customers and protect your team. Here are some of the health and safety things you could consider to prepare your business for Freedom Day:
- Encourage staff to get the vaccine and if necessary establish a process for regular testing for COVID-19 ready for Freedom Day
- Implement a station for cleaning equipment to lower the risk of spread between customers and staff
- Provide personal protective equipment for your staff (PPE) such as masks, sanitiser, and other protective equipment as necessary
- Have the mandatory QR codes displayed at the entrance for customers to easily scan
- Have a staff member check that customers have signed in upon entering
2. Stock Supply
The Covid pandemic has wreaked havoc on the supply of many items. This could mean a shortage as you reopen. You may also need to replenish stock sold. If this is the case, your research needs to be done to make sure you have enough supply on your opening day.
Be sure to negotiate terms with suppliers to make them more favourable to the conditions, such as a longer lead time or repayment periods. If funds are tight, then a small business loan may be the answer.
For example, a hairdresser could benefit from a small business loan to restock all of the colours, shampoos, and conditioners in preparation for the reopening of their salon. They might not have the cash flow right now to make the necessary purchase but will once their business reopens. A Lumi small business loan could be the perfect way to help fund any systems or stock purchases for your business to hit the ground running on Freedom Day and beyond.
3. Supportive Measures
The Government has released many different support measures to help SMEs get through this challenging time. There is a variety of non-financial support available in the way of mental health support and free training and workshops. You can find the latest financial and non-financial supportive measures available to sole traders and small business owners here.
The roster of your staff may have changed considerably. Most small businesses were faced with reducing staff hours and possibly even reducing their team size entirely. It’s time to communicate with your staff to make sure that you can open successfully and have enough staff to operate your business.
You could also consider implementing a pre-booking system for customers, so you will know how many staff you can expect to need as you reopen on Freedom Day. Investing in a pre-booking system could be an excellent way to manage staffing requirements and also encourage business.
If you need a cash injection to fund your employee salaries or any systems you build you may benefit from being able to draw down on a business line of credit. A business line of credit is a flexible loan option, it is similar to a credit card, you only pay interest on what you use of the amount you have borrowed.
To take full advantage of Freedom Day multiple avenues can be taken to communicate to the world that you are back and ready to go. Your customers need to know you are reopening. Notifying them now of your plans will be extremely useful as they plan out their own re-emergence into the community.
Some of the communications to consider could include the following messages:
- The date you plan to reopen your business
- Your opening and closing times
- How to pre-book for services
- What your initial capacity is going to be
- The health and safety practices of your business
- Include a promotion to really show your customers you support loyalty as well as encourage them to use your business
There are a variety of ways you can market your business as well as let your customers know that you have reopened on Freedom Day. We have included a list of some ideas you may not have considered yet:
- Send multiple emails notifying customers that you are reopening
- Send out a text message via phone as well
- Update your website and Google with your opening and closing hours
- Letterbox flyers for local customers
- Posting signs on your shop front window
- Update your social media posts and your Facebook page
- You can post into your local Facebook community groups and encourage them to share the information
- Create your own hashtag and encourage customers to share the post on their own socials
Lumi is a small business itself and is here to support you with your business. Freedom Day is only weeks away, so now is the time to prepare by getting any funding you might need in order to set yourself up for success.
We are here to support you by offering straightforward, easy-to-apply for financial solutions that are clear and transparent, meaning no guesswork. You can apply for flexible business funding today using our quick online loan business application.
Your Lumi team