How strong is your business pulse?

Home Column How strong is your business pulse?

By Lisbeth Calandrino The pandemic has changed so many things for busi­ness but mostly the way we communicate. Zoom has become a way of life. Masks make it difficult to understand what people are saying and you can’t read facial cues. In addition, people are trying to keep the 6-foot social distance.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find new ways to build your business; you just have to be more creative and realize that many people are operating on a fear level. This is the time to tighten up your business and deal with issues that may not be so obvious. You must always be on guard if you’re going to maintain stability in your business. Things might be good now, but that doesn’t guarantee it will stay that way. Following are five questions to ask yourself to help determine the pulse of your business.

  1. Where is my money com­ing from and who are my cus­tomers? This isn’t a new issue, but the answers may be different. They are also more important than ever. The pandemic may have changed your customer base. Consumers have money and are willing to spend it if they believe it’s worth it. With few places, if any, to spend money, some customers have been able to build up quite a nest egg. Because of the world uncertainty, people are frugal, but they are spending. Your team must under­stand how customers are feeling and the best way to handle them. They shouldn’t assume that peo­ple will spend their money just because they have extra.
  2. How is your management team holding up? This is a tough time for your employees as well. Your management team is deal­ing with their own uncertainties about the future as well as your employees’ feelings. Everyone needs reassurance about the health of your business and skills to deal with their employees who are uncertain about their future and may need reassurance about your business.
  3. How are your digital skills? Do you have what it takes to live in the digital world? We have been virtually locked up for 10 months without much input from the outside world. Online businesses are booming; instead of heading for the nearest super­market we are having groceries delivered to the house or are ordering food already prepared. Now is the time to strengthen relationships with your customers and find out what they are thinking. Hopefully, you haven’t fallen off the social media track. This is the time to engage more than ever.
  4. What are your stats telling you about your customer connections and your posts? Anecdotal evidence continues to show people have increased their online presence during the pandemic. We are conversing with our friends and making more online purchases than ever. I have found if I add a video to my blogs and my emails, the open and click-through rate double. With the growing popu­larity of video, YouTube, etc., put yourself in a position to take advantage of the trends.
  5. Should you invest in your business? The short answer—if you intend to capitalize on favor­able trends supporting the resi­dential remodel sector—is yes. Whether it’s hiring, training or retraining staff members or refreshing your showrooms, dis­plays and product offerings, it makes sense to position yourself for what is expected to be a long run for specialty floor covering retailers.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting retail strategies for the last 20 years. To have her speak at your business or to schedule a consultation, contact her at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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Feb. 1/8, 2021

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