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Running a Business During a Pandemic: A Small Business Survival Guide for Coffee Shops

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how countless businesses operate. Almost overnight, companies developed delivery services, added outdoor seating, and even adjusted their product offering to accommodate the new limits and rules. Miraculously, some companies are flourishing during the pandemic, and you can too. If you operate a coffee shop, keep reading. This guide will help you take steps to survive and even thrive.

1. Consider implementing new ideas and programs.

Companies that are willing to innovate during the pandemic are in the best position to survive. Evaluate your business model to see how you can keep your employees working and customers buying.

For example, several restaurants and coffee shops started offering delivery shortly after the pandemic started. This gave their employees something to do and saved the company money. They also partnered with delivery apps like DoorDash and UberEats to get noticed by new customers.

If you end up using multiple services along with a delivery program of your own, invest in tech like Cuboh (cuboh.com) so all of your orders are in one place. It makes it easier to connect online orders to your POS. If you’re seeing a spike in online ordering, Cuboh is the best way to tackle it. This reduces stress on your employees and allows you to create better customer experiences.

2. Update your website and information.

Customer communication is particularly important during the pandemic. People want to know whether or not you are open, if you have outdoor seating, and the precautions you are taking to keep employees and customers safe. To do this, regularly post updates on your social media and through online profiles like Google My Business. You can also post notices on your website.

If you don’t have a business website (or if it needs an upgrade), look for a web developer who can help. Using a location-specific search, such as “web design Denver Colorado,” is a great place to start.

3. Maintain a healthy balance between new and returning customers.

If you noticed a drop off in your regulars during the pandemic, you need to replace them with new customers who can grow into loyal shoppers. There are many effective strategies for winning new clients and marketing your business. You can increase your advertising budget to raise awareness about your location or offer first-time discounts for people to try your coffee.

Once you get customers in the door, the rest is up to you. Win them over with great drinks and enticing pastries so they want to come back.

4. Make your store policies clear.

While many states and local municipalities are mandating mask-wearing and capacity limits, some businesses are following these rules better than others. If you value the safety of your employees, make your store policies clear. Put up signage about mask requirements and empower your team members to turn non-compliant customers away. These actions can protect your operating abilities while winning over customers who want to stay safe.

5. Form partnerships with other local restaurants.

Everyone is going through the same problems with the coronavirus pandemic, which actually creates opportunities for you to become part of the local business community and help others. Look for brands where you can form relevant partnerships to boost your client base while helping them make money as well.

For example, you can offer a discount for people who bring a receipt from a local independent bookstore – especially if they operate nearby. Reach out to see if the bookstore will do the same for you. These partnerships can help you grow your brand while forming key friendships in your area.

You will face challenges because of the COVID-19 lockdown that no business owner could have prepared for. However, with each passing month, your business can grow stronger and you are closer to getting out of the coronavirus crisis.

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