What is reopening anxiety?
It’s a concept that has been around before, but it’s under the spotlight thanks to the pandemic. Essentially, it refers to the fear and anxiety you feel when reopening your business after a period of quietness. Some people would experience this after going away on holiday for a few weeks, worrying that no customers would return. The fears are heightened when you are reopening during a pandemic after spending – potentially – months closed.
How can you cope with reopening anxiety during a pandemic? While you will always be nervous, there are steps you can take to try and calm your fears…
COVID-proof your business
Firstly, many of your fears stem from the worry that people are too afraid to come to your business. This is typically the case for any company that relies on foot traffic. As such, you should take steps to make people feel as safe as possible by COVID-proofing your workplace. As this blog post explains, one great way to do this is with UVC germicidal lamps, which can help to disinfect surfaces and the air, killing viruses. Other ideas include clear signposting in your workplace, hand sanitizers everywhere, and so on. Making your business safe will encourage more people to come down, meaning you don’t have to worry about nobody turning up.
Offer reopening discounts
Another smart way of encouraging people to come to your business is by offering reopening discounts. Think of this as a celebration of your business opening its doors once more. You’re also rewarding customers for their loyalty and it’s a way of thanking them for returning. You will generate more interest in your business as well, meaning people could be lining up eager to come at the moment the doors open. Make a big deal out of these discounts – promote them on social media, build up to the opening date, etc. It’s all a case of making people take notice of your reopening while providing an incentive for them to come down and spend money.
Set realistic expectations
Many people suffer from reopening anxiety as they expect everything to go back to normal right away. This might not happen – if your business performs as it did before you closed, that’s a huge bonus. Instead, set realistic expectations and recognize that things might be slow for a while. It’s a good idea to set yourself some small goals to achieve in the weeks/months following your reopening. Make them realistic, so you get the mental boost of feeling accomplished when you meet them. If your expectations are too high, your anxiety builds because you are not meeting them.
It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious when reopening your business after time away. Whether you’ve been closed for two weeks or six months, it’s natural to worry that people have forgotten about you. The tips above should go some way to helping you cope with reopening anxiety, particularly during the current pandemic. You may worry that things will never be the same again, but they can be if you play your cards right.
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