Your Retail Store & Natural Disaster
Tip #357 - Learn How to Dance in the Rain
Dear Tip of the Weeker,
We received this very lovely email after last week's Tip (Tip #356 - Four Things to Do Today,) with a message for Mary and Pam... and all of us, really.
For Mary, Pam, and all of us who are hurting,
"There are many, many things that can affect our businesses. The economy, hurricanes, flood, fire, family illness or death. We deal with each accordingly; through our insurance company, customer records that we have saved and stored in a safe place, friends who always extend helping hands.
Here is the mantra that I have taped to the front door of my business...
'Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but about learning how to dance in the rain.'
Trite? Maybe. Helpful? Always!
Dance on, everyone!"
~Missy Gold Mister, Don Shoes & Dance,Charleston, SC
Plus we got several more helpful comments on preparing for an emergency...
"One more tip from someone who has had it happen - video or take pictures of EVERYTHING NOW - you will not remember everything you had until you need it later, and it's gone!"
~Terri, Quilt 'n Sew
"Don't forget a 'loss of business' clause in any insurance policy. A shop here on Tybee Island burned down and they were fully covered - except for loss of business. This is major when you have no income coming in, especially for a seasonal store and you lose the entire season."
"Make sure your insurance also covers debris removal."
After last week's Tip, Kay from K & Krafts emailed us with this question:
"How fitting are your tips of the week! We are in the Moorhead MN/Fargo ND flood disaster. Our store is safe so far but many, many families are displaced and schools are closed. Any thoughts on how to reactivate your business after a natural disaster and being closed for up to one week?"
Kay, your ability to communicate with your customers quickly and inexpensively is one of the best insurance policies around. And email is your ticket. A large, active email database can reconnect you with your customers almost instantly.
With a solid email list you can:
- Let your customers know when you re-open.
- Throw an impromptu "We Survived the Flood" party.
- Simply talk to your customers via email about what has happened and maybe bring comfort or happiness to them.
- Become an email clearinghouse for information, connecting customers with needs to customers who can help.
- Do one (or more!) cause marketing events to help the organizations on the front lines in the fight to rebuild the lives and towns devastated by the floods.
- Email press releases about your efforts to help. The press will be looking for feel-good stories.
But your emergency doesn't have to be a natural disaster. There are plenty of man-made "disasters" where having a large and active email list could be the difference between proactively solving a problem or helplessly watching circumstances swallow you up.
Think about just a few situations based on real-life stories of retailers we know...
- A big box store that sells identical merchandise at much lower prices moves in right across the street from your independent store. You need email to remind customers frequently about the great service you've provided and special relationships you've built over the years.
- You lose your lease after 15 years in the same location and you need email to get the word out about your move and create excitement about your new location.
- You've decided to close one of your locations and you need email to announce sales and liquidate the merchandise in that store - quickly!
If you haven't started to build your email list yet, start NOW. If you've been working at it half-heartedly now is the time to get serious.
Build your list like your success depends on it. Because it could!