We had so much plans for 2020. I’m sure none of them involved closing your store and social distancing. Corona virus has hit us, and has hit us hard. I mean, even Giorgio Armani held his women’s Fall/Winter 2020/2021 fashion show in an empty theater! The models even wore masks.
People are encouraged to work from home and stay home as much as they can. That leaves you wondering how you’ll make enough money to get by if this lasts a little longer. The fashion business thrives by people being outside and on the move. Now everyone would more or less work from home in their pajamas. That’s not good.
So what will you do? What does this means for your fashion business?
Will you have to close shop and wait out the storm?
A lot of questions are running through the minds of fashionpreneurs all over the world so you’re not alone.
Even if we’d rather wish this way, we have to accept reality and start planning. Fast
We all know that the virus has already started dampening the desire to shop. “Who am I showing off to” is a common sentiment I’ve heard. In some cases, the fear of the coronavirus latching itself on the outside of a package has stopped people from shopping except for necessities like foodstuffs and cleaning supplies.
A couple of you have asked me how I plan to get through this trying time. And I decided to write it down to help me not have to reply everyone individually.
So here are some of my contingency plans.
How to improve your business despite the corona virus?
1.) Consider spending the downtime to improve your products and services
Do you have any products that didn’t do well when you launched? Use this time to re-strategize, carry out a SWOT analysis of your business and look for ways to improve. Once you discover the faults in your offer, you can go into point two below.
2.) Use this time to upgrade your knowledge.
Learn something online to help you be a better business owner. As a business owner, you have to stay abreast with the business aspect of fashion and you can use this social distancing period to upgrade your knowledge.
3.) Look out for opportunities that are now available to you.
For instance, are ads cheaper now because everyone is lowering their budget? Look at it from this perspective. Your customers are at home now scrolling and wondering what to do. What can you interest them with?
I’ll tell you this for free. You want to stay free in your customers mind. You want them to keep drooling and buy as soon as they get the chance
4.) Consider selling online.
You don’t need to start an ecommerce shop right away. You can sell on instagram. At least you’re sure your customers will be hanging out on social media.
BONUS TIP: FOR BRICK AND MORTAR STORE OWNERS?
As at the time of writing this, shops in Nigeria are still open and even if all your customers look healthy, they might not. Remember the incubation period of the virus may go up to 2weeks. So I decided to write down some ways you can stay safe while you sell.
- Provide running water (improvise with plastic buckets with taps) outside your shop so your customers can wash their hands before coming in.
- Provide hand sanitizers and facemasks for customers at the entrance of your shop
- Wear a mask and maintain a healthy distance when talking to customers and employees (make sure your employees do the same)
These are trying times for business owners. Corona Virus has hit us hard but we’ll rise and we’ll be fine. All we have to do is stay healthy and follow instructions to stay fresh in the minds of our customers until the storm is over.