Reopening Your Business: Common Challenges to Expect

The impact of COVID will be felt long after vaccinations become the majority and restrictions ease. However, from challenge stems opportunity — the opportunity to learn, grow, and overcome, as a business, what may have once seemed improbable.

If you’ve recently opened your doors again to customers (or are in the midst of doing so) take this time to reflect on what you’re likely to face. Expect these anticipated challenges and you’ll be better equipped to tackle them should they arise.

Getting the Word Out

As your business acclimates to an open storefront, don’t assume anything. For example, your customers don’t know what you don’t communicate to them.

Make sure the following checkpoints are up-to-date with the basics

  • Your website: reopening information is front and centre on your homepage.

  • Your Google listing: all information, especially your operating hours, are accurate.

  • Review and booking sites: if you manage a Yelp page or otherwise for your business, make sure your hours are accurate and include any operating restrictions customers should be aware of before visiting.   


  • Your front door: for those with a brick and mortar location, position easy-to-read signage at your entrances so customers know what to expect before entering. The Staples Solutionshop is a great place to go for simple poster, sign, and banner designs.

Additionally, consider running a marketing campaign for your newly reopened business. This could involve a special discount or event — one you could promote through direct mail, social media, email, and your website.

Employee and Customer Safety

Ideally, your employees have been trained in various health and safety protocols prior to reopening. Once things are in full swing, set up regular check-ins with employees to review current processes, update as needed, and make sure everyone’s mental health is in a good place. Show compassion for your team as everyone adjusts to new territory.

Consider displaying signage throughout your store with information on guidelines and restrictions your team is following. Also, keep face masks and hand sanitizer dispensers stocked and readily available. This will give customers peace of mind when shopping.

Inventory Management

Just because you have reopened doesn’t mean customers will be clamouring to get through the doors. Everyone operates under different comfort levels, so sales may be slow at first. On the other hand, with everyone eager to get out of the house, they could take off faster than anticipated.

As you get a handle on how to best manage your inventory, review past records and let the data help guide your estimates. It’ll also be important to consider current shipping and delivery times for reorders. Work with your vendors to get a feel for what to expect and if there are popular items that may take longer than usual to restock, it may be worth upping the volume right off the bat.

You can also survey other businesses in the community. See how they’re handling inventory and if they’ve noticed any trends among local consumer shopping behaviours.

Staying on Top of Cash Flow

Most importantly, review your cash flow regularly. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to make checking in on your finances weekly an indefinite long-term practice.

When you’re tuned into every dollar that comes and goes, you’re readily able to spot trends and anticipate future spending. This allows you to be more confident with making tough decisions and identify investments you may need to make for your business to thrive.

By Staples Canada

July 29, 2021