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  • Stephanie Wilson

Business Recovery After a Hurricane

Updated: May 27

Six ways to bounce back to success

After spending nearly 30 years helping Caribbean hotels, resorts and destinations rebuild after a hurricane, I am eager to apply that experience to helping Lexington’s businesses rebound.  In my best case study of business recovery, my team applied a strategy that implemented grassroots marketing initiatives, adjusted product offerings, and added to distribution channels, which resulted in a 250% increase in annual room nights for a condo property in Grand Cayman.  In Lexington, I would be thrilled to see results anything like this.

Ask and listen:  Throughout my life I have been surprised at how often someone right next to you, perhaps in your place of work or another community parent, has the exact same “unique” problem as you do.  If you take the time to ask everyone – leaders in business, people who know and love you, professionals in your community that you respect, and even people totally unrelated – you will find so much information useful for your journey to reopening.  Some have done more research or can share useful information, while others might just be a great person to lean on.  You can sort through ideas and pick the strongest, fine-tune something you are presently working on, and hear about other similar situations, all which will help you make great choices going forward.   

Clean up your database:  From who is in it, to what data is associated with each contact, chances are your database needs some attention.  Invest time during the reopening phase to work on it, perhaps block just an hour a day, and you will not regret it.  Having a reliable database is the foundation to coming back stronger than ever.

Sort and prioritize your customers:  Not all customers are the same.  Some prefer a product or service that has a small margin, while others are your advocate in town (both online and off.)  Take time to review your records, determine who your best customer is and create a plan to reach more of those people.  It could be as simple as $100 on Facebook ads, but reaching your target audience with an efficient use of funds is a critical part to surviving a reopening program.

Audit your business:  You might not have time to do a full audit in all aspects of your business, but you can review a few reports to determine if now is a good time to make changes, streamline processes, assess products and services, and consider how you are utilizing your staff.

Communicate:  Whether you use the home page of your web site, a pop up box when people visit, traditional media, public relations, email marketing, or social media, it’s important to control your narrative and not anyone else.  Make sure your first message reaches out to your customers, is informative, and shows concern for them.  You can get to the selling in subsequent communications. 

Create Partnerships:  Chances are, you are sitting on a golden opportunity to spend very little (if any) money, to bring in incremental business.  Take time to think about the experience your customers have.  Is there a product or service they need to prepare to visit you, or do just before coming to you?  What about after?  Is there a company you can approach for a partnership?  They will send customers your way if you send them their way.   

When executed correctly, partnerships are a win-win for everyone. 

For more information on this subject, please read this Linked in Article on April 23rd,

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