After A Blizzard: 9 Tips For How Retailers Can Get Back To Business

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Any time weather affects a retail business, it is hard to deal with but snow is especially bad.

Deliveries are delayed, employees may have to deal with children needing care, your utilities may not be working reliably.

You need to communicate to everyone; hope for help but plan to take care of all of it yourself.

Here are 9 tips for retailers affected by a blizzard:

1) Call all employees and confirm they are OK, if they have transportation to and if they can schedule work.

2) Get to your store with a snow shovel, assess any damage. Yes, you might have to shovel your way there from your car.

3) Do whatever is necessary to clean off your awnings, windows, sidewalk and street in front of your shop. Enlist other shop owners to do the same. You must look open for business.

4) If necessary, hire private services to clear your street, parking lot as well as egress, ingress into your shopping area.

5) Update all your customers via email blast, Facebook Fan page, Twitter what your hours will be, who to call if there is something the customer needs - for example a pickup of a dress for an event if you are a woman's apparel store.

6) Consider making a quick YouTube video showing your store, that you are open, how to get in and out, etc. Post that link to your contacts in #5.

7) If you have seasonal items, put them on sale at a larger discount immediately.

8) Get to the local media and show your area is open, don't assume they'll just find you. Also, don't just talk about "how much business we lost."

9) Listen to authorities of course, but open as soon as you can to get back to business, don't let your store, your street, your neighborhood be a victim.

In Sum

Realize that customers have postponed shopping, not given it up. Don't dwell on the past event but remain focused on those customers who do come in and give an exceptional experience.

Bob Phibbs is the author of The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business (Wiley & Sons).