"With proper planning and preparedness, an emergency can be transformed into an opportunity."
Venture Portland recently hosted an emergency preparedness training that left us feeling empowered for upcoming potential adverse weather or unforeseen challenges. Here are some tips that we walked away with....
1. Provide employees with a step by step action list to use, should disaster strike. Post the list in a visible location such as by the phone. Include emergency numbers such as:
o Local and state police
o Fire department and emergency medical services organizations
o Local government officials, emergency management office
o Local American Red Cross chapter
o National Weather Service
o Telephone, water, gas and electric companies
o Neighboring businesses
o Insurance carriers
(see more info via The American National Red Cross:
2. Get to know your neighbors. This couldn't be stressed enough. Should phone lines, electricity, gas, etc be out of commission, your neighbors will be your biggest resource. Creating alliances with your neighbors (be they commercial or residential or both) eliminates isolation in the case of an emergency.
3. Keep a few specials and marketing ideas in your back pocket for use during adverse weather.
4. Consider including deliveries of goods and services.
5. Place-making: *Heatwave?
Consider offering air-conditioning, iced tea, icy pops, fans... promote your own cooling station that gives incentives to customers with a special "code" for discounts.
Complimentary hot tea is always enticing when paired with a discount just for shopping in person. Offer delivery. Promote purchases online that can be delivered or picked up at a later date. Keep shovels & sand onsite during winter months. Make a plan with neighbors when possible to share the work load. You may have shoveled in front of your store, but can they get to your section of the sidewalk?
6. Shoplifter or Property Damage?
Contact the media and put the violator or situation on blast. Viewers may find out about you for the first time. Throw a renovation party with discounts and donation options. Start a fund raising campaign and offer special membership deals for those who give. Need an updated media list? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
7. PLAN AHEAD
These are just a few of the ideas that may be of use to your business.
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