Reopening your Business: A Chat with the Cincinnati Region’s Nationally Recognized Economic Development Organization
Last Updated on December 21, 2020
In today’s day in age, it can be tough to make sure your clients and employees feel comfortable with your business and work environment. We sat down and talked with REDI Cincinnati’s own Gina Rittinger (and delightful personal client of ours) about how Cincinnati is reopening businesses in a safe and well thought out manner. REDI is at the center of helping companies and knows the pulse on tristate businesses (Cincinnati, NKY, Ind).
(Psst… looking to get the digital tips? Skip down to the bottom.)
It’s All About Empathy
After having a bit of trouble connecting with our video chat, Gina brought up a very relevant first point.
“Having the ability to be flexible and understanding for the people you are doing business with is absolute.”
She told a story about trying to tune into a webinar that failed to broadcast in some capacity. Things went haywire. She felt bad for the company putting it on, and couldn’t help but look at the situation with empathy.
“Everyone is in the same boat, you are trying to be the most efficient, effective version of yourself in a teleworking environment. That’s difficult. People are becoming much more flexible and understanding when those hiccups occur.”
Of course, everyone is going to have a different comfort level about the work environment. It’s important to take that same level of understanding and apply it to an employee’s point of view.
“As things start opening up, we have more opportunity to meet. We wanted to make sure our team members felt comfortable and that we have the right network in place for them. Which is why we rely on an external meeting guide in addition to a formal return to work policy. Depending on different team member’s comfort, we can back one another up.”
3 Steps to Success
Gina gave a nice 3 step process to begin with when considering bringing your employees back to the office.
“…simple guidelines for your team to follow, and sticking to that policy. I think that’s a key thing. Second is communicating that policy to your employee, making sure that there are no questions, that you are listening to their concerns and addressing them. It is important that we as leaders are being nimble and have the ability to make changes to accommodate our employees. And lastly, making sure your office environment is set up for your employees to come back to work. Do you have the right PPE (personal protective equipment) in place, do you have available antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer, are you encouraging healthy hygiene habits?”
Gina added to this with a personal note. At REDI, office space is shared with a group of different organizations, so making sure everyone is on the same page is essential. Gina talked about the elevator as a simple, yet effective example. Everyone understands that their guidelines advocate for only 2 people riding the elevator at a time, on top of other recommended procedures.
“It’s just those little things. And sharing great tips too- like pushing elevator buttons with your elbow!”
The Importance of Digital Marketing While Everyone As at Home
We gave Gina a quick overview of USDP recommendations for what to tackle on the digital front. (Skip down to see those tips!) She circled back at the end of our chat, excited to touch on the digital space and how it can be helpful to businesses.
“Of course we shouldn’t quit digital marketing with the great place this region is and the great products we have to sell. All of us. Period. I know when times get tough people go into reserve mode on their business, but don’t forget the importance of marketing. It is typically what the budget cuts first however, it can be the thing that positions you to recover and come out ahead when things get really tough. And that’s why we are partnering with USDP!”
For REDI and their partners, helping to highlight Cincinnati as a destination to live, work, and visit, has made their digital presence especially critical.
“If they can’t hop on a plane…. we are all going to have to find creative ways to bring the Cincinnati region to our audience.”
Hungry for more information, we asked Gina what creative things REDI was doing to showcase our great city- to which she coyly responded about keeping the “secret sauce” under wraps. (We tried, folks!)
USDP’s DIGITAL TIPS – Reopening Your Business Edition
What does this all have to do with you? Well for starters, ask yourself if your business has these tips tackled. Here are a few quick things that you can do RIGHT NOW to get your business moving in the right direction.
- Hours of operation: Making sure your website has accurate hours of operation listed clearly is an easy first step. Many places have adjusted hours, so keep your clientele in the know about when you are open.
- Hey! We are open!: If you are open, it might be smart to remind your audience that you are in fact, open. This may seem redundant but a lot of customers forget, don’t think to look it up, and enjoy a nice reminder to see that you are up and running. This can be done through social media, email marketing, digital advertising, etc.
- Let your customers know your policies: If you have special Covid procedures in place, make them easy to find on your website. A lot of businesses have different ways of adjusting and making sure everyone is proceeding safely, but it can be a lot to remember. Every business is different! Keep that information clear and easy to access so there is no confusion and everyone feels prepared, safe, and knowledgeable.
- Don’t stop your digital advertising: As we mentioned before, this is key! Don’t bring everything to a halt. Learn more about keeping your digital marketing running smoothly during a pandemic.
- Incorporate e-commerce if possible: We have a great blog about e-commerce too! Understanding direct to consumer selling can be tricky, but with the right information, it can be a breeze.
We understand that this is a challenging time for businesses to navigate. Lucky for you, having a digital partner on your side can be the first step towards a solution. Schedule a consultation.