By Paula Corcoran, Vodafone IoT Product Manager
Was your business impacted by the weather last year? From snow to storms to heatwaves it wasn’t a normal year and chances are your business suffered as a result. So with another harsh winter forecasted, what should we be doing to prepare?
Thankfully there is a lot of advice available on this topic. A campaign called ‘Be Winter Ready’ has been launched by the National Emergency Co-ordination Committee, offering guidance on how to prepare for severe weather conditions. There is a section focused specifically on business preparation.
Along with the physical protection of your building, it is recommended that you consider how the weather may impact employees, customers and even suppliers. Having a communications plan in place can help when you need to contact each of these groups.
While ‘communications plan’ can sound somewhat daunting, the reality of it is quite manageable if you break it down into three simple questions.
The first question to ask yourself is ‘If I was snowed in, do I have easy access to all the contact information that I need?’. If not, now might be a good time to save this information virtually so that you can easily access it from home.
Next question is ‘how would I contact people?’. For smaller lists of suppliers or employees a few calls or a group message will probably suffice. If you have a larger base to contact, you may need a more robust method for sending announcements regarding when you are likely to be closed and when you will reopen.
Vodafone offers a bulk text service which can be useful. It works like web text but allows you to send thousands of texts in one go. You only need access to the internet, so your contact details can be available wherever you can access the net.
The last question to ask is ‘do I plan to run a promotion to make up for lost business days?’ If this is relevant for you, it can be useful to have these planned in advance, ready to execute once you are back open.
We all know social media is highly effective for promotions but have you also considered using text messages? Texts have a remarkably high open rate at 98% (when was the last time you left a text unopened?) so your message is instantly read.
Using Vodafone’s Bulk Text you can improve your promotion by personalising messages to include customers’ names, local stores etc. You can even change the sender ID to your business name so that it cuts through other offers.
Hopefully this helps with your storm preparation. The take-away for now is to batten down the hatches and beef up your comms plan: save your contacts online, plan how to reach out to them and consider post-storm comms.
To help we’re giving you a free trial of Bulk Text. To access it, simply register here: