• Third Thursday Tips

Four Business Survival Strategies to Use During Construction

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

Road construction is a necessary part of our lives. If you’re a motorist, you can usually figure out the best way around road construction, but if you’re a business, you can’t avoid the construction. But there are things that you can do to mitigate the impacts to your business. They require some patience and planning, but they’ll help you to keep customers coming until construction is complete and you can enjoy the benefits of the completed project.

1. Keep a positive attitude as you interact with customers during construction.

Realistically it can be more difficult for your customers to access your business during construction. If you are negative about the project, the attitude could carry over to customers who might be tempted to avoid the construction zone altogether. Instead of negativity, inform your customers in advance of the construction and give them positive information on alternative parking, access routes or additional entrances (like rear entrances). Share the benefits of the completed project and don’t give customers any reasons to stay away because of your negativity.

2. Gather customer information before construction begins.

With their contact information, you can keep your customers informed of construction information, the best way to reach your business and promotional specials and can provide discounts during the construction period. Sending e-mails or calling your best customers will keep them informed and in the loop, and will keep them less likely to change their buying habits during construction. Consider using social media as an alternate method to keep them informed and interested.

3. Be flexible and innovative with your marketing.

Give customers a reason to navigate a potentially more difficult access to your business. Consider running “Construction Specials” with discounts or additional services and inform your customers of these specials through flyers, e-mails, mailings, etc. Be sure and let them know about alternate routes or parking areas that can be used to access your business during construction. Consider partnering with your city whenever possible on construction promotions, since they are interested and invested in your success. One mayor that we worked with would spend time every week at a different business in the construction zone, passing out coupons and prizes. The events were promoted through the city newsletter and flyers.

4. Communicate in a positive manner with the public involvement and construction teams.

It might be tempting to suffer construction issues in pessimistic silence, but there can be significant benefits to working with the public involvement and construction teams. In many cases they can work with you to reduce your issues. If you have a time of day when your business is most popular, they might be able to modify their schedule to accommodate your customers. If you have a critical time when items are delivered, they might be able to keep accesses open during that time. They can usually work with you to install a “business access” sign to assist with visibility. Be sure and be positive in your communications … a little kindness and understanding (and an ice water or cold soda on a hot day) goes a long ways.

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