Tips for Retail Business During Quarantine

I know we’ve been talking a lot about what’s been going on with the Coronavirus, and how it’s affecting our businesses, but I wanted to take some time to talk to you about what you can do about it. Yes, you can do all kinds of things to come out on the other side of this with a business intact, and even thriving! Let’s dive right in with some tips for retail business during quarantine.

Tips for Retail Business During Quarantine
Tips for Retail Business During Quarantine
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First, we all know that this is not a “holiday” for creative shop owners. It’s not a holiday for anyone, really. Now is when we can drill down and focus on the things that have been slipping through our fingers during busier times. Are there any skills you’ve been wanting to hone or improve upon? Any business courses you’ve had your eye on? What about growing your e-commerce? (Now is the perfect time to capture all that extra time people are spending online!) Any professional development books you’ve been meaning to read (that were collecting dust)? Open the cover, and dig in!

On the opposite side of that, have you taken any time to devote to yourself? Or have some quiet time to focus on which aspects of your business you’d like to re-target? It’s no secret that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Find something that helps your creative juices flow, and be consistent spending time investing in yourself.

Get out of the panic mindset, and make objective decisions. If that is feeling overwhelming, get a group of advisors together. Form your own business team of professionals that can help steer you in the right direction. Start with your accountant, attorney, banker, professional business coach or mentor, and a couple people that will be bluntly honest with you (aka: your accountability group). This should not be considered an “expense”. It is an investment, in YOU! This is one of my most important tips for retail business during quarantine!

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Did you know that according to the American Society of Training & Development, you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. But the odds of success skyrocket to 95% if you set up regular check-ins with a person or accountability group.

Back to the business side of things, one thing I would suggest making a priority is do some “reverse engineering”. Ask yourself “What is the bare minimum I need to make to survive?”. From there, come up with a financial plan, a marketing plan, and revenue streams for the next 60-90 days, minimum. Another highly valuable tip for retail business during quarantine: a plan is absolutely critical. Without it, you’re sailing the ocean without a rudder. Drifting to whichever way the seas push you.

I know things are shifting and changing on a daily basis, and many unknowns are left on the table. Instead of focusing on those, set 3-5 small, incremental goals for each part of your plan. From there, come up with some promotional ideas. For instance, highlight a particularly slow moving product or piece when you’re doing an Instagram or Facebook live. You could build “kits” to sell to those DIYers that are looking for ways to invest in themselves and their homes. Plan a “Deal of the Day” or demo a product or technique on certain days of the week to help show how to use those products! Then, double down on your efforts, and include the featured item as a “value buy” making that product a special price with an order of X amount.

There are also several programs out there offering grants to help with various expenses. The Small Business Administration is a great place to start.

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Once all of this subsides, your business may look different. Our customers will not be the same people they were before this. They may have different values, feelings, needs and buying habits. Now is the time to be flexible and be willing to pivot your business for the most success.

If you’d like more tips for retail business during quarantine, checklists, or help, listen to my podcast, the Creative Shop Talk, or join our group for creative business owners, the Paintpreneur’s Inner Circle.

You are running a real business. 

You are a retailer and an entrepreneur doing all the hard work. This is not a hobby store and you aren’t just playing arts and crafts. I want to encourage you to continue to follow you passion and be successful. 

If you’re not already part of my free Facebook group: Rockstar Creatives, join us here. Every Tuesday you can ask me questions about running a brick and mortar creative shop! I’d love to see you online!

Running a retail business doesn’t have to be so hard, you’ve got this!

Thanks for popping in!



For more tips to creative shop owners, make sure you get on my email list to get next week’s blog.


Hi there! I'm Wendy Batten, and I'm obsessed with helping independent shop owners like you achieve success.

With over 20 years of experience as a small business owner, I've owned several retail businesses along the way including a cafe, two retail shops, and a studio (and even a tae kwon do studio), learning first-hand the art of juggling all the balls.

I now dedicate my time to coaching hundred of retailers all around the world, sharing my expertise to help them organize their businesses and maximize profits, paychecks, and JOY in their day-to-day lives.

I created the support, programs, and community that I wish I'd had.

Whether you've been in business for years or are just starting out with your brick-and-mortar venture, you've come to the right place.

If you're serious about your business and ready to stop winging it, I'm here to inspire and guide you toward success.

I'm so happy you're here, and I can't wait to support you on your journey to thriving in the world of retail!



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