Road construction projects can negatively affect a storefront business. Discover ways to help mitigate the impact of roadwork on your business establishment.
A major road construction project near or in front of your store is good news and bad news. On the plus side, better transit can bring more customers to the community and hopefully to your store, as well. The downside is that the construction can drive away customers in the short term.
Who would want to tolerate construction noise or check out workers pouring hot mix asphalt on the street or road?
Although the noise and disruption produced by road works are annoying, you don't need to suffer in silence. As a business owner, you can take proactive steps to mitigate the effects of road construction - all without having to sue contractors or the city hall.
Here are a few suggestions to help prevent roadwork rage and allow your business to survive:
1. Make Friends with Construction Crew and Contractors
Some days, you want to hurl curse words at them for being noisy. Other times, you may want to sabotage their jackhammers and other road construction equipment.
Instead of making enemies with construction workers, befriend them. These professionals are often your most dependable source of info, and there's something strangely calming about knowing and anticipating the worst. Who knows? If you've got the entrepreneurial spirit, you may be able to enlist these people to your cause. This means that you can use these construction workers to benefit your business.
2. Build a Dedicated Cash Reserve
The reality of road construction is that your walk-in sales are likely to walk away. After all, no one wants to weave around sidewalk ramps just to get to your business establishment.
So, once you learn about a road construction project scheduled for your area, begin setting aside funds. This financial war chest will allow your business to survive the lean months.
3. Keep Your Customers Informed About the Roadwork
Loyal customers who are well-informed about the construction project are usually happy campers, notwithstanding the inconvenience. They also understand the reason behind the project. They also know in advance about the construction before they leave their house instead of feeling surprised by the sudden appearance of "Road Closed" signs, orange barrels and barricades.
If you know that a road project will take place in your business area, do your best to inform all your customers. You could do the following:
- Put up directional signs pointing to your business in construction zones. Before you do that, please get in touch with the project manager to make sure that the signs you're planning to erect fully complies with the guidelines set by the Department of Transportation.
- Let the public know that your shop or store is open for business. Develop advertisements for television, radio and the newspaper. Also, post updates and other important notifications about your business on social media.
- Use easy-to-read maps to inform your potential and existing customers about the alternate routes to reach your establishment. Post these maps on social media, insert them into billings and put them up on the community bulletin board. Be especially mindful of individuals who are not from your community and may be unfamiliar with the local roads and streets.
4. Check with Your Local Government for Possible Construction Mitigation Programs
Many cities provide different forms of construction mitigation assistance to business establishments affected by a disruptive but essential roadwork project.
Apart from the usual loans and direct cash, some cities relax zoning laws to allow business signs in places that are normally off-limits. Others relax parking requirements specifically in and near road construction areas.
Some cities even take the assistance they provide a step further. Traffic-affected businesses, for instance, become part of a raffle for different prizes, such as a new laptop or a big-screen TV.
What you'll realize is that cities recognize that helping retain an existing business is easier and more politically sound than encouraging a new business to move into the community. During times of difficulty, cities may become interested in assisting the businesses establishments in their area. After all, these cities need to maintain their tax base.
5. Market and Communicate Your Presence Using a Website
Some busy individual business establishments never get around to setting up a website for their store or shop. If your establishment doesn't have a website yet, now is the time to build one.
Apart from improving your brand awareness, a website is a platform where you can offer discount coupons to customers, announce sales and special deals and publish construction updates for visitors. If you need help building a site, an agency with enough expertise and resources to provide web development and white label SEO would ensure optimization that attracts customers.
Don't let a roadwork project shut down your business and give you a headache. Follow these tips to keep your sales thriving.