How small businesses can cut costs and boost revenue as they start to reopen safely


Fit Athletic Center

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On March 14, Fit Athletic Club’s five locations in San Diego were serving an average of 6,000 members per day. A day later, the business was frozen and 430 employees were on furlough to slow the spread of the coronavirus, CEO Scott Lutwak said in an interview with Business Insider. “I didn’t even know how to comprehend what had transpired 24 hours earlier,” he said.

Today, like many business owners across the country, Lutwak is trying to get his business back on its feet, facing down a re-opening process that is far longer than many expected.

Along with that uneven recovery come new budgeting challenges, as margins get squeezed between new ongoing operating expenses and curtailed capacity hampering revenues.

In addition to Lutwak’s fitness center, Business Insider spoke with a restaurateur and an office space provider to learn their best advice for making the math work.

Make safety a part of your brand to attract and retain customers

All three businesses we spoke with have made serving health-conscious customers part of their brand identity. It’s important to make a plan and clearly communicate it with customers and employees.

Jon Taffer, the host of the TV show “Bar Rescue” and founder of Taffer’s Tavern franchise, trademarked a “safe dining” system that includes sanitation standards for food and equipment as well as a staffing plan, all aimed at reducing risk. 

Office space provider Firmspace is also seeing a competitive edge from doubling down on its branding as a safe place to get work done. In contrast to the open floor-plan coworking arrangement, Firmspace caters to professionals who need more private, secure workspaces — an arrangement that was more compatible to social distancing.

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“We were COVID-friendly before we knew what COVID was,” said Charlie Tanner, the company’s director of real estate and development, said.

Tanner said Firmspace’s …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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