Be nimble and ready for change
The coronavirus will mean there will be a new normal for everybody. At this point, we have no choice but to embrace it. As we start to navigate toward this new normal, it’s going to be important for you to stay nimble through this process.
For tennis providers, it will serve you well to start coming up with a plan now for how you’re going to get back into business when the economy begins to open up. Recognize that this is going to be a slow process.
So, how can you maximize your sales or bottom line, while still accommodating a timid consumer? You’ll need to get creative.
For Retailers—Think of the food and beverage industry: How are restaurants staying afloat in these challenging times? They said goodbye to dine-in and put all of their energy on delivery and takeout or curbside pickup. As a tennis shop, you can do the same with your products, with stringing services, etc.
By the time you’re back open, chances are racquets haven’t been strung in months. Don’t just run a stringing special; run a stringing special that includes racquet cleaning. Let customers and players know their racquet is coming back to them as germ-free as possible. Help your customers feel comfortable and at ease.
For Teaching Professionals—Social distancing will be lifted, but the fear won’t be. How can you adopt new methods of teaching on-court to accommodate players who may not want someone (whether a coach or other players) too close to them? And use your ball machine—a great tool that can mean less touching of tennis balls.
Utilize technology as much as possible for post-lesson analysis. Can you use a video service to help analyze your players’ games and review them from a distance?
It is officially time to say goodbye to “… but this is how we’ve always done it.” No matter how scary or uncertain it may look, you’ll need to stay nimble and adapt every day to come out ahead.
Dave Emkey is a longtime business development executive in the tennis industry.
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