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One fire. Two stores. One communicates.

I was walking to work this week and noticed two popular stores side-by-side. One was a men’s fashion retail store, the other a specialist in men’s shoes. Both stores were emptied out of their contents, were dusty from construction, and had their doors wide open. The first had a large sign written out in black marker on brown paper in the window: “We are temporary closed for renovations due to a minor fire upstairs.” It caught my eye immediately. The other had no sign.

I would assume the second store was closed and under-going light reconstruction also due to the fire; however, how would their customers know? In all likelihood, a customer walking by may have been under the misunderstanding that they had closed, moved, or were in the process of doing either.

In instances like this, communication is key. Speed is everything.

Of course, oftentimes, in a crisis like a fire, who’s thinking about what to say and who to tell… other than the authorities, insurance, etc.? But if you’re in a business of providing a product or service to people, you should also be thinking about communication to potential customers. If you don’t want to lose them, that is. And the crazy part is, sometimes the simplest acts are all you need. Even if it’s a simple hand-written sign on some brown paper.

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