How to Navigate Election Day As A Small Business

Updated on 10 May 2024

Subscription Form (#66)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

navigate election day as a small business

Election day in South Africa can be a challenging time for small businesses. Being prepared and knowing how to navigate through disruptions, closures, and uncertainty during this time is important. In this article, we give helpful advice and tips for small businesses to have a successful election day.

Challenges for Business on Election Day

Election day is crucial for democracy but it can be tough for small businesses. After all, it’s an unplanned public holiday. One challenge that SMEs might find is the lack of customers. The majority of your customers will be queuing to make their mark on 29 May 2024 and that will reduce foot traffic in your physical store.

Another barrier will be the absence of employees at work. According to SA law, working on public holidays is by agreement only (between employer and employee). But this situation is different on election day. Where it might have been convenient for an employee to work on a public holiday previously, exercising the right to vote has an added layer of complication., Many people will choose to vote, leaving your business short-staffed.

If your business uses a delivery system, another challenge arises: Enough couriers to deliver your products on time might not be available. This will reduce orders and ultimately reduce the amount of profit meant to come in on the day.

Every Problem Has A Solution

This all might sound a bit doom and gloom but there are ways to manoeuvre around the disruptions or lack of normal business operations. To ensure that your business adapts and continues to run smoothly on the day, here are some tips:

1. Plan: Check voting station locations and schedules around your area and plan your operations, staffing and logistics accordingly. Consider adjusting your business hours to accommodate the elections.

2. Employees: Encourage your employees to exercise their right to vote and offer flexible hours or time off to vote.

3. Prepare for Disruptions: Be prepared for disruptions such as connectivity issues. Make sure you have a backup plan ready with different ways to communicate, suppliers, and delivery routes to reach your customers.

4. Leverage Election Day: Consider offering special discounts and promotions to voters. This will increase interest in your business and foot traffic for your store. Take advantage of the increased foot traffic to showcase your products (new and current) and services.

5. Turn to Technology: Use online tools such as supplier portals, e-commerce platforms, social media, and e-mail to keep customers engaged and increase sales. This is especially important if Election Day impacts store traffic. By utilising these tools, you can offer customers alternative ways to interact with your business that don’t rely on them visiting your store – they can even shop online while in the voting station queue!

Preparation Is Easier Said Than Done

The solutions listed above sound easy, don’t they? But implementing them for your small business ahead of Election Day might be tricky.. Here are some ways that will make it easier to keep business operations running smoothly:

1. Social Media Campaigns: Launch targeted social media campaigns to raise awareness about Election Day promotions you have. Use platforms like Facebook, X (Twitter) and Instagram to reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your business.

2. Collaboration with Other Small Businesses: Partner with neighbouring businesses to cross-promote Election Day specials or events. Collaborative efforts can amplify marketing efforts and attract more customers (new and current) for your business.

3. Community Engagement: Get involved in community events or initiatives related to Election Day. Demonstrating civic engagement and community involvement enhances your brand’s reputation and fosters goodwill among your customers.

4. Business Incentives: Run a special for customers who have voted and offer them exclusive discounts. Implementing incentives helps build customer loyalty and encourages repeat business.

Election Day can be challenging for small businesses. However, with proper planning and innovative ideas, they can turn it into an opportunity for growth. Small businesses can also use this day as a way to support and benefit their communities. Furthermore, businesses can succeed on Election Day by staying flexible, focused, and adapting to challenges to ensure ongoing success.

Get Weekly 5-Minutes Business Advice

Subscribe to receive actionable business tips and resources.

Subscription Form (#66)

Feeling Stuck?