Business construction workbook

Business information

How can you prepare your business for construction?

Do you have a business plan? In some cases business revenue may be severely reduced for up to 3-6 months. Do you have a plan for that?

Modify your business plan with construction in mind. Construction can mean less revenue coming into your business while work activities are underway. Having a plan in place can help minimize financial impacts to your business. Being proactive instead of reactive will help your business succeed. Consider making adjustments to your plan and budget that reflect potential financial performance during construction.

Do you actively develop your customer base?

Activate your customer base. 80 Percent of your company's future revenue will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers. Attracting a new customer costs five times more than keeping an existing customer. Solid customer relationships means repeat business. Foster a strong customer base and build relationships:

  • Collect customer contact information
  • Communicate to customers that construction is coming
  • Thank customers for their loyalty
  • Offer incentives to existing customers

Do you go to your customers for business, or do they come to you?

If possible, go to where your customers are: catering, local deliveries, grab-and-go items, curbside services, convenience services.

  • Online sales
  • Delivery services
  • Take your shop on the road to community events, fairs and festivals
  • Flexible hours– consider extending or changing your business hours to open during peak times when you will get the most business.

What does your business have to offer that competitors do not?

Be a unique community presence. Establishing your business identity and fine-tuning your brand can draw and maintain customers' attention during construction. If customers feel you offer a product, service or relationship that cannot be found elsewhere, chances are they will go out of their way to navigate temporary traffic detours to visit your business. Consider:

  • Business brand
  • Logo, tagline

What can Sound Transit offer your business during construction?

Region-wide Business Relations Program efforts

  • Loyal-to-Local branding appeals to pride-of-place, supports the local economy and reflects Sound Transit's goal of connecting people and communities. Participating businesses can feature the Loyal-to-Local brand and provide promotions through it and Sound Transit will promote the brand and participating businesses across the region to drive people to businesses.
  • Enter-to-Win experiences are competitions where participants enter by making a purchase at a local business. The experiences promote local businesses while creating excitement about the Sound Transit project under construction. For example, to enter a drawing to win a sneak peek of the University of Washington light rail station before it opened, participants had to spend $5 at a participating business.

Keeping communities informed and engaged

  • Electronic construction updates about new or changed Sound Transit construction activities.
  • Door-to-door hardcopy construction updates in select areas.
  • Briefings, meetings and drop-in sessions hosted by Community Outreach staff.
  • Translation and interpretation services to engage limited English-speaking populations in our communities.
  • Tables at community festivals and events with informational project materials.
  • Construction information formatted for your customers – attached worksheet below.

Easing the impacts of construction

  • 24-Hour construction hotline (888-298-2395) staffed by the Community Outreach team.
  • Wayfinding and signage to help guide customers to businesses and the traveling public around the construction work zone – See worksheet below.
  • Commitment to maintain a clean work zone per requirements on Sound Transit's construction contractors. Sound Transit contractors are required to maintain a clean work zone, including cleaning dirty streets adjacent to the work site.
  • Commitment to manage noise levels to those approved limits on the contractor's work permit. Community Outreach staff will work with the construction team to manage noise beyond those levels, starting at the source. Recognizing that construction activities will be noisy at times, even within permitted levels, ear plugs and white noise machines can be available upon request.
  • Commitment to maintain access to businesses at all times. * If we must temporarily close access to your business, we’ll contact you to work out details.
  • Accessible Community Outreach staff, integrated into the project team.


During construction, Sound Transit Community Outreach can offer support in helping people find your business and navigate detours around construction work zones. Wayfinding and signage can include banners and A-board signs advertising that your business is open and directional signage that make it clear how to access your business.

Examples of print signage for construction work wayfinding.
Sample signage
sketch showing a building location at a road intersection
Sample sign placement

Construction information

Sound Transit's Community Outreach staff provides updates about new or changed construction activities near your business by email and, in select locations and instances, hardcopy flyers. Community Outreach staff tries to be flexible in the way information is shared because construction activities, including location, duration, hours and impacts, are critical so businesses can quickly and clearly communicate to their customers and staff.

What format of construction information would be most convenient for your customers?

Examples of print and digital construction alerts.
Examples of construction alerts
Business briefing times
Would you be open to participating in a briefing with other businesses nearby to receive construction information in-person on a regular basis? If so, what days and times is best work for you?
How do most of your customers and/or employees arrive? Check all that apply.