It’s clear 2020 has not been the year any of us anticipated. In fact, for many, it’s been one crushing blow after another, and their businesses / livelihoods have been destroyed, especially where businesses were just starting out in the hospitality industry.
But it’s not all doom ‘n gloom. It should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that the front-line NHS workers and key workers have all enabled us to pretty much operate as normal – if you evolve.
There are many (and I do feel bad for them, truly) who are still haven’t evolved to the ‘new normal’ that we all find ourselves in. Perhaps not for stubbornness but simply not having the right help. If you established a business that can’t operate as normal due to the Covid-19 restrictions, to survive you need to evolve, and change your business to protect your livelihood.
There are many businesses I am sure that simply can’t make the same offering, because it requires close human contact (hairdressers/barbers come to mind, among many others) however just because you can’t operate as normal doesn’t mean people’s needs disappear. People still need a haircut, they just can’t see you face to face. So why not put together a guide on “how do cut your own hair”, offer a package with a set of clippers, and maybe some other little ‘upsell’ items like hair products etc, and promote those via Social Media?
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Restaurants who aren’t geared up for takeaway, could/should have spent the first lockdown evolving their business so it was geared up for takeaway… thus strengthening it even further for when we do eventually return back to a full ‘normal’ scenario (which may be months, may be years – who knows).
Other face to face businesses, such as beauticians or similar, can implement a model similar to the barbers I describe above, and hotels / b&b’s could focus all their energy on creating a website and/or booking system that is simple to use, enables contactless room-service, and many other little benefits. I know that it will all boil down to money, and when forced to close that’s a difficult one – but there are schemes to help you out (such as bounce back loans) where cashflow is needed.
You may say “I don’t want to take on debt” – but the pandemic is here, and you can either sit back, take the bare-minimum handouts you need to simply put food on the table, and come out of this with a weakened business, or… you can invest. I think it’s pretty clear that never will you be able to borrow money at such a cheap rate ever again.
Invest into yourself, and invest into your business.
The Covid-19 Business Evolution is here, and there’s a simple checklist of items you need to make sure your business THRIVES rather than just survives:
- A good quality website, that’s easy to use, fast and intuitive
- Where your business involves human contact, implementing online systems to minimise that contact… an App, or specific / custom built website functionality
- Making your customers aware of your new operating procedures, so they feel safe/confident to use you/your product/service
- Strong use of email, and video-conferencing where appropriate such as Zoom or Teams, etc. (This is so important, especially for tradesmen etc)
- When dealing with consumers, take payment by card! It was frustrating pre-Covid when shops/retailers/takeaways didn’t accept card, but there’s NO excuse for it now. PayPal make this effortless, but there are many other companies out there that can help
- Where something needs booking in, use an online booking system – Calendly is awesome, and the base package is free
Covid-19 has been devastating, to both people’s lives (from those that have suffered and lost loved ones) to people’s businesses. But looking at this whole pandemic as just one blow after another will not bring you a stronger business. This is a (we hope) once-in-a-lifetime event, and that means the opportunities offered to you now are just that: once-in-a-lifetime. Don’t miss out and let your competitors get the edge over you. Take control, and make sure your website and online strategy is better than all the rest.
For help – simply get in touch with us here, and we’ll book a call to discuss how we can help.