Lancashire Businesses face more uncertainty across mostly all industries and sectors since the pandemic. Here are some ideas and suggestions to help your business adapt now, whilst adhering to government rules & regulations.
Advice for all
Stay up to date with the latest official advice from Visit Britain and the government and specifically for business here.
Many businesses already sell gift vouchers but for those who don’t, consider creating some for customers to buy now. They’re ideal for presents for birthdays and anniversaries, plus upcoming events. If you have a website, add them to your online store; if you don’t can you set up a system via email or phone for people to place their orders?
Adapt Delivery Options
If customers still can’t come to you, can you deliver to customers? Some restaurants and cafes offer a delivery service on meals to homes and even local B&B’s. Frozen meals are also a great idea, especially for those who are unable to leave the house. If you’re a retailer can you increase your online offering, or add a little extra such as free gift wrapping?
If you’re uncertain how high demand will be for certain occasions, why not set up a pre-order system now. You’ll know stock levels required to fulfil the minimum demand, and customers will want the opportunity to plan ahead and ensure they can still get the treats they want to buy.
If you’re still open to the public or planning to open soon, encourage people to use card payments to minimise cash handling.
Offer Essential Items
Supermarkets may be running low on popular items. Can you buy something similar from local supplier to offer customers?
Customers to return
Offer a discount for returning customers. Send an email to visitors who have stayed before, or include a leaflet in a takeaway delivery bag offering 10% off their next purchase.
Key Dates in the Calendar
Engage with events on Social Media to make the most of promoting your business. Encourage customers ton use this as a time to get organised and buy presents.
Keep Staff Up to Date
Make sure your staff know what possibilities are ahead. It’s a difficult time for many people but letting people know all the possible outcomes can allow for practical planning. Scenario mapping is a useful tool to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for all eventualities.
Update Your Customers
Let your clients and customers know what’s happening too. If you remain closed orphan a date to open in the future, make sure you put this on social media, along with a note on your door, so customers aren’t making unneccessary journeys
Whilst a buffet breakfast is always popular, for the immediate future, consider changing to table service only. Can you move the seating areas around sop that there’s more space in between chairs? Use signage as reminders for people to wash their hands and increase the number of times checks are made to ensure spaces remain as clean as they can.
Change your business offering
If you’re a producer, can you add something new to your offering that’s more essential to daily life or reduce your offering to key items to limit any wastage. Can you work with another business to offer something new? Sandwiches for a pub, and a cake from a bakery, would make a perfect picnic for a family to take on a walk.
Support other local business
Outside of work, try to support other local businesses where you can by buying from them.
Assess your costs
If you’re still unable to keep your business open, use the time to assess your finances. Where can costs be saved? Can you access better deals by changing your energy provider or bank?
If you have closed your doors for a while, use the time to plan ahead. Can you spend the time on those tasks you never get round to, whether it’s updating photography on your website, getting your online presence up to date, checking supplier costs to see where you can save, or enrolling on a corset find out more about marketing. Many business services who offer training are delivering online options at the moment.
If you’re not at capacity, ensure those who are visiting have an experience to remember. Can you give a room upgrade or offer local produce in the room?
Priortitise time for yourself
This might be difficult with continuing concerns and worries, but it’s so important to take time out for yourself and focus on your wellbeing. Whether it’s a picnic in the garden, exercising locally, or playing a board game with the kids, try and factor time in each day to do something for yourself.
Cancellations and Refunds
Many businesses have been affected by customers wanting to cancel future trips. Whilst you will have all your policies and procedures in place a suggestion might be to look to rearrange rather than cancel.
In this blog post we have offered you advice and tips to help you adapt your business during a pandemic. Now it’s down to all business owners to follow the guidance, to be creative and innovative in ways, whilst ensuring safety comes first.