Growing your business in challenging times

Updated: Jan 21

Sure not everyone can change what they do, but looking at your business with fresh eyes will definitely help. We are living in strange times and it's vital we don't waste a moment of it.

There is always opportunity to grow and do good if you know where to look.

This is my story and my qualification to speak on this subject if you'll permit me. :)

The Basis of Need

Every successful business is based on fulfilling a need. Don’t be fooled into thinking yours is different. It isn't, and if you weren’t enjoying the success you expected before the pandemic hit then chances are you had not created a business with sufficient need to achieve your plan. There can of course be other factors but this a good starting point.

We are in times of unprecedented change for everyone. There are no experts anymore, we all have to adapt our knowledge and skills to move forward. Now, This current position hopefully won't last too long, but some of our previous normalities will most likely change some may even be gone forever. We need to take a look at fulfilling those needs. I recommend we approach it like this

Starting with a 3 stage why question.

  1. Why did our client buy from us before Covid 19?

  1. Why are or aren’t they buying now?

  1. Why will they buy from me in the future?

Spend some time thinking about these three areas, use the data you have, sales orders, what’s in your funnels etc to answer the first two parts. Then sit back and think about how your business can meet the needs of your client base in the future. If you have any questions - ask your clients. Don’t be afraid to seek their opinions. I’d recommend a personal phone call. It will keep you in contact and shows that you value their opinion personally.

The first two answers are mostly based on information you have. The final one is your best guess at how the world is going to look. Take some time to work this out. Once we have this information we can make a plan or change our existing plan. We may have to rethink what we offer because the need has changed and we may well have to have to rethink our distribution strategy too. Once we have those 3 questions answered we can easily find ways to make it work. All we need to do that is the determination to do so.

The financials

The UK government has announced robust measures to help businesses financially. Don't be shy about speaking up. You wouldn't see your family without bread and this is just the same. Be fair, be kind.

Your Business Base

Many small businesses will not be able to stay open in the traditional sense of the word, with over 5 million people in the UK now self employed, our business roles are vital to the overall economy.

If yours is a business where you can work from home as mine is - great! If not, think about how you can adapt what you do now to reach other markets or offer new services. Here's a fab example of a Great British supplier doing extra for their customers, helping their customers customers too.

“Not another cancellation!”

This is the true story of a local restaurant. Clearly given the latest government updates, eating out was not a recommended option. But, equally the restaurant owner, was distraught at losing yet more business. The very survival of the restaurant was in danger. Customers too were disappointed not to be able to visit. We spend our money on things we enjoy and being denied these things has an effect on our lifestyle, our mental health and those of our loved ones too.

If customers couldn’t go to the restaurant maybe the restaurant could come to them? Sure, there is more logistically involved but the restaurant owner would still be selling his food. He and his team would still have the chance to stay in business and employment. At a time when supermarket shelves are empty, the possibility of a restaurant quality meal at home will appeal to many.

Our partnership offer

If you own a restaurant, coffee shop etc, realistically, the only way you can keep serving right now is if you offer home delivery service. However, for this to work, you need the local population to know quickly about your offer. Naturally, you can do some of this by social media. We can help you set up new platforms and content quickly. However, a large part of your market right now will be older audiences who do not use social media or would not think of using social media to find out about food. The easiest and most efficient way to contact them is by door drop leaflets which will need careful handling.

How to create your own door drop leaflet campaign

Create a leaflet that advertises that fact that you now offer a home delivery services. We're here to support you with design, proof-reading, images etc should you need it. Consider offering customers money off vouchers or loyalty cards, many of our vulnerable groups are likely to be home-bound for some time and this is a great way to help them. We can organise a fast leaflet print at discount prices, including having them delivered the next working day if you want to get going quickly. You may want to include a menu with your leaflet, we can help with menu printing too. Select your leaflet and your food delivery team with the utmost care. Make sure they are fit and well, make sure that they keep a safe distance from other people during delivery. They should be equipped with hand sanitiser for use during deliveries and instructed to wash their hands thoroughly on returning to the restaurant or home. They should refrain from putting their fingers through the letterbox too.

Consider advertising your new services with posters or temporary signage at your restaurant .

We have heard many stories recently of people wanting to help local businesses and choosing to buy from local restaurants in this way. It is a fantastic way for local communities to come together and help each other in these unprecedented times. We can put digital links such as qr & webar codes on those posters enabling you to see who's enquired and allowing for easy contact. This will appeal to your younger audiences and busy families.

Once we are through the pandemic, you may even have found new revenue streams for your business. The takeaway trade has been booming in recent years. It has grown by a staggering 73%.

The rise of coronavirus has presented unprecedented challenges to all of us, and especially the restaurant industry. We wish you well and are here to help in any way we can.

Creative Studio is not just for restaurants.

Whatever your business we'd like to help, We've already said that this current situation is an opportunity for us to stand back from our business day to day and put those things in place to help us grow which we never had time to do before, We have lots of tools here to help you and we want you to use them.