In this blog, I wanted to look at how businesses are being affected by this unprecedented global pandemic. With nothing like this having ever happened before, businesses have nothing to be able to refer to and across the world companies have had to think fast when it comes to their immediate reaction to the quickly developing and unpredictable situation. My experience as a business consultant has led me to feel proud of the way in which businesses have very quickly adapted to the situation and this is certainly a time that will teach us all a lesson in resilience, planning and diversification. I have witnessed companies, within different sectors, reacting to the changing business environment.
Leisure and Tourism
Naturally, the leisure and tourism industry has been hit hard whilst we are in lockdown. Hotels are unable to take in guests and all holidays and trips are cancelled or at least postponed. Businesses within the leisure and tourism industry are using their predicament to do good for others. Some hotels have offered their accommodation for stranded travellers and NHS workers. With no possibility of opening to offer normal services, some hotels are offering discounted, non-contact meals to vulnerable locals and some are offering takeaway food provisions while they are unable to trade in their usual way. Alongside this, many companies will be busy communicating with customers and re-arranging their clients’ trips and plans which should keep them busy in an otherwise quiet time.
Some businesses within the retail industry will already have started to suffer. Small boutiques who rely on footfall for sales have had to close their doors. Many retail businesses will have made the move to e-commerce to try and maintain an income. For businesses that already have a strong online trade will probably have seen a surge in sales as people began lockdown and wanted to order in their favourite items or treat themselves. The challenges the retail industry will face with online sales is the dispatch process that will be dramatically slowed down by the implementation of social distancing measures in warehouses and distribution centres.
Supermarkets are under extreme pressure, first hit by panic buying which might have been good for their sales figures but will have caused some distress as they waited for the supply and demand chain to rebalance. Social distancing measures and lockdown have meant that large supermarkets have had to quickly react to make sure their staff and customers are safe. There are daily queues outside the main supermarket chains and shortages in some products have meant purchasing restrictions have been placed on certain items. The managers within the retail industry will have their knowledge and skills really put to the test during this tempestuous time. Smaller high street food premises like butchers, bakers and greengrocers have had an increase in trade as consumers have moved to local businesses where supermarkets stocks were low and in a show of support.
The fitness industry has also had the rug ripped from underneath their feet. With gyms closed and classes cancelled the fitness industry seemed to bounce back true to form. Online fitness classes have been a quick replacement for classes and training, with the nation stuck at home feeling sluggish the industry will probably have a new interest which presents an ideal opportunity to increase their client base for when lockdown ends and normality resumes.
Food and beverage
With sadness we watched our favourite restaurants, cafes and pubs close their doors before many other industries were affected. To diversify their income many businesses in the restaurant industry began offering take away and delivery options for their menus. Lots of businesses have provided food for the vulnerable or keyworker and some have even started delivery services of household staples like eggs, flour and even toilet rolls. When things return to normal, I anticipate Cafes and Restaurants will be extremely busy as people flock to celebrate their new freedom.
That day is coming, hold tight!
The world of business has certainly been rocked and this monumental event will go down in history. Things may change forever. I hope businesses are using this time wisely despite how difficult it might seem. This situation will not last forever and we will all rise from the ashes. What is important right now is that your business is present and active in some shape or form. Whilst operations and marketing will need to adapt, they should continue wherever possible. The businesses that are in peoples’ sights will stay in their minds and this is imperative to survival in the future. If you are a business owner or manager that has found a way to adapt to the current situation, I would love to hear from you about what you are doing.
As a business consultant, I have helped many businesses through difficult situations. I have a diverse skill-set that is able to steer a company in any direction whether it’s dealing with challenges, striving for growth or streamlining services. To find out more about how I can help your business please book a free consultation and find out if you are ready to make an investment in your company’s’ future. Now is your time to shine.
MBP business consultancy services offer consultancy services to a range of industries.
Malcolm can also be a Non- Executive Director or interim CEO/MD. Malcolm has experience in a broad range of industries including but not limited to the retail and tourism industries and has overseen several multi-million-pound projects throughout his professional career
Please get in touch and see how Malcolm can help develop your business.
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