Who could have predicted that within such a short time our whole lives would be turned upside down?

After the initial shock and the response to a huge change in our working patterns the next natural thing is to worry about where the next sale will come from. If you own a retail, hospitality or basically anything other than a loo roll factory or supermarket, I really sympathise with you – I’m in the same boat.

It takes guts not to jump into ‘sales’ mode and I’m sure you’ve received many emails in your inbox offering to sell you everything from branded hand sanitiser to will writing services (I know pretty poor taste, right?). But in the initial period while we’re all getting used to a new way of working it’s best to just communicate with your clients to see how they are coping, especially if you operate in the service sector.

Simply picking up the phone or sending a personalised email and checking in to see if they are managing personally and professionally goes along way and will certainly be remembered in the future. If you can manage to offer a free or reduced price service that can help too. For example, we offered to do free updates to all our clients’ websites detailing their Covid-19 status.

If you’re in the middle of doing work for a client, reassure them that you’re still working and explain any changes in how you’re working. Don’t make excuses, we’re all under pressure here, but do let people know in advance if there are going to be delays or changes in how you work.

There are opportunities

One thing is for certain, we’re all spending more time online. No wonder online shopping with local delivery is growing so fast. This offers opportunities for retail businesses more than ever before. It also doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go out and invest in a shiny new ecommerce website. Online trading and orders can be taken via a Facebook account for free.

Being in business is often about adapting to adversity, coping with the unexpected and responding to change.  There will be disruption of course but when we pull together, we’ve shown we can rise to the challenge.

Adam Vines

Lounge Design