Adapting to unexpected plot twists
If you are adjusting your sails to weather the current storm – we feel you. In all recent discussions, the common thread is how we can adapt to make our business work in the now! Now is the time to look at those business plans. It is time to review and refine, focusing on what you can do. No matter how hard some of those decisions may be. There is no judgement here.
We have pulled together some ideas from team TFG as well as bits of inspiration from our social feeds over the last week – take what works for you and leave the rest.
Can you move your business from physical to virtual? At this time, people will be more forgiving when it comes to the production quality of training videos or sign up forms. As long as they can access your new offering, you’re winning. Businesses that could do this include:
- Fitness professionals, especially live exercise classes.
- Education-related businesses to support home-schooling
- Workshops – Cooking, DIY, gardening, music or any other hobby type of lessons.
- Some types of therapy/counselling.
- Community events/groups – you can still host that book club!
- Tours – why not host a virtual tour of your museum, vineyard or another, with talks and demos
There are FREE tools out there that can enable you to do this. Google Hangout allows free video conferencing and screen/presentation/document sharing for 1-2-1’s. While Facebook Live can mean you can run all your classes on your page for all or behind closed doors (well, groups).
What can you deliver?
We have seen some fantastic adaption from cafes, pubs and restaurants that are now offering local delivery.
From the local sandwich shop to our fave Gastropub, they are offering new services which enable people to have a break from dry pasta and loo roll dinners while supporting their local business.
Get comfortable in front of the camera.
Imagine having an online floristry workshop right now to occupy your mind and make something gorgeous for the home. Or a cookery lesson from a local chef of something utterly delicious.
Do a demo and make sure that you give people a list of what they need. Be mindful of what is available to people – even couple up with a local farm shop or flower grower to provide what is required. Before the demo, send an email out to your database inviting people well in advance with the prep list. Put notices out on social and into these new community groups. Then get ready to go live.
Once the live is over:
- Embed the video and shopping list on your site with links to the suppliers.
- Email subscribers with clear instructions.
- Use your socials to spread joy and encourage the use of # to get feedback.
Not only are you showcasing you, but you could also be supporting other local suppliers and creating a community at the same time.
Now is not a time to be so exclusive you seem to not care about what is going on in the world.
While businesses still need to make money to operate, there are a few selfless practices that we have seen in the past week that really float our boat:
- Headspace has unlocked additional mediations and workouts to support those that are feeling stressed and overwhelmed on their free plan.
- Farah Fonseca is giving FREE access to her online workout platform, which is full of home workouts. While The Body Coach is hosting online PE lessons for children.
- Children’s party planners Dazzle and Fizz is using their talented team to put on several shows, creative workshops and more to keep your little ones entertained.
If you’re having to close your bricks and mortar doors but are still ready and able to work, now is the time to think outside the box.
- You might be a hotel receptionist or a VA that can offer your exemplary organization skills to a facilities management company that are up to their eyeballs in deep cleans.
- Do you have a fully functioning commercial kitchen? Why not contact local domiciliary care companies and offer meals on wheels solution for those high-risk clients that are in an extended period of isolation?
“No idea is a bad idea at this point (unless it involves ignoring social distancing advice)”
We live in a perpetual state of brainstorm for our client’s, and so the team are happy to share our top tips for getting those ideas out and down.
“CREATIVITY IS CONTAGIOUS – PASS IT ON” – ALBERT EINSTEIN
- Thrash it out. Have a chat, doesn’t even have to be with a work colleague or peer.
- No idea is a bad idea.
- Use a dictaphone or voice to text app for when your brain works faster than you can write. Google Keep has a dictate function.
- Use colours to organize your thoughts.
- Post-it notes!
Just Keep Swimming.
When you are trying something new – the fruits of your brainstorm – operate on a ‘fail fast’ basis. This Forbes article by Sunnie Giles explains why iterative working is the way forward. Written in 2018, Sunnie says “trying to predict, control, and eliminate variances is a losing game”, and in the current climate, never a truer word was spoken.
“Radical innovation happens when many self-organizing employees experiment profusely and learn. By learning, I mean, they see how best to adapt to the environment and respond by adjusting their behaviour incrementally but continually.”
If you don’t know where to start with this, get simple. Write all of your transferable skills on post-it notes or go old school with a bubble diagram. If you want a 20-minute FREE chat to get a brainstorm going – drop us an email & we’ll schedule a call email@example.com
Finally, don’t be a d&*k.
It is a time not to be a T&C Hitler. Where possible wavier cancellation fees as well as being flexible about the cancellation and cooling-off periods. For industries such as events, rolling over tickets to alternative dates that seem reasonable enough in the future is one way to reduce refunds, but be aware that may not work for everyone.
Not for you?
Not all businesses can not operate like this. Of course, we hope support from the powers that be is quick and easy to access in the coming days. We have put together a marketing checklist for businesses like this where they find they have too much time on their hands, which you can find here: https://thetypefacegroup.co.uk/marketing-actions-for-quiet-times/
Whatever you do during these times, make sure you are adding value and not capitalizing on the genuine fear.
GET IN TOUCH.
If you need a helping hand in these trying times, give one of the team a call and we will see what we can do.
Millions of small business owners, customer-facing roles and workers are now faced with the reality of uncertain income for the foreseeable future. News about the pandemic can be overwhelming, and for some, it is becoming increasingly difficult to remain calm and focused, both personally and professionally.
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