If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we’re all extremely adaptable and resourceful. Many small businesses have weathered the storm by moving from face-to-face interactions to video calls and from cash to an electronic payment solution. With tightening restrictions just around the corner, it’s time to take inspiration from how some businesses reimagined themselves in order to successfully navigate the initial lockdown and more recent restrictions.
When the pandemic hit, many companies saw their normally reliable business, suddenly shrink or evaporate to nothing. Entertainment venues and restaurants had to close up shop, food and drink suppliers had orders cancelled, and weddings, parties, and festivals were postponed indefinitely. For some businesses, the key to survival during the first lockdown was to be nimble and able to offer their clients something new and necessary – masks and hand sanitizer, for example. In a now famous story, we saw gin distilleries quickly alter their production lines to make hand sanitizer instead of spirits. Similarly, many dress makers took offcut fabric that would normally be discarded and began making washable face masks. With face masks here to stay, clothing companies have now made designer face masks a permanent part of their stock.
Theatres, music venues, and cinemas were particularly hard hit during the first lockdown and because of social distancing restrictions, many could not see a way to open in their traditional locations. Cue the outdoor venue. Drive-in cinemas may seem like a thing of the past and conjure up images from Grease of John Travolta and Oliva Newton John, but this summer, some cinemas successfully emerged after lockdown by embracing this old-fashioned pastime. Customers were able to social distance while getting a retro cinema experience. Open air theatres and music venues reopened with social distancing, but we also saw a surge in interest from the live entertainment-starved public for less traditional theatres such as the theatre boat – mooring in different locales and putting on performances for an audience on the shore. For theatres that don’t have an outdoor stage at their disposal, there is always the power of the internet with venues across the country including the National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, Blackeyed Theatre, and the Pitlochry Festival Theatre showing many performances online.
We have seen some particularly agile responses from the hospitality industry. During the summer, many restaurants were quickly able to adapt by offering a take-away or delivery only menu. As restrictions eased, restaurants and pubs took advantage of their outdoor space by erecting clear plastic pods allowing households to dine separately from one another. Other restaurants, pubs, and hotels have reimagined themselves as office space, in order to cater to homeworkers looking for venues where they can have small business meetings or simply a place to work that’s not their home. Because they offer food, a table to work from, and reliable WIFI they can boost their income while giving workers a comfortable atmosphere.
A second lockdown is upon us and businesses will continue to adapt in order to survive, whether by figuring out ways to offer cosy, safe outdoor events during the winter or by transitioning to click-and-collect sales. If you’re a small business owner looking to stay flexible and productive during these uncertain times, Ordo is your perfect electronic payment solution. It allows you to send and receive payments no matter where or how you might be working. Ordo helps you track your invoices and bills easily and makes things simple by linking to your accounts in Quickbooks, Sage, and Xero. Try Ordo today and you’ll receive your first 20 Smart Requests for free.