To see a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel in this current environment is somewhat difficult for most. The light is extinguished for many small business owners who have found it too difficult to remain solvent. This heartbreaking reality extends well beyond the financial aspect with mental health the silent assassin.
For those that are lucky enough to have survived or even thrived during these lock-downs, the question becomes one of how do trade and exist in the next phase? With staff returning to work, customers returning to shops and businesses and offices slowly reopening, a new way of working becomes prevalent. Not only do we need to relearn social skills and business acumen, but training staff to adapt to new rules, social distancing in the workspace, vaxxed or not vaxxed-decisions, etc etc.
The requirement to maximise the efficiency and output of those returning to work is dependent upon the engagement coefficient and the education, training and assistance provided. This is a new world and people’s buying patterns have and will continue to change. Their attitudes towards others will change and interaction will vary depending on perceived perceptions of public safety.
An interesting variable will be customers habits. Will the reliance on online shopping continue at the frenetic pace it currently has, where delivery services are stretched to their limits? Or will the need for tactile sensory desire allure them back to bricks and mortar? My thought is a bit of both; the convenience of online will remain and similarly the lure of seeing, feeling, touching, smelling and talking with a human being will return.
Either way, customers, staff or workers free of Covid-restrictions will embrace the freedoms gained and fulfill the need to interact with others on a more in depth and personal level. The hardest part of the isolation for most individuals is loneliness. So when they are allowed their escapes, the businesses that usually entertain hordes of revelers that are currently closed, will explode with bookings and requests – subject to limits and directives.
Hopefully with higher double doses and reduced cases, we are primed to begin the new recovery where the financial windfalls can be on those who have struggled most recently. At Casper’s Pies & Pastries, we have been fortunate enough to trade throughout the lock downs, albeit with a level of uncertainty. Some customers have thrived, whilst others have reduced or even closed permanently. There is a direct correlation for our business on easing of restrictions and increases in sales. So we are training our staff to prepare for the new onslaught in the coming weeks and months as our now-dormant customers reawaken.