As you can imagine we've had a lot customers asking us for advice on how to best manage their business while the lockdown on the hospitality industry continues. In light of this, we've put together some pointers below you might want to consider for your business.
Add a notice to your website
Let your customers know how you are functioning during the Coronavirus pandemic. Many businesses have closed their doors, but some continue to trade with a temporary takeaway or delivery service. Be sure to attach your phone number and a link where they can order online if you are still open for business!
Utilise Social Media
It is important to communicate regularly with your customers, keeping them engaged and as informed as possible. There is no better way of doing this right now than with regular social media posts! A lot of people have spare time on their hands at the moment and are probably using social media more than ever before!
My favourite pub runs a regular Wednesday night Pub Quiz, they now using social media to keep their customers engaged by running the quiz through Instagram Live on Wednesday nights - maybe your venue can do something similar?
Think - Live Quarantine-cook-a-longs with your chef, maybe a sommelier class or intro to your wine selection, perhaps a cocktail making class with your best bartender... Whatever it may be, get your customers taste buds tingling and them eager to buy vouchers, purchase a takeaway or get back into your venue as soon as you re-open!
Adding an online service
Consider if there are ways you're able to continue selling your products and services. If you are a cafe, could you start selling artisan coffee beans or flavoured teas? If you are a bakery can you offer personalised cake's and bakes? If you are a restaurant could you offer a takeaway/delivery service by phone or online ordering?
As you will have read above, make sure this is clearly communicated to your customer base via your website and social media outlets!
Applying for Support
There are a wide range of support options being offered by the UK ranging from grants to loans offering attractive terms. There is also support to furlough staff with the government covering up to 80% of their salaries.
Here are some links with more information. There may be some blind spots in the support currently offered but we know people who have started to benefit from these schemes already.
Adding Live chat
If your customers tend to call you but you're working from home without access to your office phones consider adding a live chat to your website. There are a number of services to choose from, most are pretty easy to put in place and either free or low cost to use. Some examples could be Olark, which has a free tier and most find it quite easy to use but there are others such as LiveChat, Purechat etc. A simple Google search will bring up plenty of options to choose from.
Upgrade your POS System ready for re-opening
We know it's difficult to find time to research ways to improve your business when business is booming and your day to day is busy. So whilst the doors are closed there couldn't be a better time to take stock of your business and identify area's where you can save money and become more profitable going forwards!
At SPARK we're transforming how Point Of Sale is used in the industry because your POS system should be an asset to your business and an intelligent money maker, not just a cash counter with basic functions!
The SPARK EPoS system has proven to boost sales and productivity, reduce costs and increase profit as well as returning customers for businesses through its industry leading functionality. As a result we've had a great deal of success with our customers across all reaches of the hospitality industry.
If you'd like to learn a little more about what we can do for your business you can schedule an online demo or meeting with our team here.