10 Tips for Looking Ahead
As Featured in BII News – Autumn 2020 edition
As another lockdown looms and furlough draws to a close, many businesses face an uncertain future. Whatever situation you’re facing, now is the time to draw a breath and look ahead with a fresh pair of eyes.
In truth, operators ought to review everything: suppliers, products, staff, contracts, social media etc. It’s a mammoth task, so our consultants share their 10 top tips below to help you look ahead and get through the coming months:
Don’t look back in exasperation
The pre-COVID world is no more, we have to deal with the present. Forget “like for likes” and concentrate on improving revenue and profits week by week. The only like for likes to consider are those in 12-18 months’ time.
Prepare for lockdown II
Spend time keeping track of the trade press; knowledge is power. Plan how you would handle staff and customer communications if a local lockdown were to affect you. Make sure you get your close down stock count before, during and after you close shop.
Take your staff with you
Be honest with them about the challenges ahead. If a staff member feels they are playing a part in the survival and growth of your business, they will engage more than ever before.
Be better at what you do best
Ensure customers come back for your key offer. This is not the time to be changing lanes. Provide the products and service that people want and they’ll not only come back, they’ll tell others to visit too.
Be professional, safe and secure
Customers will be nervous for some time to come. First impressions, even for returning customers, should be that your venue is safe, secure and professionally managed. Visit other similar businesses to learn best (and worst) practices.
Don’t judge yourself too harshly
In this harsh environment you’ll likely need to make some incredibly difficult decisions, which may even go against your usual principles. You have to be willing to be ruthless to allow your business to survive.
Bring your customers on the journey
Build on the relationships of the past and use social media to keep everybody aware of new developments. Loyal customers will try do their bit to help you keep your doors open.
Set operating standards
Protecting the stock and revenue of your business is key to surviving. That means setting good ‘Standard Operating Procedures’, especially when it comes to cash controls. If you’re responsible for a number of sites, it can pay to introduce third party compliance auditing as a tool for monitoring standards.
Keep money off the shelves
Regulate spending and know what you have in stock to ensure your cash flow is robust. Controlling stock volume is key. You can read more about it in our article on Controlling Stock Volume in uncertain times and get tips on how to forecast for the months ahead.
Take your business temperature regularly
Keep a close eye on your business performance and cash flow forecasts updated to reduce surprises. Also continue to set yourself goals, review what hurdles cropped up, how you dealt with them and how far off you were.
Get the support you need
Venners Lockdown services
Do you need any support with getting through the coming months? Venners provide stocktaking, compliance and consultancy services to the hospitality industry. As Scotland has already gone into its second lockdown for hospitality and England has introduced its 3 tier system, our lockdown services are essential for businesses to minimise losses, uncertainties and frustrations. Find out more here. Alternatively, contact us directly via the form on this page and let’s discuss your current challenges and how we can help.