Updated: Jan 30
Running a business can be tough at the best of times. Running a business during a global pandemic? Well, nobody expected that.
'Unprecedented times', a now overused phrase seemingly capable of striking fear into the hearts of any small (or big!) business owner but what if these 'unprecedented times' was a phrase to be celebrated, a light at the end of a pandemic-ridden tunnel.
We asked members of the Local Business Rocks community how they have not only navigated this confusing time but how they are managing to thrive. We also asked members who in the community has inspired them throughout these times and wow, there was a lot of love.
Planning for a pandemic
For several Local Business Rocks members, temporarily closing down certainly hasn't meant slowing down. Although inconvenient, business owners have had the opportunity to make improvements to current systems and processes.
Pretty Old and Interesting, an antique store in Staunton, have managed to adapt and offer postal services on all items bought that meet certain size restrictions. Taking the time to change opening hours and appointments to members of the public - helping those who might not be able to otherwise pop into the shop, whilst helping staff to maintain a better work-life balance, win-win!
Pretty Old and Interesting have also been forced to look for new auctions further afield due to lockdowns. Annoying? Or an opportunity to create new networks!
Debbie from Pretty Old and Interesting summed up their experience, saying,
"Overall the lockdown has felt like it has given us time to restrategize and refocus, which has been a good thing.
"We have been very grateful for those that have continued to support us and meant that we are still able to continue trading when other businesses have not been so fortunate."
What happens when your business relies on being up close and personal? Say... a close-up magician?
Local entertainer, Kerry Scorah, really pulled the rabbit out of the hat and managed to make magic during the lockdown by making her act suitable for online performances (and continuing to cheer everyone up!).
Ever the people person, Kerry celebrated other members of the community, saying,
"In all honesty, I would love to shout out to you all because we have all faced this with dignity and we have all shown we can think on our feet and pivot in ways we never imagined."
"To those that had to pivot, I salute you, to those who have been rushed off their feet with their business I am so pleased for you. And to those that have ploughed on and got this far I absolutely admire you!"
Pandemic Personal Development
Want to get noticed? Get online. That's exactly what style coach, Adele Mitchell has done during the lockdown. She's taken the time to work on her online skills, and providing gorgeous content in her social media posts and newsletters.
She's not just been smashing the written content, she's been working on her videos and still managing to work with other Local Business Rocks members to help them feel refreshed and ready to take on challenges during this difficult time.
Hot Tub No Time Machine
With some sources suggesting that there has been an over 1000% increase in demand for hot tubs, purveyors of perfect bubbles and relaxation Hot Tubs Rock in Lydney has used their reputation for fantastic customer service and no-nonsense communications to fight off the competition and succeed this year.
The UK lockdown has also allowed them to start further future-proofing their business. Angharad from Hot Tubs Rock explained that,
“COVID has been the stepping stone we have needed to drive our business forward. Taking on staff is a huge commitment and a leap that we had been struggling to make. The increased volume of sales and hires means that we have been able to create jobs with confidence. We have used this opportunity to expand our premises and are in the process of building a retail section to give us stability moving forward after this boom has died down.”
So although there’s been a lot of it, thankfully it isn’t all doom and gloom. We believe that this is proof that with some persistence and hard work, businesses with the right support can survive almost anything.
The best thing about these Corona comebacks? When we asked our members for tales of their success during these strange times, most decided to shout-out their friends and peers. So, if you're looking for a close-knit, collaborative community, look no further and find out why you should join Local Business Rocks here.
Author: Liz Hinds