Reimagining The Hospitality Industry Post Covid
Here we are once again, although it is not quite the same as Lockdown 1.0. In March we were all in it together, it was a complete unknown and there was a collective experience that we shared, and we supported each other through.
Lockdown 2.0 is not this. Too many businesses and individuals have been treated differently depending on where they live and what support they have been able to access. There is a sense of unfairness, jealously and fatigue. It has been 9 months of living with uncertainty and that is a lot for us all to deal with. I feel this right now.
As a consultant who should have the answers to help businesses grow and succeed, the need to project confidence when I have felt anything but at certain times has been challenging.
Social media can be uplifting, but it can also be damaging. The pressure on us to ‘perform’ and show that we are still happy and successful is wearing thin and I believe it is actually damaging to our mental health. It reminds me of how we collectively used to ignore problems instead of talking about them. This is hard right now and we should be free to talk openly about our current situation and share the good and the bad.
With this in mind, I have put together three key areas that I would like you to think about and put into practice.
Regroup, Recharge and Rebound.
I hope these will allow you space and time to acknowledge that 2020 was not what any of us planned and to allow you to plan and reshape your business and our wider industry for a better 2021 and beyond.
As we start week two of this lockdown, whatever your current situation is, give yourself time to work out what is the best financial option for your business. If it makes sense to close and furlough all your staff, do it. If you can open on certain days and not others, then do this. If you need time to work out what you need to do, then give yourself that time and access the flexible furlough scheme that is on offer right now to be able to have that time to plan.
Hopefully, we will be back open in early December, but we still have no idea what we will be returning to after Lockdown. This is normally the busiest time of year for so many businesses, but it is hard to see how that will be so this year. This is temporary. It sucks, but it will improve. If you can see a path forward to be open in December, then spend these next few weeks wisely.
What will your offer look like? What new products or seasonal offers can you put in motion today for your reopen? What training do you or your staff need moving forward? What new suppliers can you reach out to for future relationships? Does Brexit affect any area of your business? If so, what do you need to do to get ready for this?
If you can plan for now and the future, hopefully these actions will allow you to relax a little more, knowing that you are taking control of what you can.
With the long dark days, it is harder to stay upbeat, so taking care of yourself during these next few months is more important than ever. Think of key actions and commitments you can make to yourself that do not revolve around your business, but instead focus on self-care. Things like a daily walk, light and restorative exercise you can do in your home, such as yoga, stretching or mobility. Join the mediation club, just 10 minutes a day or every other day really does help calm your mind.
I have found speaking to like-minded industry people has been so helpful during these difficult few months. Speaking and hearing from other business owners or those working in the same industry has both given me hope, but also acknowledgment that we are all in this together. Sharing your struggles and successes can be so helpful not only for yourself but for others too. It makes problem solving easier and you never know where a conversation will take you. (Insert BT moto here 😊)
This is hopefully the fun bit. When we no longer have to talk about Covid and we live in a future where we can be near people again.
What do you want your business to look like? What are the areas you want to improve? What lessons can we take from this traumatic experience that will enhance our working life and those that work with us?
It is my hope that we look to the future with a newfound respect for life and that we work towards rebalancing our lives and businesses so we can positively impact our communities.
The Hospitality industry is going to look very different in 2021. There has been a shift of mindset in the consumer and businesses will need deliver to these new desires.
Community, local, collaborative, comfort and quality are a few key phrases that come to mind. What do you offer that will make you stand out from your competition? What can you bring in that will not only add value to your customers, but will also increase sales?
I am sure the future of the 9-5 office job is going to look very different, with a hybrid, flexible approach to working, which is exciting. It will allow people to live and work in their communities, which in turn will bring greater and new opportunities to future entrepreneurs.
The future is uncertain, but taking charge of key areas will help give you focus and allow you to chart a way forward.