Over the past three weeks we have spoken to lots of people and everyone has been tackling the issues they face in different ways. So we thought we’d bring all this together and share it with you. Some things you may already be doing, other ideas may be something you’d like to try. If you have more suggestions please let us know by email. 

Industry Updates: stay up to date with the latest official advice from Visit Britain

Creating Vouchers – Many businesses already sell gift vouchers but, for those who don’t, consider creating some for customers to buy now. They’re ideal for presents for birthday’s or thank you gifts, and can range from an overnight stay to a cup of coffee and cake. If you have a website, add them to your online store; if you don’t, can you set up a system via email or phone for people to place their orders? Promote these through social media channels, and encourage customers to buy ahead for birthdays and special occasions.

Delivery Options – If customers can’t come to you, can you deliver to customers? Some restaurants and cafes are offering a delivery service on meals to homes and even local B&Bs. Worried they won’t stay warm? Frozen meals are also a great idea, especially for those who are unable to leave the house. If you’re a retailer, can you increase your online offering, or add a little extra such as free gift wrapping.

Pre-orders – If you’re uncertain how high demand will be for events such as Bank Holidays etc. why not set up a pre-order system now. You’ll know stock levels required to fulfil the minimum demand, and customers will want the opportunity to plan ahead and ensure they can still get the treats they want to buy.

Contactless payments – If you’re still open to the public, encourage people to use card payments to minimise cash handling.

Promote neighbouring businesses – Support each other and be kind. Make your street a destination, so people don’t have to travel far to find the supplies they need. Are there other ways you can support one another? Can your delivery driver offer to drop off other businesses products too, to limit how many staff are travelling? Can you combine products together, and offer a more convenient package for the customer?

Offer essential items – If supermarkets are running low on popular items, can you buy something similar from local suppliers to offer customers?

Encourage customers to return – Offer a discount for returning customers. Send an email after a stay or online purchase, or include a leaflet in a takeaway delivery bag offering 10% off their next purchase.

Keep your staff up to date – Make sure your staff know what possibilities are ahead. It’s a difficult time for many people but letting people know all possible outcomes can people plan ahead. Scenario mapping is a useful tool to make sure you’re prepared as possible for all eventualities.

Update your customers – Let your customers know what’s happening too. If you decide to close make sure you put this on social media, along with a note on your door, so customers aren’t making unnecessary journeys.