Unusual opportunities for businesses during lockdown

Author
Dakota Murphey
Business Growth Consultant
11th May 2020

Lockdown has created a huge range of challenges for business of all sizes. Those that do not qualify as essential businesses may have been forced to close their premises, and others that can stay open face a completely changed economic landscape which they are trying to survive in. But it is important to remember that just as there are real challenges, there are also fantastic opportunities. 

Here we take a look at some of the unusual opportunities that lockdown has actually created for businesses. They may be an ideal way for your company to survive and thrive in these uncertain times. 

Relaxed rules and regulations

The government understands that lockdown has created real challenges for businesses, and it is trying to do things to create further opportunities. This has led to a number of laws being lifted or relaxed to make it easier for businesses to survive.

For example, if your company currently sells food and drink but cannot open due to lockdown rules, there is good news that licencing laws have been relaxed in order to allow pubs and restaurants to offer takeaway food and drink. This is one of many measures brought in to make things easier for small businesses.

Freshen things up

If your business can’t open its premises currently then why not use this opportunity when it is completely empty? Now is the ideal time to carry out a little work on the interior and exterior of the places - add a coat of paint, install new lighting, or completely redecorate. In any case, this will add to the value of the property, impress staff when they return and make your place of work far more inviting for any visitors.

Make big upgrades to your facilities

Whilst it can be very valuable to use this time to redecorate, it’s also a great idea to think bigger. What are the projects that you have been putting off because having them carried out would be hugely disruptive to staff and the normal running of your operation? Most businesses will have a list of these and now could be the ideal time to get them carried out, as there will be no-one there to disrupt. 

Many buildings maintenance companies are still able to install facilities such as air conditioning while maintaining safe working practice and social distancing. And there may even be tasks you can be carried out by individuals such as fire alarm installation. 

Invest in your online store

If you have always focused on your bricks and mortar business, now could be the perfect time to invest in selling online. If you can’t currently open your store it is a great way to keep things ticking over, and potentially open up a new avenue for you to really thrive in. 

Many businesses have never expanded into the online space because they don’t have the time or they think it is too complex. But having the downtime available in lockdown gives business owners the chance to sort out any kinks and try it out. 

Explore new ways of working

Lockdown has forced many people to work from home when they may not have experienced it before. And this is just one example of new ways of working that businesses are being forced to explore in order to stay within the guidelines of lockdown.

Whilst it can create challenges (and some appear to be struggling with the issues of WFH), being forced to change up ways of working can lead to an innovative new practice that can impact businesses significantly. 

Business grants

The government understands that these are unprecedented times and has introduced measures in order to help companies cope. One of these is the opportunity to apply for a business grant, which can potentially make it easier for a business to remain solvent so that they can push through these tough times.

This won’t solve the problems of lockdown, but it does provide an opportunity that businesses can take advantage of if they are struggling. 

Broaden your offerings

Now is a great time to really examine the market and establish what your business can offer to the community that could help during this time. Many retail companies have been able to rejig their offerings in order to supply essential goods when they were harder to come by. And as times goes on, other possibilities will arise too.

It is up to businesses to be ready to be fluid and flexible in order to offer customers exactly what they need.

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