"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."
If there's one most important lesson I have learnt in my 46+ years of working in employed and self-employed capacities, it's the need to have and demonstrate a positive mental attitude and total belief in what you can achieve in life...no matter what the challenges. That may, in the current climate, sound like a churlish claim, but Henry Ford's quotation above is bang-on accurate. If you believe your business can not only survive this COVID-19 debacle but thrive as a result, then you will succeed (I'm not saying it is easy, I'm saying it is distinctly possible). When your mental state is totally positive you will and do find a way. If you're going to re-open your business merely with a chunk of doubt, maybe a few crossed-fingers, hope and worry, then you are increasing the odds of failure.
Why do I state this and why am I so certain about my claims? When people are in a positive mental state to achieve something they look at the positives surrounding the challenges and they build on those positive aspects in order to draw on their creativity and ingenuity. Nothing holds them back for finding a way to 'make it work'. They look to eradicate the negatives that are so damaging and that can bring them down. What successful entrepreneurs do is... they engage the 'can do mentality' and not the 'can't do failure mentality'. The take positive action. Successful people don't sit back and ponder the 'what ifs' - they take action and achieve something positive, even if it is a small task. That achievement immediately drives them on to do it again, in order to repeat that feeling of satisfaction and progress. They feel they are achieving something. (It's akin to tackling a big overgrown garden. You cut the lawns and already the garden is starting to look better. You weed a bed and it's now looking even better. It drives you forward.)
Let's take a look at some typical examples:
Restaurant never previously undertaken 'takeaway for delivery/collection' adapts it's business during lock-down to offer 'takeaway services'. These takeaway services extend to other areas of food and drink, and maybe shopping for those who can't get out. Of course it needs to be economically worth while but there are some restaurants which have undertaken this very successfully.
A cafe after lock-down has restricted covers (seating), perhaps to the extent 50% capacity...can they offer or increase more takeaway trade? Can they branch out and sell say frozen meals that can either be popped in the freezer when the buyer gets home or in the oven depending upon when they need to...? Can the cafe develop and sell their own range of sauces, spices or team up with a local producer who previously hasn't sold in your area? If you have limited covers can you place a time restriction on the table to turn over the table two or three times in a specific period? How can you make your business life easier without investing huge amounts in systems and equipment? Are you spending unnecessary time taking orders and payment over the telephone manually and writing on pads of paper when you could be receiving them online and paid in advance? But those systems cost don't they? No. Not all systems cost. There are free systems available and my smart clients use them. Check out restaurantstrategies.net - there are some details there. Much of this is about thinking outside the box. Drawing on your creative capability...what can you offer that a cafe down the road can't offer? How can you work together? Is there an opportunity for you to work together and use each other's strengths?
Nobody says this is going to be easy - it will be damned hard work, but it also creates opportunities. Think about your menu, maybe reduce the offerings and plan it so you create less waste, or in such a way that you can freeze food down into portions and offer it out as a takeaway. Maximise your positives and drive away the negatives.
If any business wishes to bounce ideas off us here at Taste Swansea then we are always here to listen and offer advice. Just drop us a line.