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Will trade ever come back?

Will trade ever come back?

Feeling unsure, about the future of your business? You are not alone, I’ve spoken with many businesses this past week and there is an overwhelming amount of fear and uncertainty. As we begin to emerge from Covid 19 lockdown and step tentatively back into what will be a very different business reality, we hear the views of some real-life retailers…

“Many businesses are starting to go back to work, but don’t seem to know what to do in order to gain customers confidence,” said Peter T. “When it comes to healthcare, a large proportion of the audience will have concerns about venturing into a shop because of their conditions. That’s where the retailers need to put themselves into the shoes of that customer and ask ‘What would it take to make me feel comfortable about visiting the shop?’ What have you done to make it safe for your customers, your teams and your business? Tell them how to buy safely from you and make it clear how to do so.”

“After forty years in business, David (a hands-on clinician) rung me and said that he couldn’t see his business coming back,” said David H. He said that the costs of not being open were crippling him and saw no option other than to close up. I asked him if that was what he wanted to do – to which he said: ‘No I’m not ready to retire.’’ I then asked him if he had received his grant money, ‘What grant money?’ he replied, ‘I didn’t think I was eligible.’

I was always told ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ and that would help you through the recovery. But what about patients, they will still have a need for your service. They will delay in doing anything about it with you if they don’t feel safe to do so.”

“There’s almost a lethargy amongst some businesses,” said Steve. “Because the furlough scheme has taken the pressure off. They’ve just literally shut the doors and said call me when it’s over. However, they are now starting to realise that it’s not going away easily and they have to do something.”

It’s a confusing time. We all accept that it will take time for any sort of normality to return but what is undeniable is that we will have to adapt. Businesses that have done that during lockdown are thriving, so now it’s time for everyone to sit down and work out how they’re going to move their own business forward.

For a little inspiration, head to https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/assets/docs/working-safely-guide.pdf to find lots of working examples of people going back to work, plus information about how to proceed.

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