In the winter of this year we were all in blissful ignorance of what was about to descend upon us. Sales and enquiries were good, houses were being built and we were all relatively happy. Then came COVID-19 lockdown and, like every industry, everything changed. Despite the very challenging and tough few months every kitchen business has faced, we, at Kitchens International, have put together eight steps to survival which applies to many interior businesses:
- Human interaction is, and will continue for some while, to be much diminished so look at developing online design portals, and Zoom or online face-to-face designer to client calls.
- Keep your brand alive. Social media has grown in usage by over 50% since lockdown so capitalise on this by posting inspirational posts of designs, activities and light relief.
- Communicate – keep in touch with clients, potential clients and suppliers as in these vulnerable times people will remember the companies and organisations who have gone that extra mile in reaching out to them.
- Website – ensure your website is up-to-date with good recent photographs, links and information.
- Ensure all showrooms and offices are ready for clients with floor markings, PPE, sanitisers, cleaning and signage.
- Ensure all members of staff have completed online Covid19 guidance and training courses so that every team member is fully versed with the new protocol.
- Training – ensure furloughed staff are undertaking training and CPD so they will be even better at their job while this time is quiet.
- Take time to revise operating procedures so that they include how to work post Covid19.
Kitchens International Brand Director Paul O’Brien said: “This pandemic has thrown business on its head and is and will be challenging for most businesses. However, with careful and thorough planning and communication we hope that many businesses will get through it and will all be stronger at the end.”