Many companies had to close down either due to their business model suddenly becoming unsustainable or due to lack of operating funds or other similar troubles. Businesses that didn’t rely on face-to-face interactions with customers so much or had the foresight to consult good financial professionals like these London accountants on how best to weather the storm managed to fare a bit better. Unfortunately, even they’re not out of the woods yet.
With Lockdown 2.0 in full swing across the country, businesses are going to face even greater challenges. However, there are certain types of companies that are better equipped to pull through this crisis, and maybe even make it to the other side stronger than ever. Which ones could those be?
Companies With a Good Online Store
Even before the pandemic hit, giving your customers more options to gain access to your products was beneficial for businesses of all stripes. Now that lockdown is the norm, social distancing is encouraged and moving around is frowned upon, having an online store has become much more than just useful. It’s nearly mandatory for the well-being of a company.
There are many ways to go about using an online store – you may adopt the order-and-pickup method of sales, deliver products to the customer yourself or use some sort of middleman to get your goods to the consumer. Our current predicament has created a fertile breeding ground for some quite bizarre business practices. You wouldn’t normally expect to hear about a “web-based pie shop,” but some companies are making such things work for them, and are coming out stronger for it.
Having an online store has become much more than just useful – it’s nearly mandatory for the well-being of a company.
The impact an online store has on your cash flow under the current set of circumstances can’t be understated – and as any good accountant will tell you, maintaining a healthy cash flow is paramount in a time of crisis.
Companies That Focus Their Efforts on Online Marketing
With everyone having buttoned down the hatches and waiting for the current wave of coronavirus to blow over, most people spend an inordinate amount of time online. With this in mind, it should be obvious where companies need to focus their efforts.
The effects of a good marketing campaign on your business’ bottom line can be profound and instantly noticeable. This is why accountants recommend that companies consider investing some resources in that particular promotional avenue.
Food Delivery Businesses
Lockdowns have hit the hospitality industry hard – but just because restaurants have been closed until further notice doesn’t mean that they’re out of commission. The demand for their goods has not diminished, which means that businesses that offer food deliveries of all types are now in a good position to cater to the same, or even a larger customer base.
Meal kits and food box subscriptions are now more sought after than ever, which puts companies offering such services in a very favorable position. As long as they can make it work and balance their books correctly, they can make a pretty penny out of this whole mess.
While it is true that the current lockdown isn’t as strict as the previous one, the fact remains that the whole country is facing a level of unemployment that’s unprecedented for about twelve years now. Experts seem to think that this state of affairs is going to get worse before it gets better. Which means that a huge amount of people are going to end up with no work on their schedule, or working from home at a reduced pace. This means that a lot of people are going to have to look for ways to be productive at home, and many of them are going to attend some sort or course to try and learn new relevant skills.
With e-learning becoming part and parcel of the new normal, companies that specialized in it are already flourishing. However, due to the tremendous demand for quality online courses, the marker is still not oversaturated with companies that supply that particular type of service. This means that even upstarts can still get in on the action, and keep up the momentum even when the lockdowns are lifted.
Companies that offer DIY and Gardening Goods
Speaking of ways to make the downtime worthwhile, in a not entirely unexpected turn of events, the demand for gardening and DIY supplies has gone through the roof ever since these types of activities became preferable to social gatherings. A lot of people that can make it work have picked up gardening as their hobby of choice. Now that pubs, restaurants, gambling halls and entertainment venues are closed, a lot more people have also picked up DIY crafts as a pastile, or even as a part or full-time job.
The demand for coaching on these subjects, as well as the supplies necessary for practicing these skills, is going to prove very lucrative for companies that specialize in that sort of thing. The only real concern here is that these activities may become less prevalent when the lockdowns lift once more and social activities resume once more. Companies would do well to consider their business plan very carefully and maybe think about consulting an accountant about improving it or diversifying their portfolio.
Hobby Product Companies
Same as gardening and DIY, companies that provide products related to other hobby activities are in a good position to make a profit both during the lockdowns and after the restrictions are eventually lifted. A lot of people have used this downtime as a good excuse to get back to their old hobbies or get into new ones.
Hobby products include a vast variety of goods – anything from books, to toys, to arts and crafts supplies to video games. Those have always been in demand, but now that social gatherings are restricted, they’re even more sought after, even though they’re technically classified as “non-essential.” While some people may have less time to devote to these particular leisure activities once things get back to normal, a lot of people will not just drop their favorite pastime immediately.
In this regard, the lockdowns represent a perfect opportunity for hobby companies to build up a loyal customer base that would stick by them even after the crisis is over. Brand loyalty built during turbulent times may just be the thing that pushes your business to success when the storm clears. This is why both marketing experts and accountants recommend investing in it at this time.
Hasib Howlader is the founder of the London accountants Howlader & co. He is a licensed insolvency practitioner, chartered accountant, and chartered tax adviser. He has a wealth of experience in all financial matters, having cut his teeth at both UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers before moving to direct his own Chartered Accountancy practice where he has overseen exceptional business development.