Don’t know about you, but it feels a little like we’ve entered an alternate universe recently. Much of Australia and all of New Zealand are in lockdown because of Covid-19, with even tougher measures being called for. Industries that were thriving only a couple of weeks/months ago – travel, conferencing, beauty, gyms, restaurants, have now been declared ‘closed until further notice’. Whilst others have been elevated to the status of ‘essential services’ – even in the toughest level of NZ’s restrictions.
As a shipping and logistics business, Coghlan is pretty blessed to have been elevated to an essential business – which means that we can keep our doors open, necessary workers on-site – observing social/physical distancing of course, delivering what Australia needs to keep them (and their pets) as happy, comfortable, sane and healthy as possible until the world recovers from this virus.
The weirdness of the past couple of weeks got us all thinking about how best to approach things over the next however long.
Covid-19 is not all doom and gloom – this too shall pass
Sure, it’s a tough time for a lot of people – especially if you’re a business owner. A lot of retail businesses are shutting their doors and focusing completely on online sales in order to keep their businesses alive. However, for those businesses that have always been online-centric, the fallout from Covid-19 might just shift the way Australia shops even further in favour of e-tail (just like we might see a huge shift to people working from home moving forward) even once the lockdowns are over. So now is the time to make hay, even if it feels like the sun isn’t actually shining.
At some point, businesses will resume regular programming, but what we all do now is likely to make a big difference moving forward.
Depending on what kind of business they have, some of our clients have seen things slow down, some are keeping on keeping on business as usual and many are going gang-busters.
But regardless of what’s happening for you at this very minute, the most important thing you can do is communicate with your customers. Tell them how you’re doing business Covid-style. Check in on them too. Maybe provide them with some light relief amidst the day’s heavy news. Whilst they might not be looking for your product/service right now, they will at some point or someone they know might be looking sooner rather than later. If you stay in touch, in a consistent but not pushy or desperate way, they’re more likely to remember you when the time is right. Make sure you stay in touch.
This Covid-19 crisis might be the time to pivot
If your business is slower than you might like now or over the coming weeks, rather than ‘waiting it out’, think about how you can pivot your business. We’ve seen all sorts of pivots like distillers making sanitiser, conference producers creating online events, food purveyors focusing completely on home delivery – even Woolworths changing their delivery systems – possibly for the better in the long run, despite the short-term pain. Think how you can better tap into what people need now and find a way to do that. Maybe that’s a collaboration with someone else or chasing down new products/suppliers.
You know how you’ve always said I’ll get to that (whatever your ‘that’ is) when things slow down. Now might be the only chance you get. Make the most of that opportunity to get through your ‘round-to-it’ to-do list.
Planning for downtime
Experts have said that we’re all likely to get Covid-19 at some point. Granted, most of us will all only get a light dusting of the virus, but even a light dusting might make us truly miserable and take us out of our regular lives for a couple of weeks. Plus, if you work from home, it won’t be like you can have anyone else come in to fulfil your orders – you and your home will be locked down.
So now, whilst infections are still reasonably contained, might be a great time to think about what would happen to your business if you couldn’t work in it for an extended time period (whatever the reason). Now might be a good time to think about outsourcing your fulfilment and shipping.
Just in case you’re thinking well “what’s the difference if we’re all going to get it?”. Let’s just say, it’s about scale. At Coghlan, we’ve got significant infection control and social distancing measures already in place. But, more importantly, that scale means if any of us go down, someone else on the team can step up and things keep going. It’s what we do.
Aside from being in a lockdown situation, if you’re experiencing any kind of growth and you want to ride that wave, you’ll likely want to focus on your customers, not packing and shipping. You’ll want to work on your business, not in it.
And that’s where we can help. If you want to take the burden of fulfilment, picking and packing, returns, etc, off your plate so that you can feel assured it will continue on regardless and focus on your business, we’d love to chat. Feel free to get in touch via the form below.