Coming out the Other Side of a Second Lockdown

By smei

Posted 13/11/20

As the UK heads towards the end of 2020, most small business owners will be glad to see the back of this year.

It is estimated that 6 million UK small businesses, supporting 16.6 million jobs, are in a precarious position1 due to the pandemic. As we make our way through the UK’s second lockdown, business experts predict that one-fifth of2 small businesses will not come out the other side.

The hospitality trade has undoubtedly been one of the professions hit the hardest. Last month 25,0003 premises were unable to operate – and that was before the November lockdown was implemented.

For those who are still operating, there are several ways you can adapt, regroup, and get through the rocky months into what will, hopefully, be a better 2021.


Ask most restaurants what they have done this year, and you can bet training will be on the list. The downtime that has been enforced upon teams across Britain has been put to great use by many small business owners, who have invested in improving their skill sets and getting ready for reopening with new and even better ideas.


It’s always good for businesses to reassess their operation and look at how they can be more creative. This is a great time to get your whole team together to look at how you can use technology, adapt your products, work within your community, so that you can set yourself apart from your competition.


In March this year, 60% of 18-34 year4 olds said they had already increased their use of food delivery services because of Covid – and 26% intended to. If your food business is not already delivering, setting up a takeaway service is something to look into: the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats can make this possible for you. It depends entirely on your offering: Wood5 restaurant in Manchester offers customers the chance to have top quality ingredients and sauces, all prepared and ready to be put in the oven at home. High street independent café Gran T’s6 meanwhile, delivered afternoon teas.


Now is a good time to look at your marketing – does your website need a refresh? Could you focus on your social media to build a bigger audience and engage with new people? Can you promote your news to your local press to raise awareness of your team and your new services? All these things will stand you in good stead for when you reopen fully as you will have more potential customers aware of your offering.

Getting Ready to Reopen

The long-term aim will be to get back into a profit-making situation, but the short-term goal has to be immediate footfall. Plan promotions that can bring your customers back into your premises – many might still be nervous, so your communication needs to reassure them that you are doing everything to provide them with a good, safe, experience.

Two for one offers, family deals, wine free with the meal, are all worth considering if they are within your reach. Consider partnering with other local outfits that complement your offering; work with a florist to offer anniversary or birthday packages, set up special socially distant evenings with wine experts or cocktail makers.

There are reasons to be optimistic: there is talk of a vaccine, the general population has an appetite to return to some sort of normal as soon as it is safe, and one of the first things people will want to do is head out and have fun with their loved ones.

The challenge is to try and get through these next few months to hopefully come out the other side - with a fully trained up team bursting with new ideas and new customers.

If you are looking for financial support because of lockdown, the government has outlined some options here.



Posted 13/11/20

Author: smei

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