Thousands of Irish businesses have found themselves in a state of flux during the pandemic. Some have ceased trading; others are struggling and sadly few are thriving.
The crisis has hit certain sectors more than others. Essential services such as food shops, pharmacies and petrol stations remain open, yet they have to adjust. Whilst other industries such as bars, hotels, hairdressers and gyms have all had to close their doors.
With so many businesses affected and forced into hibernation, many have had to think survival strategies.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a number of very clever and innovative ideas. They truly are inspirational and definitely worth sharing.
A change of plan by Box Burger - Many restaurants have developed a complete take-out business. Furniture has been removed and workers are now delivering food to households. Some companies have taken it a step further where you can order their famous dishes online to make at home. One example includes Box Burger in Dublin, who will send you a box containing the various ingredients. Then you get to have fun recreating the magic in your own home.
New ways of doing things with McCauley Pharmacy - the well known chemist McCauley Pharmacy recently launched a very innovative approach for submitting prescriptions. The new prescription ordering app was created for vulnerable people and those in isolation, so they are not left without essential medication. In 7 steps, customers can easily upload their prescription (or phone in their order) and staff will deliver free of charge.
Newmarket Kitchen pulled together - It’s great to see how small businesses are pulling together to combat the crisis. Newmarket Kitchen in Bray is a prime example. The business was initially set up as a shared kitchen facility for up and coming food producers who distribute their products to various shops, restaurants, hotels nationwide. Now the 17 independent residents are making ready-made meals which they sell to local shops and as a takeaway and delivery business across South Dublin and North Wicklow.
Ministry of Makers reinvent themselves – There are several examples here, including the creative events company “Ministry of Makers” who came together as a group of designers and makers to create “Prop me up”. The crew are using their workshop and skills to produce quick to assemble pop up desks and other concepts for remote working and home schooling, as well as screens for retail.
Rod's Kitchen giving back - Finally, whilst many businesses have had to lay off staff and cut back on costs; they’re also using it as an opportunity to give back. One uplifting company featured on RTE’s “Ireland on Call” is the Tallaght based catering company Rod’s kitchen. With a kitchen at his disposal, the owner and his two brothers persuaded local businesses to donate money to feed the staff of TUH at weekends (when the canteen is closed). This guy deserves the recognition and good-will when he reopens his business.
It may be some time before life gets back to normal be. In the meantime, I believe businesses like these demonstrate great resilience, hope and inspiration. They have also taught me that we need to innovate and adapt to our new surroundings in order to keep moving.
As a professional soft skills trainer and business owner like many others, I too have had to embrace the challenges of growth and change. I am delighted to say, I have moved a number of my training courses online - sales, communication, personal development and customer service. Details to follow very soon!