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What could the pandemic teach about the hidden truth of entrepreneurship?

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown legislation provides one example of political external factors causing changes for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The widespread disruption is likely to continue in some form for many years. With flexible working, online ordering, lockdowns, vaccinations and travel restrictions becoming the norm rather than the exception.

The hospitality world quickly came to terms with how they could continue operating alongside the virus while maintaining some sense of normality.

Hospitality hardest hit by Covid-19 political external lockdown factor

The physical brick and mortar hospitality businesses were hit the hardest. The combination of lockdowns, high-street closures, empty streets and lack of customers during the height of the pandemic damaged businesses.

Various countries approached restrictions in slightly different ways, but the outcome for hospitality was very similar for the countries that were hardest hit by the pandemic.

The hospitality sector responded quickly. This provides examples of how flexibility within the industry helped save businesses, livelihoods and jobs.

Business flexibility demonstrated following Covid-19 pandemic

The challenges for brick and mortar retailers and other physical stores caused a lot of pain and heartache for many small businesses.

When the regional lockdowns and curfews started, there was a need for businesses to make changes to stay open when everyone came back to the high-streets.

Depending on the country’s response to Covid. Business owners tried many options to keep their business going:

  • Taking advantage of government subsidies

  • Turning your attention to online customers

  • Reducing hours of staff members

  • Finding additional products/services for your customers

  • Using outdoor drinking/dining as means to keep going

The hospitality industry moved with the times and political external pressures. They changed the mix of their products and services, upgraded their online presence, offered delivery options, served customers in their cars, opened their car parks to service, changed menus and found more reliable suppliers alongside other changes.

The ending of lockdowns and curfews is likely to increase the customers visiting brick and mortar locations and also provide additional sales through online, mobile or remote based services.

Physical products and services alongside remotely delivered products and services. Provides hospitality businesses with a great revenue source, which they may not have had before the pandemic.

Flexible entrepreneurs and business owners

Although, the pandemic was unpredictable for many entrepreneurs and businesses. The need to change the nature of their business was necessary and this flexibility to make changes to the business based on external pressure means some business took advantage of the changes and thrived.

Entrepreneurial flexibility

Using the hospitality industry as an example of external factors causing a big unforeseen business change. If you had to change your business it might be useful to think about some of the following questions:

  • Could you change how your provide your service to your customers?

  • Could you provide the service in a different way?

  • Could you provide a different way for your customers to use your product or service?

  • Could you communicate and meet your customers online or offline to get their opinion on your product or service?

  • If you’re physical only, could you attract more customers to your business with an online presence (or vice versa)?

Business consultants may refer to organisational change as the reason for businesses changing how they work. However, entrepreneurial flexibility is the reason small hospitality businesses exist before, during and will continue to exist following the pandemic.

Did you learn from the hospitality business response to the global pandemic? If you’re an hospitality entrepreneur would you do anything differently? Either way, share your thoughts on how any of the examples could apply for your business or across other industries and political external factors, such as lockdowns..

Good luck!

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