Franchise Perspectives: Why the 2020 Holiday Season Could Actually Be Good for Your Business

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Lots of business owners are wondering how to navigate the 2020 holiday season. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many challenges throughout the year, but we believe there’s cause to be optimistic this Christmas.

Running a successful business during the holidays will always involve a lot of hard work, but this year there are new avenues to pursue when it comes to boosting revenue. Here’s why the 2020 holiday season could actually be good for your business. 

Reasons to be optimistic for Christmas 2020 

1. Businesses now have a much stronger relationship with technology

If you haven’t launched a mobile-optimised website, focused on social media engagement and investigated cloud-based software by now, you’ve missed a trick. Businesses across the UK have rapidly accelerated their take-up of technology this year, benefitting from wider access to information and higher productivity levels. 

But it’s not just businesses turning to digital solutions; the number of consumers using the internet to interact with brands has skyrocketed. Even those who had never shopped online before have adapted to the times. Research shows online sales at UK food stores, for example, have jumped by 108 percent in 12 months (Statista). 

Although these huge shifts in consumer behaviour were brought on by the pandemic, we’re unlikely to see a return to our old ways. Now customers can complete transactions online at the click of a button, businesses should be continually growing their internet presence - there are so many opportunities to benefit from using technology. 

The good news? The tech is there; read about these top cloud-based solutions to learn more. 

2. Customers want to support local businesses

It’s been drummed into us all from the start of the pandemic: support local businesses. And having seen just how devastating 2020 has been for independent start-ups, people genuinely want to help. In fact, many of us have enjoyed discovering new local companies to deliver customer care with a personal touch. It’s a win-win; great service and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve supported a local business owner. 

Throughout the 2020 holiday season, businesses can capitalise on the increased sense of community spirit across the UK. Local marketing efforts can draw in even more people, and even generate a new pool of long-term customers. 

Another great way to stir up new leads is to give back to the community, if you can. Locals will see your hard work and appreciate your business all the more. For inspiration, read up on some of the amazing ways Point Franchise businesses are supporting local communities during the Covid-19 crisis.

3. Businesses have more opportunity to engage with customers

With the recent implementation of a huge range of tech solutions, it’s now much easier for businesses to communicate, not only with existing customers, but new ones too. Through social media campaigns, email marketing tools, chat bots and other automated communication methods, you can engage with your followers, find out what matters to them and say thank you. 

According to a study by Facebook, people are more receptive to the introduction of new products and services during periods of imposed disruption. So, it could be a great time to focus on your marketing efforts and really involve customers in your business’s progress. Find more advice on staying connected with customers during the Covid-19 crisis to enhance your promotional campaigns. 

4. Delivery and collection services offer new opportunities 

If you run a franchise business in the food or retail industries, you’ve probably considered offering delivery and collection services, if not implemented them already. Consumers have appreciated having the chance to buy their favourite dishes and products without having to step inside the premises. Meanwhile, companies have been able to keep their operations going and keep their staff safe. 

Restaurants and pubs in particular now have the opportunity to cater to an even larger number of customers than before lockdown. With a new click-and-collect system up and running, food businesses can fulfil as many orders as the kitchen can handle, without having to turn people away once their tables are full. 

5. Bosses can work closely with employees

In pre-lockdown days, bosses would sit in their own office and work independently. Now, entire teams regularly take part in meetings and discuss their thoughts and experiences. Employees now have a bigger say in how the business develops, and bosses benefit from greater insight from the people who come closest to their customers. 

Leadership has become more democratised… Chief executives are only one voice on a Zoom call, so colleagues are more empowered and teams have been allowed to make more decisions… It’s as easy to catch up with 60 people as it is with six, so there’s more scope for input and engagement than in the past.
- Mary Connaughton, CIPD Ireland Director 

6. Bosses are communicating more often with employees

Online tools like Zoom have made meetings incredibly straightforward - no more travelling, no more finding time for car journeys and train rides in a packed schedule. Participants can join in seconds, rather than commute in minutes or even hours. 

Thanks to the ease and simplicity of online video calls, many businesses are now able to check in with employees more regularly. In some cases, short daily catch-ups have taken the place of longer monthly meetings. As a result, bosses can keep up to speed on issues facing their workforces and make sure employees are happy. 

7. Employees are happier and more productive 

While this won’t be the case for every person or every business, many employees appreciate being able to cut out the commute and spend more time with their families. Bosses can engender a feeling of trust among workers, who are free to complete their work away from supervision. 

As a result of this increase in trust, many employees have experienced lower levels of stress and more job satisfaction. The upshot: more free time, more freedom and less stress contributes to higher productivity across a business, which bodes well for the 2020 holiday season.

8. There’s less room for negative conversation

For businesses with employees working from home, chats around the water cooler have become a thing of the past. Unless workers go out of their way to send a message to colleagues, there’s no outlet for snide or catty comments. 

What’s more, employees have to determine the right time to organise a meeting with their boss, rather than impulsively ask to see them during a day in the office. This aspect of remote work should make for a more positive 2020 holiday season. 

9. There’s greater access to talent

Having seen the many benefits of increased technology usage and remote work, many business owners have decided to extend their current working practices beyond Christmas 2020. Through the holiday season, employers have the chance to open up vacancies to people living anywhere in the world. Suddenly, bosses have a much larger potential talent pool and are able to hire the very best people for the job. 

One of the other knock-on effects of Covid is that it’s raising questions about managing talent. In the past, it was automatically assumed that someone had to relocate for a job because they had to live near where they worked. Covid has certainly rewritten that part of the rule book.
- Mary Connaughton, CIPD Ireland Director 

10. The pandemic has encouraged long-term planning

Although it’s hard to see how some companies could have avoided collapse by planning ahead, the Covid-19 crisis has shown just how quickly unexpected events can damage business. As a result, many bosses have adopted a long-term growth mindset, planning well in advance to boost their chances of surviving any unforeseen issues. 

With this approach in mind, you’ll be in a better position to navigate the 2020 holiday season successfully. 

Find out more 

Take a look at our bank of informative articles for more franchise insights and advice. Why not start by learning how to adapt your business model in the face of evolving customer needs?

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