How creative are business owners!? I’m not saying that being in the middle of a pandemic is a good thing. But I do marvel at the ingenuity of people when things get tough. It would be great to somehow bottle up this innovation power and save it for a rainy, not so virus-frenzied day. I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for how businesses have been approaching this and have compiled a few of my favourite disaster detours below.
Switch to takeaway
With restaurants being one of the first and hardest hit industries, many have had to make the switch to takeaway to stay afloat. Who thought they'd ever see the likes of Attica, Movida, Maha and Vaporetto (my local Hawthorn favourite) doing home delivery!? The fact that we can now chow down on some of Melbourne's finest from the comfort of our couch is one of the great silver linings (without the silver service) of the current lockdown. Bon appetite, I say!
Switch to digital
With face-to-face interaction currently off the table for many, the flight to digital has been something to behold. This has been particularly true of the arts industry. It’s great to see the likes of the NGV doing virtual gallery tours and the MSO offering online concerts. And, as an aside... how good is Banksy’s ‘working from home’ street art?
Add a new income stream
This crisis isn't for the long term… but adding a new income stream can be. Take the online cooking classes that Vue de monde is offering for example. Or the genius of Messy Patch to do weekly wheelbarrows full of fun kid's activities. And a shout out to one of my clients, Peanut Butter Bar, who have launched a new range of bake-at-home goodies! These kinds of things all make you think: “Hey, we should keep doing this after the crisis”! So just maybe some of these new things are here to stay.
Solve a problem
Some businesses have the genius and the capability to make a pivot that helps solve the problems of the present. Take a look at distilleries, Ned Whisky and Four Pillars, making hand sanitiser for example. I’m also a huge fan of the pivot that Stage Kings made, going from building stage setting structures to manufacturing easily setup “iso-desks” for the flood of office workers now working from home for the first time. Very well played...
To all those creative business owners out there... hats off to you. We’re all looking forward to this crisis being over, but in the meantime your ability to adapt and innovate is an inspiration to admire.