Created in partnership with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
Promoted | Seven ways to get your business back on track after the coronavirus
As the UK government unveils plans to ease the Covid-19 lockdown and kick-start the economy, here’s how to keep your business (and vans) ready for action...
In uncertain and challenging times, the businesses that survive and prosper are those led by people who think hard, think fast and think smart – using their spare time to hone how they work, evolve how they serve customers, or even transforming their entire business model as the world shifts around them.
With the UK government preparing and revealing plans for how it will gradually ease the UK out of the coronavirus lockdown and get people working again in a safe way that protects both workers and customers, you need to be ready for your business to get back on track fast.
With that in mind, we’ve pulled together seven tips that will keep your business working harder, smarter and (hopefully) more prosperously than ever.
To learn more about how Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are ‘Working With You’ to help your business, head to volkswagen-vans.co.uk
1) Get innovative. Think different.
Easing out of lockdown won’t happen overnight. If your business isn’t among the first to be able to open its doors to customers, there are still lots of ways to keep working – and the news is filled with stories of fast-thinking firms adapting to the new normal.
Pubs and restaurants have switched to take-away or home delivery. Wholesalers, who normally supply restaurants, are now dealing directly with shoppers struggling for food in supermarkets, while garden centres are taking plants direct to customers.
Why not follow their lead – especially if you’ve got a van that lets you reach your customers? Equally, maybe you can offer the use of your van to courier firms or essential food and drink providers for local last-mile deliveries, or help your customers to dispose of unwanted items or move home. Of course, make sure you stay safe and follow the health and safety guidelines on social distancing. But, by being flexible and adapting, you can keep your business working.
2) Why not help your community?
Plenty of firms (large and small) have found innovative ways to use their resources to support the NHS and key workers. Some brewers and distillers have been making hand-sanitiser to short-fill a downturn in alcohol sales, while fashion brands are using spare capacity to make vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for key workers.
There are plenty of local organisations – ranging from the NHS to charities and council authorities – who are looking for people to help deliver vital services and support within the community, and you and your van could provide that service.
If you can switch to something that helps the people around you, it’s a great way of keeping you and your staff busy and motivated, and keeping your business in the public eye, with a positive knock-on effect for your profile. It may not be your core service, but it’s work that keeps you moving and does some good.
3) Re-organise your working life
Work vans get cluttered – especially when they're busy being used every day. As lockdown eases, take a day to clear out your van and reorganise it. When you get back to work, you’ll be able to access your tools and supplies much more easily – helping you work faster and cutting down stress.
Equally, it might be worth thinking about how a few modifications or accessories could make life easier – external roof bars can free up room inside the van, while interior racking or load separators make it easier to store and organise items inside. If your van is older, would you benefit from a sat-nav or parking cameras that help you get between jobs faster and more efficiently?
To learn more about Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ accessories range, head to volkswagen-vans.co.uk
4) Make sure your van is raring to go
If your van is stuck off the road, there’s some basic maintenance you can do to keep it ticking over. We’ve compiled a handy list of things to check on cars and vans that help keep them ticking over safely.
There’s no substitute for a manufacturer health-check or service, though. Slots for MOTs, servicing and maintenance will book up fast after lockdown. So, think about any work your van might need and be ready to book it in online once restrictions on movement are lifted. Some Volkswagen Van Centres can even offer you a Mobile Service Clinic in which the technicians come to you.
Read more about Mobile Service Clinics at volkswagen-vans.co.uk
5) Give your business a makeover
You're always busy keeping customers happy, so you've probably had little time to think about whether your business could benefit from a fresh look. Now is the perfect time. Businesses with a bold new identity are going to stand out even more in the months to come – and that’s especially true for your van.
Your local Volkswagen Van Centre can recommend some local sign-writers who can give your vehicle a fresh look. They may even know good design companies that can give your brand image a refresh.
6) Stay in touch with clients (and get them thinking)
During an extended lockdown, even loyal customers could forget about you. So, mine your contacts database and keep in touch. Think about your business sector and specialist skills and create some helpful tips that you can email your clients to support them during self-isolation, while reminding them of your business. Equally, help customers plan ahead with ideas for how to use your services after lockdown.
For example, independent cinemas are offering suggestions for films to watch at home, cookware specialist Lakeland is sharing easy-to-make family-friendly recipes, stores such as John Lewis are offering helpful advice that boosts your wellbeing and help you make more of life at home, while gyms and personal trainers are offering stay-at-home fitness routines.
If you’re a decorator or electrician, why not offer simple tips to help homeowners do basic checks and fixes to keep their homes maintained if you’re not available, or ideas to give their homes a fresh lick of paint once you’re available again.
There’s also room for the personal touch. Think about pre-lockdown conversations you had with clients and keep them ignited for once you’re back in business.
7) Think about investing in a new van
Finally, if you’ve been thinking about replacing your van, this could be the perfect time. It’s a big investment, but without the pressures of day-to-day work, it’s an ideal opportunity to do all the necessary research and think more broadly about what sort of vehicles you need for the next few years to help your business thrive.
Your local Volkswagen Van Centre will be able to provide advice and discuss options and finance over the phone or via email – making sure you’re even-better prepared with the perfect vehicle once the lockdown lifts. Get in touch to find out how they can help you.
To find a Volkswagen Van Centre near you, click here.