Business model for lockdown.

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Business model for lockdown.

Post by Not your average framer » Wed 04 Nov, 2020 9:51 pm

I am not focussing so much on the Covid lockdown measures so much as what can I do to make what I can produce to really interest the customers at this time. The government says that I cannot open my shop for business and permit customers to enter my shop at this time. Well that's o.k., I can comply with that, but what about doing business? They are not saying that I can't do business, it's just that I can't be open to let customers in to my shop. Can I still put nice things for sale in my shop windows? Well yes I can and I can block off the access into my shops front door with a perspex screen, with a small flap, which I can open to do tranactions through that flap. The customer remains outside on the pavement and I remain in the shop. The money which I take from them gets disinfected and if I have to give them change, that gets disinfected too.

I need to wear latex gloves, when I handle the money and I pass the change to them in a little plastic container. I dont touch the money and I don't put it into their hands. They take the contain from the shelf take their change out of the container and go their way. I take the container back in and wash and disinfect it, then throw my latex gloves into the bin, then wash my hands. It's actually quite easy! What's everyone getting worried about? life go on and so does business! However something has changed, your shop windows have become a very important part of how you sell things. I you don't fill you shop windows with attractive items to sell, then you've probably blown it. It's now even more important that you can make that sale without relying on verbal salesmanship.

Christmas is coming and people still want to buy Christmas presents, so lets help them to do just that. It's not rocket science, we been selling things until now, whats changed? I'm not sure that all that much has changed. I somebody wants what you are selling and the price is right, you should be able to find a way to do the deal and I think that we will still do just that.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Justintime » Wed 04 Nov, 2020 11:51 pm

Mark, I'm not sure that there will be much passing trade, whilst everyone is being instructed to stay at home and only go out for essential trips. I may be wrong...

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 10:55 am

I don't know about that either, but many of my regular customers are asking about bringing work in to me, so at least that's a start. I'll have to see how it goes.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 11:05 am

Another forum member has contacted me privately and is concerned that my suggested method of handling business will not be legally permitted. There are other local businesses which have been operating the same way that I planning to do, so I shall be contacting my local authority to get some proper advice about this.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Gesso&Bole » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 11:21 am

My understanding is that 'click and collect' is ok, but your shop should be closed. I'm thinking that means that there should not be any 'consultation or decision-making' going on. But they could phone you to order a frame you make it and wrap it up, they call to collect - not sure you should be taking money for it, I think that should also be done remotely
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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 11:32 am

I've got the local authority coming back to be to advise me, how I need to do things. They are very helpful and will even come out if I need them to, so that they can look at what I am doing and tell me if it complies with the requirements.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Rainbow » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 12:30 pm

Mark, given that businesses are only allowed to operate "click & collect" for pre-ordered goods, now would be an ideal time to get your web site up and running so that people could "click & collect", or you could post online sales. Have you had any further thoughts about it?

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 12:37 pm

I never advertised for business and everything has always been customers who just turn up, so I happy to see how that goes just like that at first.
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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Rainbow » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 12:42 pm

Customers are not allowed to just turn up though between now and 2 December. This is what it says on the government web site:

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include:

Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.



I think I'm allowed to deliver work that's in progress, but not to take on new work.

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 12:57 pm

What's involved in getting set up for click and collect? I don't do that right now, so I don't know much about it.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Richard Photofusion » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 12:59 pm

We're acting like a takeaway - drop and collect from our kerbside. Any conversations happening over phone / email / zoom. Everything by appointment.

Click and collect could also be call and collect - customer makes an order and collects from the kerbside.

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Rainbow » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 1:04 pm

Click & Collect literally means clicking a button on a web site to order something, and then collecting it from a pre-arranged location. Online sellers frequently offer the option to collect from, say a garage or a shop, instead of having it delivered to your house. In the context of the new government regulations, I think it could also be taken to mean ordering an item over the phone for collection from the doorstep. It's the contact that the government wants to stop, which is why Click & Collect (or presumably Phone & Collect) is OK because it doesn't involve any contact.

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Tudor Rose » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 1:06 pm

This is where the Government advice on the new restrictions can be found for businesses.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-nationa ... and-venues

Another welcome bit of good news from our local council was an email yesterday stating the the Business Grants based on rateable value are also being given again during this 4 week period if you have to close your business.

For our own business we are continuing to work on current orders behind closed doors and then will book Click & Collect style appointments with our customers with payment taken in advance. If anyone wants to place a new order we will arrange a drop-off appointment at the door for the handover of the work and then a virtual design appointment via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime. With current workload though we are hoping not to be taking too much more in during the lockdown.

Click and collect (as per the law that was voted on yesterday) is also sometimes referred to as kerbside delivery - where customers drive up and collect the goods or you go out and place them in the boot of their car. The purpose is to limit contact. The main thing is that the contact either has to have been made prior to lockdown (ie orders you already have on your books) or arranged remotely via phone, online or by post. You don't actually have to have a button on a website to make it work, it is just using that principle. As Rainbow says, phone and collect is equally as workable.
Jo Palmer GCF(APF) Adv (Textile & Conservation)

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 1:25 pm

Thanks jo,

That's really helpful and it looks like I should be able to operate on that principle. I can agree at time for customers to come and collect, but still need to clarify how payment needs to be conducted.
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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Rainbow » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 2:17 pm

I've asked all my customers to pay by BACS since starting back in June after the first lockdown. In the current circumstances, I guess customers could put a cheque through the door, but then you'd have to go to the bank (unless you've got a smartphone and your bank enables you to scan a cheque in). They might be able to pay with Visa over the phone, but I as far as I know, you have to have got that set up with Visa in advance.

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Richard Photofusion » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 4:34 pm

We've been slightly lazy, and use PayPal for our merchant services - less than a minute to send an invoice. All clients either pay on order, or at time of collection.

Paypal does allow payment over the phone, or by contactless / C&P
Haven't had a card terminal charged up and running, since March.

B2B clients tend to pay by BACS, which is nice, as it saves the 2-3% PP take.

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 06 Nov, 2020 6:17 pm

I have had confirmation from my local authority that I am permitted to trade und the provisions of click and collect in the way that I have suggested. They don't want customers queuing outside my shop. Customers must arrange a time with me before they come. Customers are not permitted to enter my shop. Customers are also allowed to bring things in to me also at pre-arranged times. I need to keep a record of all pre-arranged customer visits, even though they do not enter the shop, so that they can check that I am obeying their instuctions.
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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Chris_Beagle » Sat 07 Nov, 2020 9:00 am

Thank you for this- this is really useful information ☺️

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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 07 Nov, 2020 9:38 am

In that this particular case your local authority is your friend. The particular department handling this in my local authority is the public health - food and hygene department. I don't know if this with be the same with every local authority. It struck me as a bit odd that this was part of the food and hygene brief.
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Re: Business model for lockdown.

Post by JonathanB » Sat 07 Nov, 2020 12:18 pm

If people are looking for an easy way to take remote payments, try SumUp. I've been using it for over a year and they've really upped their game during lockdown. You can now send a remote payment code to a customer and they can pay by card via their smart phone. You can also do remote invoicing, although I've not tried that one yet. Fairly competitive at 1.69% and very prompt payment into your account.
Jonathan Birch GCF (APF)

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