Updated 19 March 2020
With new preventative measures announced by the government on Monday, we have now moved into a delay phase of the UK’s strategy to limit the impact of the Coronavirus. The new restrictive measures, such as minimum social contact and travel, self-isolation of the over 70’s, and the recommendation not to enter into social venues, will undoubtedly have a huge impact on businesses, and the economy, as a whole.
To help businesses facing this uncertainty, the government yesterday unveiled plans for £330 billion assistance in the form of grants and loans, as well as mortgage breaks for home owners. On top of this, there are additional measures that golf retailers can take to help their business through these coming weeks, whilst keeping staff and customers safe. Here, XPOS Managing Director, Claire Fraser, answers some key questions and offers up good advice.
As a business owner and retailer, you will be concerned about less people coming into the shop and the resultant fewer sales. At XPOS, we are continuing to monitor the situation for retailers and work closely with our customers. I hope to be able to answer some of your questions below and provide some helpful advice.
Is it okay to play golf?
These are unprecedented times but I’m very much hoping that golf courses can stay open. As long as players maintain a safe distance from one another, golf courses should be safe and we are, currently, able to play the sport. Golf is an opportunity to get some essential fresh air, exercise, and meet friends: All important components for physical and mental well-being.
Today the government published its latest advice on social distancing for everyone in the UK. To help reduce transmission, people should try to keep a distance of 2 metres, or 6 feet, away from anyone they come into contact with. The advice is aimed at all members of the public but those with pre-existing conditions must pay particular attention.
According to Dr. Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Centre in Houston, USA, golf as it’s normally played—outdoors, with natural social-distancing built in “would be fairly safe”. Indeed, Golf World published an article this week in support of the game during the pandemic which may give you some ideas and today, The Golf Business reminds us of the latest government advice on this too.
How best can I protect my customers?
If your members see that your business is taking precautions and has made changes to help protect them from the Coronavirus, they’ll naturally have more confidence and will feel able to come to the course and shop.
It’s essential to follow guidance on personal hygiene and frequent handwashing, as well as arranging proper cleaning of the premises.
In addition, new, creative processes for booking in could be set up so that members are able to play without having to come into contact with other people might also give them the confidence to come to the course. Looking at social media feeds, it’s clear that some golf clubs and pro shops are already tweaking the rules around the game to make it safer for players.
Please remember that social distancing rules are in place to control the spread of the disease and healthy, younger people may well be carrying the disease and just not aware. Signs around your club, shop and course will help to remind players of this.
Protecting Your Business – Top Tips for our Retailers
It's been fantastic to see such a positive attitude from golf professionals and retailers on the social network feeds over the last few days. It's hugely important to try to remain positive when it comes to the business and not make any rash decisions in the wake of so much doom and gloom. The good news is there are steps you can be taking to help boost business right now. Here are our key tips:
- At this time of year, you’re more than likely to have a shop stocked full of Spring/Summer products and you might now be wondering how you’re going to sell it. Firstly, look at the stock drops you might have previously set up and call all of your suppliers or brands to ask for a delay. It’s good to be aware of your options with each supplier and see if you can work together to manage this period as well as ensuring the business is ready when life returns to normal in the future.
- Despite everything that’s happening right now, it’s hugely important to stick to your original budget for the business, if you can. You’re eager to get rid of stock but try not to discount too early, no matter how tempting it might be.
- When it comes to your customers, communication with them has never been more important. Make sure members know the course and shop are open, and communicate the measures you are taking to make it safe for them to visit. If you’re a golf professional, stay in constant communication with the club and let them know how what steps you’re taking right now.
- If you operate a Click & Collect service, let members know they can buy from you this way, and explain how it works.
- While it’s quieter in the shop, it’s a perfect time to do all those jobs you don’t have time for normally. Stocktaking, merchandising, sorting out ‘that’ back room, are all tasks that will ensure you are ‘business-ready’ when normal life resumes – and it will!
What can XPOS do to help me?
If you’re open, we’re open, and the XPOS expert Support team is on hand to help you with any aspect of your system and concerns you might currently have.
We are still aiming to upgrade our customer base to the all-new XPOS Version 2 by the end of this year, and are doing everything we can to get to you soon.
We can also help you set up your own ecommerce business to sell your stock online. It’s a great way to keep your customer base connected with stock in the shop, with the option to order online. It takes just minutes for us to set up a Shopify account for you so do get in touch via the CHAT button on our website or Hub.
What Government help is available for my business?
Last week, the government announced a series of measures designed to help businesses, including a financial helpline and cash grant for the smallest companies. Yesterday, an additional lifeboat was thrown, with the promise of £330bn in loans and guarantees.
Further information and help for businesses can be found here on the GOV.UK website, which also includes guidance on making your work environment safe for you and your employees.
We promise to keep you up to date with Coronavirus news as it breaks and government guidance for businesses over the next few months. Follow us on social and crossovertec.co.uk