Fix what you can you are the experts

The new world order

Never has the mantra “fix what you can and leave the rest” been more important for business.

Our business ecosystem is now entering a new world order. As lockdown eases opposing forces will offer opinions on how we bounce back from COVID. Our economic and political experts will offer conflicting advice for the foreseeable future.  So leave the economy and the political solutions to the experts and focus on what you can fix.

You/we are the expert

We knew our business pre COVID.  Now we are getting to know the new reality.  This new reality brings problems we thought we had buried long ago right back into our consciousness. COVID19 in may cases now means we can’t see the wood for the trees.

We had systems that identified and funnelled customers to our well designed products and services.  The supply chain provided all the products and services required at exactly the time they were needed. In this transition time between lockdown and new reality no one can guarantee customer flows or supply chains.

What we as businesses are left with is all the expertise we have built up pre COVID, then during lockdown and the experience we are gaining daily in the world post COVID19.

What we can’t fix we can influence

We can’t fix all our customers pains BUT we can listen to them.  Similarly, we can’t fix all our suppliers problems BUT we can work with them.  Finally, we can’t tackle every new business that has or will enter our sector BUT we can learn from how they interpret our sectors problems.  So, if we listen, work with and learn we will can stop reacting and start influencing the businesses around us.  Ironically, if we all influence the business ecosystem around us  then the experts will notice the change and start agreeing on a direction.

Just look at the way the food eco-system has pivoted with wholesalers and manufacturers stepping in to sell direct to consumers during lockdown.  Now everyone in this ecosystem has to deal with a new reality way beyond just social distancing.

The new Food Ecosystem

 

Use the right tools to fix the problem

Jacqui and Keith do not claim to be business experts we only have MAs in business and 30 years each in running a fifth generation family business.  Business is about building systems that work around people.  the trick is to get the right tool for the right situation.

So post COVID if you are looking at pivoting into a new service or product then consider the 5P model courtesy of Prof Nigel Lockett (Proposition, people, place, process and profit).  Or if you are looking at building on an existing product or service recheck your processes with Strategyzers Business Model Canvas.

If unsure about the tools ask us

Thomas Jardine & co would be happy to customise your toolbelt.

 

 

 


The food eco-system bounces back

Food producers

The food eco-system is fundamental to a large number of our regions businesses.  Living on the edge of Scotland and England we are used to bouncing back from the occasional invading armies moving north or south. During COVID we have witnessed the fortitude of part of this system. As lockdown opens up again we will see even more examples from our brilliant regional business eco-system.

Our food producers have done a brilliant job over the last seven weeks.  Every week on behalf of This is Cumbria we have thanked the numerous food businesses that ensured we all had food on our tables.

There are numerous stories of delis ( Keswick Cheese  & Penrith Chopping Block) brewers (Carlisle Brewers) cheese makers (Butlers Larder), pie makers (The Pie Mill whose father died of COVID), donut makers (Bruce and Luke’s)  and butter makers (Winter Tarn Dairy) coming together to offer solutions for us consumers. Others like Shed1Gin even managed to produce hand sanitiser at a time when supply was dangerously low.  Our map grew exponentially as people shared good news from across the county.

So once more we say thank you to the great food and drink producers from our place.

Food Retailers and Wholesalers

With the closure of hotels and restaurants food wholesalers pivoted their models to service the public rather than business.  Our local brands such as the Pioneer , Caterite, McClures & Cranstons  and so many more served us well.  We should remember that even though they were extremely busy serving the public they had in many cases lost most of their income that came from servicing the hotel and restaurant industries.

From the larger independents such as Booths to the smaller village stores such as Cartmell Food Shed they have all kept us going.  They have all done this in times of great uncertainty.  We will always owe these guys a debt of gratitude.  They have not had the stay at home break and still face the same uncertain future that we all do.

Restaurants and cafes

With the enforced close-down only allowing takeaways many of these businesses simply could not operate.  Those that did had to build a takeaway system from scratch, work with the uncertainty of COVID and manage a business with a fall in turnover of at least 80%.

With the loosening of the Stay at Home Message more restaurants and cafes can now operate.  They have changed their business model to delivery or collection.  At the same time, they must plan for a future social distancing post COVID world.

Over the coming weeks these guys will work the second miracle of our food eco-system.  Most of us won’t notice.  So please stop and think.  These businesses will have to offer takeaway food from a business set up to serve food at tables.  They will have to work out how to package the meals, deal with outside orders, deliveries, collections, and online payments.  At a time when the rules on social distancing evolve. When they will probably only achieve part of their previous turnover and must plan for the eventual reopening of their proper business.

At the same time all their wholesalers still must balance the demands of their new public consumers with trying to support the restaurants who to begin with will not know how much limited stock to carry.

The next stage is starting

There are so many food businesses doing this already.  Here are just a few:

Halston in Carlisle : Sunday Roast to go

Lanercost Tea Rooms : offering weekend takeaways

Yewdale Inn Coniston : Fish and chip takeaways in Coniston

The Good Sister Carlisle : Picnic Boxes Carlisle

Paolos Fish & Chips : Collection Carlisle

There are so many more and we will happily add them to our map NO CHARGE

Supporting the food eco-system

Behind the front line quietly worked a band of businesses.  They worked long hours hidden from public view and include web experts supporting the online changes like Sparrow Digital, Black Lab Software and Bungalistic to experts in the online cloud like Beaty Consultancy  and digital marketing like KC Creative .Then there were finance companies smoothing the loan applications like Enterprise Answers and solicitors like Cartmell Shepherd helping with everything from employment advice to will making.  There were also other individual experts such as accountants , food safety experts (ML3 Technical) and photographers capturing business images (Jenny Woolgar) playing their parts.

Behind the eco-system

A brilliant face group set up as Small Business Support Carlisle captures part of the eco-system coming back to life that can support the bounce back of the food eco system.  We are all involved in this eco-system with everything from humanising the COVID safety message (Plus3k) to entertaining children online (Rainbow Jelly) and planning an online party to get us through this ( Happy out Loud Day)

We are so proud to be associated with all the large and small businesses in our eco-system and know our region can and will show the country how to truly bounce back from COVID19.

Please contact us with any thoughts you have on the food eco-system at Thomas Jardine and Co.