Polarisation, Pivoting and Positivity

17 August 2020, 09:02 am
Speciality Bites by Paul Hargreaves

In this very strange year, I have tried from time to time to step back and try and take a bird’s eye view of the goings on within our country, communities and businesses. In the early days of the pandemic I used the word ‘polarisation’ a lot as it was very clear that there was a clear divide between businesses at this time

There were some simply focused on money who treated their people appallingly before the government announced the furlough scheme yet others put their people before profits and treated them with considerably more compassion.  The public will not forget the difference where they knew and will continue to vote with their feet against the bad businesses and for the good businesses.

The word ‘pivoting’ has been perhaps the most over-used word of the pandemic, and many businesses have been encouraged to adapt, try different things or even change their business model completely.  Some have done this with aplomb, others have gone down a cul-de-sac and many have continued what they were doing but in different more flexible ways.  Dare I suggest it will be the latter that will be more likely still be growing in a year’s time, although if you have changed your business model or sanitizer you may still be doing well, particularly if you have friends within the government apparently!

It is our third ‘P’ though I would like to concentrate on: positivity.  Even now despite the vast majority of independent food retailers having some of their best trading months ever away from December, we have some customers hesitating to place Christmas orders in case there is another lockdown.  Hang on a minute, we locked down earlier this year, food shops stayed open and your sales increased by 60%.  “What exactly Mr Customer are you worried about?  Come what may, Christmas will still be celebrated on 25th December, New Year’s Eve will still occur on 31st December, and people will be eating and drinking like never before.  Please be a little more positive and be thankful that you are someone running a food business rather than a travel agent.”

Yet it was just the same back in March.  Some people’s first reaction was to baton down the hatches, think only negative thoughts and claim as much furlough money from the government as possible.  Yet others in identical businesses thought about how they could serve their community, protect the jobs of those that work for them for the long term, and tried something different.  Rather than moaning about the circumstances, they stayed positive and faced out into the world to others with care and compassion.  I know the type of people I will prefer to spend this Christmas with!

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