It’s been a while and it’s been tough

by Graham Dodd on 23/06/2020

June 23rd marks the 3 month anniversary of lockdown and wow, how the world has changed.

Inevitably, some business sectors have prospered as is often the case in times of adversity, but the majority have struggled and many continue to, while for others the pandemic was sadly the final straw and they are no more.

Whether some return in a different guise in the weeks and months to come will be interesting, but what’s probably more certain is that many, many companies’ work processes and procedures may change for ever.

Home working for some, particularly those with children has been challenging, but others have taken to it like a duck to water. In the short to mid term, with existing fears over the safety of travelling on public transport, home working will remain on the table so to speak, with some companies quite probably believing it’s the way forward on a longer term.

Each to their own of course and companies will need to carve out their own styles with their employees best interests uppermost in their minds, but equally massive consideration of how best they can manage client expectations and demands.

I worry for those companies large and small who appeared to flounder in the last 3 months and were looking for direction and inspiration from others and seemed unable to think for themselves. Whilst understandable to a degree in terms of the actual Covid threat and the implications thereof, but many also came across as incapable of modelling their business plans to adapt and stay afloat until better times return.

What were my local experiences; I have to say generally very positive.

The Red Cow in Cheshunt (my local), has completely re-decorated inside and out, reconfigured the seating layout inside and out and is hiring additional trestle tables, which will extend the garden into car park – they are ready to roll.

Vince’s, my favourite Italian restaurant, offered their whole menu for delivery, with a variable minimum spend based upon distance, a service they never previously supplied and apparently have enjoyed great success.

DA Gas, our friendly heating and plumbing provider, focused on promoting their emergency call out service, plus fulfilling any emergency work required without contravening lockdown rules and has battled through.

None of them have enjoyed Covid, they are all looking forward to whatever the new normal will look like for them, but at the same time, they have not whinged about anything and everything as many seem prone to.

And what about TLC?

We acted responsibly, provided laptops to facilitate remote working and have weathered the worst of the storm, which is hopefully slowly subsiding.

We miss the interaction the office brings of course, but the Skype group we set up allows some banter and at the end of the day, its something we just have to get through.

For us, there have been phases; initially contract cancellations/postponements (handled simply thanks to Royal Mail’s understanding and change of policy), public sector demand for immediate door drop activity, specific business areas seasonal needs and now a slow but sure escalation of enquiries.

But we did not sit back and wait for it all to come to us, we were also very proactive.

Having identified two particular business sectors, we set out to engage with them by parading our unique understanding of our industry and by offering a range of services available through no other supplier.

After all these years, at times I felt like I had walked back into the new business environment, but actually to some degree, it refreshed my thinking.

Business levels have of course declined, but looking at the order book, we are proud that 56% of contracts agreed in the last 3 months are new business and some new clients have completed multiple phases of activity.

The trick of course is to retain as much of that new business as possible, at the same time as we manage historical clients activity as they hopefully return in the months to come.

I’ll be delighted to see the back of Covid and it’s a period that few will look back on with any fondness, but, it has proved that TLC are adaptable, flexible and resilient.

And we are fully open for business if you are!

This article was written by...

– who has written 82 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

Graham Dodd is the founder of The Letterbox Consultancy - he has over 40 years of experience in the door drop industry and remains at the forefront of innovation in the business.

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