Visitor columnist Scott Himmel is the founding father of HarvestOwl (previously LunchOwl), a Cleveland-based service that gives recent, wholesome and personalised meals to companies, workplace buildings, and, most lately, giant residential buildings.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all industries. Some have been decimated, whereas others have been richly rewarded. My business – hospitality — is among the many hardest hit.
Previous to the pandemic, my firm (then referred to as LunchOwl), generated 100% of its income by delivering recent, wholesome lunches to Cleveland workplace employees.
The primary workplace closure e mail got here in on March 10. Inside two weeks, practically each different workplace we serve adopted go well with and we halted our full operation.
We had a choice to make. We might keep on with our current enterprise mannequin and wait it out for who is aware of how lengthy. Or, we might pivot.
We determined to make excessive modifications to our market technique, our expertise and even our title to replicate the world we reside in. We now present our service to giant residential buildings along with companies and workplace buildings.
The previous seven months have been, at instances, painful, difficult and — extra lately — invigorating.
Listed here are three classes our crew discovered alongside the way in which:
Act shortly and be open to alter
Our intestine response to workplace closures was to serve our current visitors at house. We made this choice on March 12, and inside 5 days we launched LunchOwl@house.
The response was tepid. It labored effectively for some visitors, however most reside outdoors of a serviceable supply space. We shut it down simply as quick as we launched it. Hesitating would have worsened our already precarious money place.
Key takeaway: Don’t look forward to the info to be 100% full earlier than making selections. Use what you’ve received and act shortly and decisively.
Interact and hearken to your clients
It’s vital to do not forget that you don’t have all of the solutions. When the trail ahead is unclear, attain out to your clients and ask how your services or products can higher meet their wants.
Ask about their expertise and projections for his or her enterprise, clients and business. Ship surveys. Decide up the telephone. You by no means know the place the perception will lead.
For us, survey responses from our visitors led to the launch of a sister model referred to as Kudo Box. It’s a domestically curated care bundle that helps firms have interaction and thank their work-from-home crew members.
Key takeaway: When caught, get curious. Interact and hearken to your clients and different stakeholders.
Focus in your core competency
Your clients’ wants have probably modified due to the pandemic. When forming your new technique, give attention to what your organization is uniquely good at.
We noticed that each restaurant within the metropolis was pushing take-out and residential supply. We wanted a compelling angle to chop by the noise. We discovered it by specializing in our core competency.
We’re actually good at offering wholesome meals to a captive viewers on a recurring foundation. We have now the customized fridges, expertise and techniques to take action. The identical service that we offer for places of work, we realized, might be provided to residents of huge residential buildings.
Landlords prefer it, as a result of it helps them entice and retain residents. Residents prefer it, as a result of it’s wholesome, handy, personalised and there aren’t any supply charges.
We constructed a brand new website. We built-in new expertise. We rehired our crew. And now we serve a rising roster of huge residential buildings.
Key takeaway: Concentrate on what your organization is uniquely good at when defining your technique.
The pandemic obliterated our 2020 plans. However we’ve seen firsthand that disaster can spark creativity and new successes. We’re excited to proceed our journey and see the improvements that others create throughout this time.
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