The world has radically changed. We, in the travel industry, are one of those who are most heavily affected by these changes. By now, most of us would’ve heard about the amazing stories of businesses who have rethought their approach and pivoted their businesses. Many of whom are currently reaping the rewards.
We’ve heard of tour operators in Jamaica transforming their business to deliver supplies and groceries to the vulnerable, we’ve heard of tour operators in London who have transformed their business into a food delivery and medical staff transport service. Undoubtedly, these businesses must have put in a crazy amount of work and had a strong local network to be able to pivot their business this way. These stories, while incredibly inspiring, are difficult to replicate, not everyone’s going to be able to do it.
However, here’s the good news.
This is what we learnt from our conversation with Travers O’Rafferty, General Manager of Mandoon Estate, a winery based in Western Australia. In regular times, they provide wine and or dine experiences, meaning the majority of their revenue is derived from people physically visiting their venue.
Mandoon Estate quickly moved to sell food hampers online, delivering to local areas.
By doing so, Mandoon Estate has been able to generate revenue without any customers physically visiting their venue. They also managed to reduce their large stock holdings of perishables such as fruit, vegetables and meat which would’ve otherwise gone to waste.
“It wasn’t hard at all.” This was the best part. According to Travers, making this change to Mandoon Estate wasn’t difficult. All he had to do was repackage his current resources and create a new webpage for the new product.
This is a testament to the fact that we don’t need to make big changes to see big results for our business. The key is finding the small changes with the biggest returns.
The first step is to make a list of resources. List down everything you currently have that could be a resource. Think about the stock you have, the equipment, vehicles, any special skills your staff has(even humour is a resource), anything at all. Is there anything that’s been put in storage that hasn’t been used in a while?
Next look around you. Has there been a rise in demand for any services or products due to the ongoing pandemic? List as many as you can, even if you think it’s irrelevant to you. Take for example, the fact that many breweries have transitioned to producing hand sanitizers, anything is a possibility.
Start by looking local, then regional, national and global. Once you’ve got a bunch of ideas:
Now go through each idea you’ve listed. Start by filtering out the ideas you could potentially do with the resources you’ve got. Once you’ve filtered through them, give them each two scores from 1-10, one for ease of implementation, and one for potential in generating revenue.
|Idea||Ease of Implementation|
*The easier, the higher the number
|Food delivery with existing vans||10||5|
|Hand sanitization with brewery equipment||4||9|
|Online wine store||7||7|
|Produce face masks||2||9|
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to easily pick out the best idea for your business that’ll deliver maximum returns with minimum input. You’ll also be able to figure out the order in which to implement each idea.
We know how difficult it is to stay positive in the current environment, however, think back to when you first started your business, how confident were you?
As Travers says: “We have always been confident in our business, and this hasn’t changed due to the current situation.” The current situation is a bump in the road but it shouldn’t change how you feel about your business in the future.
And once you’ve started generating enough revenue for your business, take the opportunity to look to the future. How can you improve your business now for when the industry rebounds?
“This is a golden opportunity to take stock and analyse our business from top to bottom. Planning for the future re-opening of our business and being in a position to re-evaluate our products, both on-line and on-premise is essential for the continued success of our operation.” -Travers O’Rafferty