There isn't a single leader or business category unchallenged by the coronavirus; scrambling hard against the extraordinary demands to lead their business and teams through this crisis. Small businesses are struggling to stay afloat while implementing safety measures to mitigate risk, protecting their people, family and community.
Resist being blinded by the massive scale of the crisis and consider the following: when business resumes, and it will, you need employees (talent is a key asset of Family Entertainment and Attractions; hospitality, service and care makes THE difference to any business). So, consider ways to retain talent by cutting company costs without cutting staff.
1. Reduce Power Use
FEC power usage is a high expense given all the games and machines, as well as technical supporting equipment, like audio systems, servers, PC's, and even POS machines. It is important to ensure your FEC isn’t using any more power than it needs at this time. If your electricity is on auto-programmed, you need to update it to reflect your current operating mode.
2. Analyze Costs and Minimize Spend
Setting out every cost that your FEC or business incurs gives you a broad view of your company and allows you to make a decision on what is needed and what isn’t. There are often many areas where you can save money that you haven't thought about before. This could be the best time to save on labor costs due to coin operated systems.
3. Negotiate With Suppliers
Suppliers understand your struggles because they are going through this too. It is important to figure out exactly what costs you are still paying and find a way to reduce it. This includes restructuring contracts or commit to longer deals, extended payment terms, etc. ensuring both parties are doing what they need to do to stay afloat.
4. Restructure You Rent
If you rent your FEC's venue (versus owning the property) then it is crucial to find a way forward with the landlord, renegotiating rent or deferred payments. The owner of the property is struggling to get through this time as well, but many government programs and banks are implementing programs during this time to give mortgage payment breaks. It's important these breaks are extended to you, the companies paying the rent.
5. Maximize Productivity
More than ever it is critical and important to ensure your operation is maximising productivity. Higher productivity means you'll be ready to generate greater revenue when your normal operation resumes. You are working from home, so adopting new working methods and processes is critical. This time period, albeit from home, should be a time of developing and executing demand generation promotions: some operators are selling season passes at dramatically reduced prices to ensure cashflow continues while operating costs remain low, and ensures the stir-crazy crowds who've been working-from-home will run to their venue when they open their doors. These promotions are easily managed and executed remotely.
6. Digital Everything
There's no better time to merge everything to digital. This not only cuts physical costs, but digital networking and marketing platforms (that cost nothing) mean you can easily run your business from anywhere, keeping the communication channels flowing between you and your operation, customers and community, which keeps your brand and offering top-of-mind.
7. Reduce Wages & Reduce Hours
Reducing wages and working hours is never a popular option with anyone, especially given they can't find new employment at this time. It is important you let them know the gravity of the situation, that the wage reduction is temporary, and something is better than nothing. If you have to implement leave without pay, make it crystal clear to your employees that you value them and need them back when business resumes. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
Your employees are sacrificing their pay or working reduced hours and they understand the circumstances, but it impacts morale and productivity. If you can give them food supplies or any useful supplies from the business, do it, many companies are doing it (especially in F&B). Offer rewards and future compensation ("if we make it out of this, a bonus will be given to all employees based on business performance.")
We might be working remotely, but everyone is in the same boat (literally and figuratively), so before you take drastic measures to cut costs, explore every avenue that enables you to retain your talent. After all, their service is your brand and they define the customer experience. Your business needs that continuity for existing customers when you reopen.
Here it from Chris J Reed, "The Only CEO With A Mohawk" award-winning and best-selling author and LinkedIn Marketing expert, as he shares on the importance of retaining your talent during these unprecented times.