We understand that small businesses are facing an unprecedented time of disruption resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While sadly many businesses have no option other than to close their doors, here at the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) we are hearing about business owners who have been able to innovate and find a new direction. This series of posts is about sharing ideas from WA small businesses that have found a way of doing business differently.
Grouch & Co, Myaree
Grouch & Co is a specialty coffee roasting business run by Renata Taylor in Myaree. The business has been operating for six years and has built up a loyal local following. Due to government restrictions, the business has had to close its café and offer a takeaway service only. As a venue that normally attracts people to relax and take their time over coffee, catch up for a business meeting, and spend time choosing which coffee beans to take home, this has been a challenging time for Renata.
To continue their business through the disruption, the team at Grouch & Co has:
- Introduced ‘text and takeaway’, allowing customers to pre-order via text message and pick up their order from a takeaway window. If customers do not want to leave their car, they can send another text when they arrive and a team member will deliver their coffee to them.
- Moved to contactless payment, accepting credit cards only, to remove the risk of cash handling for staff.
- Communicated the changed serviced with large signs in the windows as well on all their social media platforms.
- Added gift vouchers to their website to give customers another option to buy online.
- Attached stickers to all takeaway cups to remind customers that retail coffee beans are still available if they are unable to visit the store, with free local delivery.
- Been calling their wholesale (café) clients at least once a week to check-in and make sure, as fellow business owners affected by disruption, they are OK and stay mentally healthy.
The Grouch & Co’s team have been making a point of thanking customers for still visiting the store and letting them know they appreciate the support.
Renata says, “Despite it being very challenging not to be able to offer our in-person service, which is a significant part of our business, the changes we have made are going very well. We are seeing lots of kindness everyday, for instance people paying for coffees for staff working at the hospitals. Others have bought gift vouchers to use at a later date so we have some money coming in. Although business is not what it was, it’s our loyal customers who are keeping us going.”
Thanks for sharing your ways of doing business differently Grouch & Co!