Business guide to Coronavirus

How COVID-19 is fuelling innovation in Australian business

With the sudden market downturn caused by COVID-19, the resilience of Australian businesses is being put to the test. So how well are our nation’s small businesses coping? From moving operations online to personalised home delivery, here are some inspiring examples of Australian businesses finding new ways to serve their customers and support their communities.

Food for thought

As one of the industries hit the hardest by the outbreak, many hospitality businesses have proven flexibility is key in times like these. A growing number of cafes, restaurants and wine shops now offer home-delivery services, including contact-free delivery for people who are self-isolating.

Among them is Newcastle cafe Estabar, which focuses on healthy, local, seasonal produce. They have started delivering a DIY, immunity-boosting breakfast to people’s doorsteps – on a skateboard.

Townsville’s A Touch of Salt has also put measures in place to keep its customers well-fed. The owners have decided to switch up their menu to make it deliverable and provide ‘Lockdown Dinner Packs’ of restaurant-quality, freezable meals. They’re also adapting their private catering service to suit groups of all sizes.

Moreover, they’re planning to launch ‘Cook Like a Pro Food Boxes’ of high-quality ingredients for home delivery, including a recipe and YouTube link on how to cook or prepare the meal.

Fighting fit

Resourceful health and fitness businesses are also exploring new ways of servicing their clients. Many doctors, counsellors and alternative health care professionals now offer remote consultations and home delivery of herbs and supplements. Sydney nutritionist and personal trainer Rachael Fisher, for example, has altered her service-delivery model to offer in-home and virtual Skype sessions in addition to studio workouts.

To allow members to participate in classes while in isolation, exercise studios have begun live-streaming their classes and build out online video libraries.

Melbourne’s Laneway Dance is one of a growing number of businesses that have started moving classes online, like their weekly Magical Moves children's dance classes to help children stay active and engaged.

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A helping hand

Other communities and businesses have come together to lend a hand to those in need. Social network Nextdoor, which launched in Australia in 2018, has made it their mission to support people who want to help others affected in their neighbourhood. Users can now use the platform to arrange grocery and prescription deliveries to the elderly or those in self-isolation and offer dog walking services and other vital support.

The Owl and the PussyCat Farm Animal Sanctuary north of Byron Bay has decided to make good use of their vast premises by opening their doors exclusively to families in self-isolation. Here, every day, one family can escape cabin fever by spending time interacting with animals, enjoying nature and picnicking outdoors.

When the market suddenly changes, agile, flexible and resourceful businesses are best placed to survive and thrive. So think about how you might be able to adapt your offering to support changing needs, support your wider community and, ultimately, protect the future of your business.

 

Preparing your employees for remote working, leave from the workplace or temporary business closure? To protect your business and people we have a range of support documents for your business.