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How to apply the lessons learned from COVID-19

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time to get the ball rolling to make the most of this busy time of the year. This is particularly relevant for businesses that experienced a downturn due to COVID-19 restrictions, who have since returned to normal trade.

There are a number of shifts in consumer and business behaviour that have emerged during the coronavirus pandemic that you can use to help your business. Here are five emerging trends from 2020 that you should keep front of mind to help you during the festive season.

Maintain your online presence

The disruption that COVID-19 caused to businesses highlighted how critical it is to be online. Now that restrictions have eased in Western Australia, that doesn’t mean that your online presence should take a back seat.

Maintaining and building your online presence (through your website, social media channels or email marketing) is increasingly important in the lead up to Christmas, so you can attract new customers and stay front of mind to existing clients when they are making purchasing decisions.

If it’s been a while since you looked at your website or social channels, put some time aside each week to make sure the information on your products and services is up-to-date and that you’re maintaining communication with your customers.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some handy guides:

Tip: our practical small business workshops are free of charge for the rest of 2020. If you need to give your digital or sales and marketing skills a boost, check our workshop schedule and secure your place.

Identify the opportunities the pandemic has presented

With travel restrictions and postal deliveries experiencing heavy delays, consumers have more money to spend locally this Christmas. This provides you with an opportunity to consider what you can offer consumers to compete for their Christmas spend.

2020 has seen an increase in DIY projects, homewares and home improvements, at-home cooking, wellness-based activities and people wanting to learn new skills. Consider how your products and services can tap into these new trends and pass times. Some ideas to help you get started include:

  • If you sell food products, you can offer cooking classes for families or group of friends.
  • If you’re a tradesperson, you can offer services that inspect finished DIY projects, complete abandoned projects or run workshops for people wanting to do more DIY to teach them safe practice and basic skills.
  • If you’re a tour operator and normally attract international travellers, team up with other local businesses to develop packages and experiences that can be promoted to locals wanting to get away during the festive season.

There’s still time to consider how you can do business differently – either for the festive season or heading into 2021. Read our small business stories to find out how local businesses pivoted during 2020 to help get some ideas flowing.

Have fun with your marketing

There’s no doubt 2020 was a tough year all-round. With this feeling being widespread in the community, don’t be afraid to have some fun with your marketing and channel this sentiment. Could you incorporate phrases like ‘kick 2020 to the curb’ or ‘push re-start ahead of 2021’ (or similar) into your marketing?

Embrace new events

Black Friday, traditionally the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday and marking the opening of the Christmas shopping season, has increasingly become a worldwide phenomenon. Black Friday, often extending over an entire weekend, is marked by significant sales and offers. When planning your marketing or any seasonal promotions, let your customers know about these before the Black Friday sales commence so you are front of mind when they are making purchasing decisions. In 2020, Black Friday falls on Friday 27 November.

Use our free marketing plan template to help you plan your seasonal promotions or create a strategy for your business.

Plan ahead when it comes to staffing

A number of businesses have found it hard to attract staff since the pandemic. Read our tips on hiring Christmas casuals to help you plan ahead. An important factor in your planning is to consider what you might do if you are unable to find the staff that you need.

The year has certainly been a challenging one for many small businesses. With indications that many sectors in WA, including retail, are experiencing the strongest demand for many years, it pays to plan to make the most of the festive season to boost your business turnover.

More information

Remember you can turn to us for free services and resources to help you run your business. This includes:

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