The past year has been a really difficult time, both personally and for businesses, and we have all had to adapt to what is currently the new normal, while keeping our heads above water. It’s certainly not been easy, and it looks like things might be this way for a while longer, so if you haven’t yet considered it, it might be time to set up for home delivery for your business.
If you have a lot of local, loyal customers who are missing being able to use your products, and workers who are currently unable to work in a physical store, you might be able to make home deliveries work to your advantage. This way, you are still able to provide your customers with what they need (without them going to a bigger company), and your employees are able to work – and of course, if you’re making sales, you’ll be able to pay them too. Everyone is happy. Here is how…
Setting your system up
If you don’t currently accept online orders, the first thing you are going to want to do is set up an effective system. You could create a full website with the capability to order and pay through the site, or if you want something a little easier you could take phone calls/emails/messages, and utilize a mobile credit card swiper to securely take payments when you deliver the goods. This will take a lot less infrastructure and could be a great way to start, so you have money coming in while you look at building a website.
If you give people an inch, they will want to take a mile, so be sure to set out your rules and boundaries early. For example, how far are you willing to travel for deliveries? Will you charge extra for this? What time frame can they expect their order to arrive by? How will returns work? If you’re accepting orders through phone or message, it’s important that you have boundaries for when you will answer, otherwise you will find yourself getting angry messages at 3am from someone who doesn’t understand why you’ve not messaged them right back.
Depending on the scale of your operation, you might want to hire someone to do admin or even a virtual assistant to keep on top of orders, reply to customer queries and promote your business on social media. Keeping everything running smoothly, customers happy, and getting orders out on time might require some fine-tuning but when it is working well, it could prove to be really lucrative and also keep your customers loyal so that when stores can open fully again, you can continue to offer delivery as an extra service.
It is a really difficult time for businesses across the globe, but at the same time, there are so many opportunities to adapt and try something new. It’s time to get creative.