Helping Businesses adapt in Bristol, Bath and Somerset

I have a great example of one of my business mentoring clients, who has really adapted her business to the changes thrust upon her due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Good & Proper Weston-super-Mare, owned by Clare Morris and trading for 14 years, is a traditional Somerset café, but specialising in quality and locally sourced produce.

Of course everything changed overnight as we went into lockdown, but although she furloughed her staff, Clare, ever the entrepreneur, went in every day to open the café herself with a “socially-distanced” reduced take-away menu. Not only did Clare see her regular customers, but new customers started to visit, attracted by her new take-away offer.

Supporting Clare as her Business Mentor, we analysed her sales both before and during lockdown, to see what we could learn, and realised that the famous 80:20 rule most definitely applied to her business. Even before lockdown, despite an extensive menu 31% of Clare’s turnover came from her top 5 sellers – which were all coffees! The top 20 menu items alone represented more than half her business!

Clare had always had an interest in Zero Waste, and to be something more than “just another café,”  so we began to formulate a plan for replacing the “sit down” café part of her business with a Zero Waste retail store, whilst retaining a reduced menu primarily for take-away.

This tied in well to what I was seeing as a Business Mentor – changing consumer habits and values. Which in Clare’s case meant concerns over social distancing could have a negative impact on the “sit down” café side of her business both now and in the future; but conversely greater consumer awareness of what we buy and it’s impact on society and the environment, fitted in very well with the Zero Waste store idea.

We also looked at the local landscape in Bristol, Bath and Somerset and identified a clear opportunity for Zero Waste store with a comprehensive offer.

So after considerable research, assessing the financials and discussing the risks together, the brave decision was taken – out with the tables and chairs and in with pasta, grain and flour dispensers, and some very special weighing scales!

We have put a strong marketing “teaser” campaign in place, with Clare posting on Facebook Groups and creating significant interest pre-opening; the café windows have been screened off with an impactful picture of Weston beach full of plastic refuse, and the enticing “Coming Soon…” message.

All in all, a terrific example of a Business Mentor working with a small local business owner, helping her adapt to what we learned during lockdown and understanding the future habits of her consumers. And most importantly – taking action! This is certainly where a Business Mentor adds value!

I am delighted to have helped mentor Clare along the journey and look forward to seeing the success of her reshaped business.

If you would like to discuss how Nigel Browne could help mentor you and develop your business, why not try a Complimentary Mentoring Session? Tell him about your vision, and let’s start the journey to get you there.