Strategies for Overcoming Crisis in The Hospitality Industry

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Strategies for Overcoming Crisis in The Hospitality IndustryEvery organisation is likely to face a crisis now and again. Significant problems may arise once or twice a year, with smaller issues appearing sporadically in the time in between. Predicting what a crisis will entail is impossible in many situations – but it’s how a team prepares and responds that can dictate whether and to what degree a business recovers.

The Covid-19 pandemic is one obvious example of an uncontrollable crisis affecting almost every industry in one way or another. While many wise businesses will have a crisis management strategy in place, it’s a situation few could have directly planned for.

The hospitality sector has been among the hardest hit. Unfortunately, it’s also likely to feel the situation’s impacts the longest due to ongoing social distancing rules and a consequential reduction in demand and revenue.

Sales slumped by 87% in the second quarter of 2020, and despite tentative signs of recovery, over half of small business owners in the sector fear the pandemic will force them to permanently close. The situation has forced many to pivot their approach in order to survive – but effective crisis management could allow some to emerge stronger.

Below we discuss other uncontrollable factors the hospitality industry faces, as well as the strategies businesses can implement to overcome them.

What uncontrollable factors affect the hospitality industry?

The aforementioned Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted what is perhaps the primary uncontrollable variant for the hospitality industry – flow of tourism.

Accommodation providers, food and drink establishments and other leisure facilities all rely on visitor numbers, but tourism can be fragile even in the best of times. Weather, political events, area decline and the arrival of competitors can all lead to unpredictable cashflow and a variety of other challenges from one season to the next.

Another variant looming large over the sector is Brexit. The hospitality industry is a large employer of migrant workers, but new regulations are likely to lead to problems with labour availability. It remains to be seen whether abolishing freedom of movement will also turn international tourists away.

Strategies for overcoming uncontrollable crises

Periodically reviewing plans is one important strategy for managing crisis. By building in trigger points to assess factors such as operational and market performance as well as basic financial metrics, a company can assess whether a long-term plan is still fit for purpose. In light of some of the events discussed above, this process can be vital in adjusting to new parameters to keep a company on track.

There are other practical steps that can be taken to prepare for the eventuality of a crisis. Taking out hospitality insurance with Gallagher for example can protect against damages to a commercial property or other unforeseen disruptions.

When such a situation does arise, establishing an effective solutions team allows a business to focus the right people on the task in hand. Members should have a clear understanding of their roles and ideally some of their typical responsibilities will be delegated. Electing forward-thinking individuals will help generate the most positive and proactive response.

With a crisis management team in place, wider communication is essential in keeping everyone working towards the same goal. Creating a clear ‘change story’ that all workers can understand and get behind – from front of house staff to board members – can be an important step in establishing a collective sense of urgency.

The hospitality industry is undoubtably facing a crisis right now – but with the right team and strategies in place, many will already be on the road to recovery. If you have any additional insights, please feel free to share best practices in the comments section below.

How Selling Online Can Save Businesses Post-COVID

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, How Selling Online Can Save Businesses Post-COVIDIn a post-COVID world, we’ll all be looking at buying and selling very differently. The ongoing global health crisis has really shown businesses that can pivot to new ways of working will be the businesses that survive, and those that don’t will be the businesses that fail.

We’ve all seen the news stories, and we’re all concerned about the impending financial crisis that is likely to hit the country, so what can we do to mitigate the fallout?

The secret to success will be to move business as online as possible, and if you sell products, then selling online will be vital to ensuring that you can weather the storm that is coming.

When brands don’t sell online, it can cost them millions. Take British clothes retailer Primark; for example, due to having no online selling presence, they lost approximately £284 million. In contrast, the British public was unable to visit the store during the lockdown. Still, interestingly, Primark’s complete avoidance of the online marketplace has left a gap that others will happily fill.

Primark clothing soon turned up on Amazon through resellers and at a premium too!

Fill the Gap

As an entrepreneur, you can only look at that story with dark amusement, but you must also see the benefit here, you can sell almost anything on Amazon and use it to turn a profit, but how exactly can you do this?

The best way to get into selling on Amazon is to use a professional Amazon marketing agency like Nuanced Media. Trying to navigate the Amazon seller sphere all on your own will be time-consuming, confusing. It will probably lead to you not achieving your goal of financial freedom and possibly financial independence with an Amazon store.

Starting Your Financial Freedom Journey

Marketing agencies like Nuanced0020Media understand how the platform works -for buyers and for sellers- and they will guide you through the process of creating your account, setting up your store and what to sell, and how much for.

Do you want to sell your own branded products (Private Label), or are you happy to find products you love at wholesale prices and sell them on for retail prices? The latter is probably the most popular option on Amazon, especially for businesses looking to get into online selling, and allows buyers to buy products they know and love, but pay you instead of another one of the bigger online sellers! Digital Products Platform Online Training Program

Gaining financial freedom from your job or work can be really empowering, and for companies that are concerned about taking the hit for the Coronavirus outbreak, pivoting the business model of selling online can be an absolute career saver for many small businesses.

It’s easy to get set up on Amazon, and you’ll be backed by their customer help team who are fantastic. One of the biggest bonuses of using the Amazon platform is that it’s so widely used by shoppers all over the world, so you could be connecting to anyone from anywhere!

About the Author

Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of NuancedMedia, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed and Modern Retail. To connect with Ryan, check out @Ryanflannagan on Twitter or via Linkedin.

How The Cloud Can Help Businesses During Covid-19

Times are unusual for everyone at the moment due to the Coronavirus across the globe. Businesses have had to take a fresh look at how they function and how they can best enable their employees to work from home to keep their business afloat.

Never have there been such testing times for the business world during the pandemic. Many have had to take swift action to keep systems in place, as well ensuring that they enable remote access to their employees.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | How The Cloud Can Help Businesses During Covid-19

Covid-19 has highlighted the need for widespread adaptation, laying aside outdated, manual ways of working in favour of secure, internet-based tools, built to handle everything from your accounting and invoicing to meetings and quick chat options. All of this, and a lot more, is easy to set up in minutes, thanks to cloud computing for business.

Due to enforced social distancing and many offices having to close (or at least have reduced access). It’s been imperative that companies utilize the various online tools that are available, such as video calling.

This is where the cloud comes in as it means businesses can use the internet to store and get hold of data, instead of using their hard drives in the office, server or things like disc technology.

There are some key advantages to using the cloud for business:

It enables employees to work from home

If the cloud was already part of your business before Coronavirus, then it meant that you were one step ahead of those who didn’t. Many businesses were still very traditional in the fact that they operated from premises and were used to their employees reporting into the office. The pandemic really turned this style of workforce on its head.

Now employees have been helping to ensure businesses and their jobs are still there, by working from devices at home. Employees now need access to hardware such as laptops, mobile phones and desk phones which has created a huge demand for these items.

Security is a critical aspect of home working that is not as apparent to employees but of paramount importance to the organisation. Cyberattacks are on the rise and a big concern for businesses and other security professionals implementing work-from-home and cloud solutions.

IT efficiency

It can often be perceived that employees are not as productive at home, at least to their employers. However, this is not always the case. Many people are working to their best, perhaps more so, since working from home and it will often be facilitated by the infrastructure that the company has in place. This in turn makes it even more crucial that IT departments are working effectively to make sure that systems are running as smoothly as they can, plus, having a cloud service provider and is like having a specialist third party on-tap, as well as utilizing companies such as

It gives your business resilience

In uncertain times, it’s having the tool to be able change that’s key. Due to rapid changes, that in some cases have had to happen overnight, having the ability to scale up and down has been paramount. By enabling employees to be able to perform their role from home, it really helps to make the business far more resilient and as a result, more likely to be less affected by the pandemic in the long run.

How employees’ mental health can be looked after during COVID-19

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | How employees' mental health can be looked after during COVID-19Currently, employers are facing the most crucial test in a generation as the COVID-19 pandemic presents a massive threat to the psychological wellbeing of their staff. Remote working, furloughing en masse, and sector-wide uncertainties all pose major challenges to maintaining the mental health of the workforce.

With so many factors at play, from dealing with isolation to financial or health concerns alongside familial and caring commitments, safeguarding employee mental wellbeing is not an easy task. However, there are several initiatives you can take to protect and build mental resilience in your workforce.

Keeping people connected

Good working relationships are critical to both performance and emotional wellbeing. With remote working, there is a very real danger that the physical distance between team members can lead to social and affinity distance. Work becomes more task-focused rather than collaborative and, without face-to-face contact, important friendships and support networks disappear. In this situation, it’s all too easy for employees to feel isolated and overwhelmed.

Encouraging regular communication through online and video meetings, as well as emails and instant messaging, creates opportunities for both collaborative working and socialisation. This helps to retain the human element to the business, mitigating feelings of isolation.

It is also important to check in regularly with staff to discuss performance, as well as their mental and physical health. Allowing them to raise issues and speak freely, means you can offer support if needed and be proactive about potential problems before they occur.

Balancing work and life commitments

Balancing personal and professional life is also important for protecting mental health. However, with remote working, it can be very difficult to manage. With work notifications popping up outside office hours, and the demands of childcare or other significant responsibilities, home and work commitments run the risk of getting tangled up, contributing to stress.

Helping employees set a clear line between work and personal priorities by building mental barriers is key. Employers should encourage their staff to set a designated area of work, where they won’t be interrupted. It’s also important to remind employees of setting a schedule. A daily routine, perhaps starting with a call with a manager or the team, can help give employees an idea of when to begin and finish work. Defining a start and end time ensures they know when it is OK to ‘switch off’, turn away from the screen, and save those emails for the next day.

Highlighting support options

In situations like these, it is paramount that employees are aware of the resources available to them, and that they are encouraged to take advantage of them. Employers should consider building a community page where employees can connect, and HR managers can share tips, such as effective stress management and maintaining work/life balance.

You can also point them towards vital support networks. These might range from company-provided employee assistance programs and counseling services to links to organisations that offer guidance and support. The NHS and MIND are excellent resources you should consider.

Providing helpful resources demonstrates you care, and communicating clearly and openly that employees should not be afraid to seek help if they need it, will help them sleep easier

Beware the media

The way in which we consume our news can also have an adverse effect on our mental wellbeing. Keeping up to date with COVID-19 coverage is tempting and thanks to social media, these stories are highly accessible. However, it’s very easy to get lost in a sea of misinformation and fear.

Though organisations can not directly influence how their workforce is consuming media, leaders can and should provide clarity and guidance to their staff, communicating clearly about the situation and what it means for the organisation.

With the government announcement that employees should continue to work from home where they can, it’s clear that for many, remote working and social distancing will be the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future, prolonging potential dangers to mental health.

Businesses depend on their people, and people need support. If an organisation is to survive and thrive, taking a proactive approach to employee wellbeing – both mental and physical – has to be at the heart of a successful business strategy.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Will JacobsWill Jacobs, a graduate of the London School of Economics, heads social media and authors content at Cezanne HR, a leading supplier of modern Cloud HR and payroll software.

COVID-19 Has Revealed What We Need More of in Business: The Female Brain

StrategyDriven Diversity and Inclusion Article | COVID-19 Has Revealed What We Need More of in Business: The Female BrainThe coronavirus crisis is a wake-up call. It’s waking us up to what we need to pay attention to in order to live sustainable, healthy lives on this planet. It’s waking us up to the global leadership and cooperation that’s required to ensure our human survival. And it’s highlighting how the female brain is highly adapted to the actions that are needed — right now.

Across the globe, we’re witnessing shining examples of women leading nations through this crisis (here’s to you, Germany and New Zealand) and instances of the worst kind of dominant male behavior here in the USA.

Women, men, and the balance of power

In each of these cases, women have expressed their power differently than men. But why? Differences in neural connectivity and hormones combine to shape male and female power behaviors. Modern brain scanning reveals that neural connectivity in a female brain activates broadly across the left and right hemispheres as the brain analyzes the many facets of a problem. In contrast, male brain connectivity runs with equal intensity from front to back, focused inside of each hemisphere, but with little connection between the two sides of the brain, giving men a singular focus.

Neurochemically, women’s brains and bodies contain far greater quantities of oxytocin, the bonding hormone. For men, the quantities of testosterone are far higher. Under stress, men’s testosterone levels go up, and oxytocin goes down. In women, it’s the opposite; the stress response increases oxytocin.

Because of these combinations, women and men tend to have different takes on the world. Put simply: women create solutions; men fix problems. Women, by nature, are more inclined to connect, collaborate, and communicate. Men with higher testosterone tend to care more about their place in the pecking order.

To be clear, none of these responses are fully married to either sex. How we respond and react are unique to us, with our life experiences shaping these basic biological underpinnings. But we all know that women and men generally have very different ways of living in the world, based on millions of years of evolution. And, as we are experiencing with COVID-19, you cannot argue with Mother Nature.

Right now, a broad, collaborative, and connected perspective—one that sees the whole and isn’t about competition, ego, and turf wars — is exactly what’s required.

Our ‘new normal’ requires female ways of leading

Research shows that many pre-COVID-19 corporate cultures favored male-oriented brains, having been largely created by certain kinds of men for similar kinds of men. But in this new world of working remotely, female ways of leading are creating the space for neural diversity to speak up and find its voice.

Women who were often silent in big office meetings are speaking up online. So are the less-alpha men, along with introverts. Power and status symbols have been stripped away. Working from home is a great leveler and liberator, and it’s allowed female leadership to access the best of all the brains in the business.

COVID-19 has caused us to hit the pause button. To stop and think. Just like the impact of women coming into the workforce after World War II, we are experiencing the positive effects of a different kind of leadership at work. These coronavirus days are allowing female power to shine. There will be no going back, and the world will be better for it.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Kate LanzKate Lanz is the founder and CEO of Mindbridge, a UK-based global leadership company specializing in the power of modern neuroscience and releasing latent brain potential. She is the author of All the Brains in the Business: The Engendered Brain in the 21st Century Organisation. Learn more at