The disruption caused by COVID-19 has impacted a range of local small businesses we all know and love.
We reached out to various businesses in Australia’s SME community to find those who have moved quickly and adapted to the situation to unveil the initiatives they have introduced to keep their business going.
We hope we can play a small part in showcasing their hard work and ingenuity so more people can take advantage of the services they offer.
We spoke to the Pinot & Picasso Director, James Crowe, about how his business, that combines painting and sipping pinot, has shifted its strategy amidst the disruption of the current pandemic.
How has the business been coping in past few weeks?
Being your classic shop front retail experience, our studios initially struggled with the COVID-19 outbreak with not too many people keen on the idea of spending time it in a room with 20 other people. Our sales dropped by almost 80% in just under a fortnight and we were forced to close our Studio doors.
2 weeks ago, we came up with the idea of sending our art studio to the customers in the form of the Pinot & Picasso Art Box – and streaming live and free sessions via Facebook every weekend.
How did the idea for come to fruition?
It’s always been a long term goal of ours to provide a digital Pinot & Picasso experience for our customers but didn’t know how it would fit strategically within our existing business model.
COVID-19 well and truly kickstarted this project through the mandatory closure of our physical studios and out of necessity, the Pinot & Picasso Art Box was born.
Has social media helped keep your business going?
As an E-commerce business, social media has always been at the crux of what we do but the social response to the Art Box has been unprecedented.
More than 600 Art Boxes were ordered in under a week with zero dollars spent and promotion only made organically through our social media channels. We’re confident in saying this concept wouldn’t have come to fruition without social media and it has been an integral part of the survival of Pinot & Picasso during this period.
Are you optimistic about your business’ future despite the situation?
Increasingly so. At Pinot & Picasso we’ve always been of the opinion that the show must always go on.Now we’ve managed to pivot in a way that the show is going on and the show is getting bigger, better and sharper.
Are you working on any other creative ways to keep your business going as we anticipate tighter restrictions?
We’re looking at venturing into Virtual Team Building through systems such as Zoom and Google Hangouts.
We truly understand the value of team engagement and culture even through times of self-isolation.
We think Virtual Pinot & Picasso is the perfect way to grow you team, team relationships and emphasise your core values through a creative outlet.
And finally, do you have any other tips or strategies would you like to recommend to other small businesses owners?
Definitely utilising social media and video content for promotion. There’s never been so many people using social media with time to kill at home. Creating outstanding, relevant content and pivoting for a digital content is imperative in times of social distancing and self-isolation.
Are you a small business owner who has come up with some unique and creative ways to keep your business running during these trying times? Whether you’re a restaurant owner braving the world of home delivery for the first time, a personal trainer motivating their clients through a virtual workout or a wine distributor trying their hand at an online tasting, we want to hear from you! Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to feature your business on our page and help get the word out.