Well, the situation is beginning to change. There is a slight lifting of restrictions which will be welcomed by many people. Although it is crucial to accept for everyone who looks forward to extended freedoms, there will be an equal number who will continue to follow a more reserved path.

There can be no right or wrong way of easing out of the situation. Some will enter the changes with speed others will be far more cautious. Therefore, it is important to be accepting of the ways and choices of all of our friends and associates. My feeling is if you follow the official guidelines, then there should be no reason for concern.

During the last week, I received notification from the Market Office that Nottingham Victoria Market would reopen on the 15th of June. Of course, Ian and I are delighted with the news. Before we can open the LizianShop, we must formulate a safety assessment and write up the evaluation for the market office. And guidelines set by the office are stringent indeed, so much so, we have a week to prepare for reopening.

Once the shutters are lifted, and the market reopens, we will gain a real insight into the way the public will react to small business shopping. To anticipate the way trade will develop is impossible. One word sums up the future of tens of thousands of small businesses: it is: ‘confidence’ and any who do not inspire confidence to their customers will fail: I do not doubt this statement.

Gaining the confidence of customers and clients will not be an easy task. Every aspect of one to one trading has changed until the country is given the ‘all-clear of infection’ and this could be some time away. I also think there will be a learning curve for all of us: learning of what people will find acceptable hygienic practice and what is unacceptable. My thoughts are untidy or scruffy business premises, toilet facilities and staff will ruin any possibility of one’s business surviving.

If you are restarting your business during the next few weeks, now is the time to email customers and clients, in the emails let them know you are still working and ready for the future. Nine weeks is a very long time indeed to be separated from your clients. And they will need to be reminded of your presence. Remember, social media is an excellent promotional platform, but your coverage will be within a ‘friends’ group, and there is a need to extend beyond this barrier. If you have an email list, use it now!

LizianEvents Facebook Group has grown in number over the last two months: and the number of people using the group to share their services is growing. If you are a member, use it to your advantage, share your information to gain awareness of your work, services and products. As an insight, We have promoted LizianShop Online on the group and the number of customers gained over the last weeks is both encouraging and surprising. Countywide orders have been received directly after Group promotions. There is no reason why YOU should not enjoy the same success. Please take note: we refuse political, inaccurate or malicious postings, so keep this in mind when sending posts in for approval. If you have questions to ask, or needs to be fulfilled, post on the group. It is a very active and like-minded selection of intelligent and open-minded people.

What of the Well Being Shows? I have already given our viewpoints, and for the moment, nothing changes. We will send out our surveys in two-weeks time, and then we’ll know what is required to fulfil the Visitors requirements. Until this information is assessed, there is little more to comment.

To all of you who are restarting your business in the coming weeks: I wish you the best of fortune. Please use our platforms for promotion: the consistent and daily posts have kept us in contact with thousands of people. None should doubt this statement, kickstarting the future will not be easy. However, The Community are already higher up the ladder than many organisations, shops and businesses. Remember, it is not only the visibility which matters in the future, but it is also the messages sent out to clients, customers and Visitors: and it is their perception which will be the difference between future success or failure.

Liz Clark
MD LizianEvents Ltd

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