Business News

Helpful Tips during this Pandemic Period

The impact of the Coronavirus has effected retailers across the country and no doubt as you read this you will think about your closed business. With the help of Belinda Sampson, MD of Bella Crafts and Co-founder/advisor of Creative Industry Association we have put together a top tips information sheet that may help you get through this strange period of time. (a 7 minute read)

  • The most important area is you: your wellbeing and families. You may now be juggling children at home, less or no business time to work, you and your team maybe furlough. It is all different to what any of us expected.
  • Remember this is a phase and it will pass. For now, take time, stop and do whatever keeps you sane, relaxed and smiling. Nothing is more important that you
  • Attitude: only you can decide how to re-act to things, ditch the things you cannot control. Even in the darkest days there is always good to see and feel
  • Try and limit your news and social media. There is SO much information flying around and it does no body any good keep seeing repeated tragic, depressing news
  • Make a phone call, send a message. Contact all those you’ve perhaps put off or even those that you ring regularly. Facetime / video calls is a great way of keeping in touch
  • Join in with community projects like the rainbows or teddy in your window, leave a note for the postman or binmen, join in with the clapping… spread the good feeling
  • Think through if you have secured your property. Is there anyone local that you can ask to check on the premises on their local walk? Some local authorities have Bid Organisations and are arranging extra patrols for town centres / shopping centres
  • Have you removed all cash including floats?
  • Are all electrical appliances turned off?
  • Have you re-directed your post or can the post office hold for you?
  • Remember to cancel or re-direct any re-occurring deliveries
  • Look into grant help or loans. If you do not have direct access to support book a call with Craig at Creative Industry Association, visit the Federation of Small Businesses, government and local council websites. There is also various online business help and support groups – a lot are offering free information to support all the changes
  • Visit your local council web pages or drop them a call – they are there and are receiving support to help. Remember actions and procedures are taking time to put into place
  • Why not contact other similar local businesses and start a WhatsApp’s group to share knowledge and support?
  • When you do re-open, do you have a plan? Will you rush to open the doors or take a few days to perhaps re-decorate, sort, tidy the stock room, re-organise? It could be a good opportunity to complete a few jobs before opening to the public
  • How will you open? Will you plan an event, offer goodwill with craft demonstrations or children’s activities?
  • This is an excellent time to work on your online platforms, website and marketing. Review everything from the eyes of your customer. Do all elements stand up and you feel proud of every area?
  • Use this time to work on areas of the business that perhaps you don’t usually get time for or perhaps put off!
  • Be a calming voice to your customers. Put yourself in your customers shoes. What would they like to hear from you? The most important thing you can do is keep in touch. Can you offer Facebook lives or videos for more of a personal touch?
  • Encourage your customers to share perhaps their makes and to add to your posts. Ask questions to encourage responses
  • Be positive
  • Use this time to engage with other local businesses, like and comment on their posts, lets all support each other. Perhaps collaborate with online competitions, opening offers etc
  • Ask your customers for reviews and tell them how to do this, not everyone knows!
  • Remember this is a stressful, uncertain time for you and also your team. They will turn to you for information and support
  • Set up WhatsApp groups to communicate and have everyone involved. Post videos of you offering updates and keeping in touch as well as messages
  • Keep your team as up to date as you can do. Do keep in regular contact and do ask for them to keep in contact with you
  • It does not matter if you do not have all the answers, just make sure you communicate this
  • This is a great time to check on your paperwork, are your contracts, handbooks and procedures up to date?
  • Is this a time that you or your team can upskill yourselves? There are plenty of online courses
  • Make a plan for your business when we all re-open and return to normal. What plans can you put in place to generate and pick up business?
  • Make a ‘getting back to normal plan’ for your personal life, this could be a family get together, a meal out to support local businesses, afternoon tea with friends, activities to look forward to
  • Follow up all support opportunities and take and use them
  • Connect with Creative Industry Association – as we all navigate through these difficult times the association is resolute in making sure we offer you a helpline so that you can get the help and support you need. Don’t worry if you are not a member – we are offering FREE 30 minutes advice helpline – simply email
  • Remember everyone is in the same or similar position so find your support
  • Remember this will pass! Stay strong

FREE 30 minutes advice helpline – simply email

Award winning Craft & Activity Centre For children, adults, business, family and community Parties, events, workshops, festivals and craft supplies. The best place to leave the kids (and adults!) for arts and craft

BellaCrafts Ltd Fair Oak Tel: 023 8051 7054 The Barn, Fair Oak Garden Centre, Winchester Road SO50 7HD

BellaCrafts Ltd Winchester: 01962 843301 The Craft House & Tea Rooms, Kings Walk, Winchester SO23 8AF

To support those who are dedicated to the craft industry we want to help and share business news, brand or product releases and any retailers, suppliers and creative professional who are still able to be open and trading. If you would like editorial email:

As this pandemic takes hold the Creative Industry Association is focused on supporting and helping the creative, craft and hobby community and those that work within it. They are offering a free 30 minute advice and support help line to all non members, email to book a call back.

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