In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the PCIAW® know it can be stressful, and a bit daunting, managing a business according to the new governmental guidelines. New measures such as employees working from home, a ban on national and international travel and a cut back of non-essential spend can all accumulate to cause business problems.
The PCIAW® would like to offer some solid solutions to such problems.
- Consider flexible working practises
Some companies, such as Sugdens & Sons have been able to implement fantastic measures to secure the safety of their staff. Sugdens is taking incredible care of their employees by making sure their offices are cleaned on the hour, every hour. However, if you are not able to offer this to your staff, consider the benefits of working from home and flexible working. Through working from home, companies are able to reduce the amount of human-contact and in the office and thus contain the spread of the virus. Check out our useful guide for working from home here.
- Keep posting your tenders
Relevant for all companies, but especially buyers – now more than ever, normality is key in assisting the world back to a normal economy. Buyers must not stop posting their tenders. It is absolutely vital the professional clothing industry continues as normal and this will not be the case if the buyers do not keep posting their tenders.
Buyers – make sure to upload your tenders for FREE on the pciaw.org website. You can find the upload page here. We currently have hundreds of tenders on our website for our verified suppliers to look through and engage with. We can all do our bit to help the professional clothing sector and buyers can play their part too by uploading their tenders to our website!
- Consistent and effective communication to your customers
This is an unprecedented time for the entire globe. You must keep in touch with your customers and clients in effective, considered and calm communications. Consider mass e-mails, e-shots, newsletters and social media as great tools to communicate your company’s stance during this time.
- Technology is key!
In amongst all flexible working and working-from-home measures, we have never been more dependent on technology to help, not only guide us through the pandemic, but also to allow us to keep businesses on track. Websites such as Zoom, PowWowNow and other conferencing sites are great to keep in touch with all employees and also clients through non-human interfacing, such as conference and video calls.
- Now, more than ever, is the time for planning
The Covid-19 outbreak could not be planned for, but now is the time for the industry to learn from this crisis and respond accordingly. This is the ideal time to be putting in preparations for your business for the coming months, and this can be successfully implemented through planning for every outcome.
- Keep employees in the loop
Of course, you need to be effectively communicating with your customers and clients, but that communication also needs to extend to your employees. Keep them updated with any plans, new procedures or new government advice at all times. This means they can then effectively pass this message onto your customers, keeping everyone within the same loop of knowledge and eradicating the possibility for panic.
- Research the support you can receive
The PCIAW® is a Federated Association member of the UKFT and will be working closely with them through the coming weeks and months to establish as much information as possible from the government about how this outbreak will affect the professional clothing industry. Keep an eye out for our weekly newsletters and e-shots that will contain all relevant information. The gov.uk website also has many publications and guides for employers and businesses suffering due to Covid-19.
- Be aware of your employee’s mental health
They’ll likely need some extra support during times like these. Encourage them to keep moving if they’re working from home and consider setting up daily conference calls to check in with all your staff – communication is key but is especially important if staff are self-isolating with no one to talk to on a day-to-day basis. Stay optimistic and have trust and faith in your team. Many young workers have likely worked from home, freelanced or dabbled in flexible working before. Your staff are probably already adept at taking their work home with them and keeping on top of everything. Flexible working practices can be daunting for employers but have faith in your staff.
- Remember that we are resilient!
The Covid-19 outbreak has well and truly established the live-saving nature of the professional clothing industry. Without the PPE and uniform suppliers clothing the ‘key workers’, the vital work of the NHS could not continue. Do not lose hope or allow self-isolation and working-from-home measure to make you feel secluded and unable to reach out for help.
The PCIAW® are here to be your voice and your guide. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with us at any point should you have any questions or concerns. Though we may not have the answers to all queries, we will make absolutely sure that if we can’t answer you, we will put you in touch with someone who can.
Please get in contact with us if you would like our help in promoting and marketing your business during this current time; we are here to help get your message out to the professional clothing industry and your customers!
We wish you and your families the best and hope you will all stay safe.