KBBG, one of the most influential kitchen and bathroom buying groups in Europe, has released a statement of advice for independent kitchen and bathroom specialists who are working from home as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
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The advice is aimed at independent kbb specialists for whom working from home is not a straightforward task, and covers topics such as social media, video communication and training.
Read the advice below:
KBBG: what to prioritise when working from home
With the current pandemic, most businesses are facing unimaginable challenges and have to make huge adjustments to ultimately keep staff, customers and clients safe. ‘Working from home’ may not be the easiest phrase to get your head around, particularly when your business is running a showroom and fitting kitchens and bathrooms. However, there are positive things you can do from home to keep your business in front of customers.
The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG) is the most established and largest buying group specifically for the independent kitchen and bathroom specialist in the UK. It has an in-depth understanding of the UK market and the needs of independent specialist retailers. Bill Miller, Managing Director, KBBG says: ‘Consider marketing your business so that when the pandemic is behind us it comes out healthy and strong, and your target audience remembers you have been there throughout.’
It is vital to keep your social media going, and if you haven’t invested any time in this communication tool then now is the time to start. Your customers need to know you are around. With most of the UK spending the majority of time at home, customers will be spending an increased amount of time scrolling through social media, so it’s important that you are there to be seen.
Video is a great means of communication, now more than ever. Try and keep your products and services in front of your target audience through videos. For example, you could video the latest coffee machine brewing a cup of coffee, showing how easy it is to do, and that it resembles a barista coffee, which is what many of us are missing.
Try creating a short video with an update on the latest products that you have on display. Perhaps promote the slightly more unusual products that many customers may not usually have time to think about when they are so busy. Anything from icemakers to sous vide ovens and steam ovens. You may inspire customers to make a wish list and begin planning a new kitchen. Remember to mention all the things your business does well, going that extra mile, above and beyond your competitors, such as customer service, home delivery, and taking orders over the phone and by email.
Educational videos are a great way of engaging an audience. You have a unique area of expertise, so why not share it with the community? Consumers are looking for things to do around the house, so a tutorial video on how to measure a kitchen, or plan a bathroom re-fit, could go a long way. It could even inspire the viewer to plan a renovation and reach out to you when you are open for business once again.
Being unable to operate business as usual gives a unique opportunity for you to partake in some online training courses and to expand your expertise. There is a wealth of training available online, a lot of which is free during this uncertain time. For example, BiKBBI, in conjunction with Cortexa, is delivering free online training for members during this time of social distancing.
The training and recruitment business partner of KBBG, Simon Acres Group Ltd, has been offering invaluable advice for businesses in the KBB industry. This video prepared by Simon Acres Group Ltd is a great introduction to working from home. The video offers tips, from various industry experts, including talking to customers using WhatsApp or Zoom, using the time to get feedback from customers and working on future plans and strategies.
Helping your local community
More often than not, consumers like to support local, family run businesses so it’s important to always remain an active member of your local community. We need to come together and look after each other during this uncertain time. Could any of your members of staff sign up to be an NHS volunteer? Put it out there on social media that you are available to help anyone that needs it, ensuring that you are adhering to government guidelines and keeping your staff safe of course.
Bill Miller, Managing Director, KBBG says: ‘The challenges of business will always be there, regardless of the economic, political climate or a pandemic. It is the aim of the KBBG to ensure that we provide support for the entrepreneurial kitchen and bathroom retailer to enable them to grow and overcome whatever challenge that they may encounter.’