Prior to COVID-19, Rebecca Day, founder of The Cheeky Chocolate Queen, didn’t need to brainstorm ways to stay adaptable, but once the coronavirus crisis hit, Ms Day found herself in search of ways to pivot her business to keep orders rolling in.
In a world without coronavirus, Ms Day would have been organising The Cheeky Chocolate Queen’s regular pop-up shops in Adelaide; however, the current situation has forced her into operating her business out of a small shop front at her home.
But despite a number of changes over the past couple of months, Ms Day told MyBusiness she is now confident her business will come out on the other side and stronger.
This newfound confidence comes from a few tricks she has most recently learnt, including the power of partnering with other local businesses, mastering your online presence and implementing a prepayment system.
It all started, Ms Day noted, just before Easter. Instead of gearing up for her busiest time of the year, Ms Day faced kilos upon kilos of unused chocolate.
“Running a chocolate business, Easter is typically my busiest time of year. This year, however, was a very different story,” Ms Day said.
“With some of my biggest stockists including cafés, airports and hotels in lockdown, I had to pivot to tap other revenue streams.”
She quickly turned to her website for sales. Recognising that this was to become her sole source of revenue for an unforeseeable future, she decided to ramp up her online presence.
She said: “Facebook and Instagram, in particular, have really helped me engage my customers and get the word out about my business, no matter where they might be.
“Posting engaging content such as videos, new creations and running competitions for my followers to encourage likes, comments and shares has not only helped keep my business top of mind, but has helped to generate positive word of mouth.”
Quickly, she found herself gaining a lot of attention from her local community, as people flocked to buy local, so she decided to pay it forward.
Ms Day soon partnered with a vegan dog treat company, Veggie Paws.
“This not only helps me reach a new customer base, but it can provide support for a fellow small business likely to be feeling the same pinch,” she said.
“We combined our love of pets and chocolate and joined forces to create a series of pet-friendly treats to capitalise on the Easter rush. It’s amazing to see small businesses and the community helping each other during this time.”
Recognising that maintaining a healthy and reliable cash flow is now more important than ever, Ms Day also implemented a new payment system.
“Requesting prepayment or a deposit before pickup has been a great way to boost cash flow when sales might be slower, and also provides great peace of mind at a time filled with uncertainty,” she advised.
And despite the multitude of challenges the past couple of months have thrown at her, an invaluable lesson she has learnt is the “power of community and the importance of resilience”.
“With both of these attributes by my side, and a couple of business tricks I’ve learnt over the years, I’m confident that my business will come out on the other side, stronger than ever,” Ms Day concluded.
*Article first published in https://www.mybusiness.com.au/management/6949-how-one-chocolate-business-pivoted-to-success