The age-old saying of take the risk or lose the chance has never been more relevant for one Auckland retailer that is faring well despite two rounds of lockdown.
Newmarket audio visual equipment and electronics retailer The Sound Store placed an extra-large order of stock - three times its typical volumes - after a difficult lockdown period earlier in the year, but taking the risk has paid off ten-fold.
Chris Du Toit, owner of the Sound Store, says the second round of lockdown had been tough on business activity, and while sales were down, they were not down alarmingly.
The business had a "reasonably good" June, July and August up until the second lockdown.
Du Toit told the Herald he had found the first round of lockdown "a lot tougher" and generally found people were more hesitant to spend on discretionary goods then.
Now, people had reprioritised their spending on goods for the home as international travel remained off the cards, he said.
He attributes taking the gamble on ordering more stock to what kept the business alive.
"We took a gamble and we said 'Ah well, if we come out in June I've got to make sure I've got stock because we don't know what's going to happen with supply chains, and that was the saving grace," Du Toit told the Herald.
"All of a sudden supply chains stopped quickly. It affected all of my competitors and because we had stock we took over a lot of customers in that way."
He anticipates that in the next couple of months in the lead-up to Christmas it would experience a busy period of trade.
Du Toit said the biggest lesson lockdown had taught him was to "add more strings to your bow" through expanding what your business offers.
"You've got to do things a little bit differently - if you do what you did yesterday, today and tomorrow, you are going to fail.
"You've got to be able to modify your stance and add a few extra strings because if all of a sudden you just have one major supplier who is not supplying you and your business hedges on that supplier, you could go down very quickly."
The Sound Store had expanded its range of goods and added more services through its installation team. It had also re-entered the aged-care market stocking emergency call systems.
To overcome the issues Covid-19 presented, it also began selling online despite its product offering not typically suiting e-commerce and its team of eight people underwent salary reductions to 80 per cent of their usual earnings to keep everybody employed.
Du Toit puts the business being able to thrive during periods of uncertainty down to having an installation arm to the business.
"If it was purely retail I don't think we would have survived.
"It's important to provide an end-to-end solution rather than one little widget in the solution - that's where you become a little bit at risk."
Du Toit said his advice for struggling businesses was not to wait for things to get better but instead find different ways to do the same thing or change their business completely.
"I believe from adversity comes strength. There are a lot of things we were quite relaxed on that we never would have done if we hadn't had this - there are a lot of business learnings out of Covid."
• Get with the times and make necessary changes
• Take risks - if they are calculated they always pay off
• Expand your product and service offering as a way to back up the business in events of changed market conditions or demand
• Offer more products and services than your competitors