With the escalation of the Covid-19 outbreak businesses are under a huge amount of pressure to implement different ways of working and for some looking at alternative ways to earn money and survive. Here in the UK we are approaching the fast part of the upward curve and new measures are now in place to avoid pubs, clubs, cinemas and theatres.
Tougher times are getting closer but if any good can be taken from this then it is the support network of people really coming together to try and help each other where at all possible, both personally and in business.
The government has announced a £350bn package to support businesses ‘small and large’ and there are a great number of companies providing further support and advice.
What can you do to help your business or other businesses you know? Don’t sit and wait for this to pass, react now and continue to market and educate your customers and future customers. If you are an SME some of the ideas below may work for you (some of the ideas have been taken from other business sharing stories on social media).
Inform customers and potential customers of any changes in the business and continue to educate the status of what your company is doing.
Shops that also have an online store, why not put a large sign in your window to promote your web site.
Shops - Offer virtual personal shopping using Facebook, Skype and Whats App (for local customers a collect service or local delivery).
If your establishment is still open, put a sign on the door so that it is clear what measures they need to take on entering (as well as what you are doing internally)
If your establishment has had to close then why not offer gift cards to help with cashflow.
For example places that were promoting Mothers Day say it with a voucher instead.
Collaborate with other business – for example if you have a shop that delivers, could you work with other local shops to broaden the offering to customers locally?
If you have planned events then where at all possible postpone rather than cancel.
Continue to use social media to promote products and services. In the past if you were not proactive at this then it is time to step up. But do bear in mind the changes happening daily and the tone of your posts.
If and where possible offer payment plans for services being carried out.
Write BLOG articles to inform, help, advise and support.
Use social media advertising as there will be an increase in people using these devices due to not being able to shop in-store.
Run/attend virtual networking events using platforms such as zoom.us/
Have virtual client meetings using zoom or skype.
Use online project management tools that can be used by your teams to share project status etc. for example trello.com/
Use emarketing platforms as they are low cost and enable you to send eshots, offers, promotions, newsletters, company updates. We use Constant contact and can set this up FOC for you if you need help.
If you don’t send out brochures and leaflets via the mail to customers and potential customers why not give it a try.
If you have outdoor space use it to promote your company – PVC banners are a low cost way of doing this.
If you were in the process of recruiting, don’t’ stop now, just interview virtually.
Please ensure that whichever route you take you adhere to the current government guidelines and directive that are relevant to your sector in terms of preventing the spread of the Coranavirus.
HMRC - short term tax breaks 0800 0159559: www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19
Enterprise Nation – Business Survival Guide: https://www.enterprisenation.com/coronavirus-support/
Northamptonshire Chamber: www.northants-chamber.co.uk/news/coronavirus-advice-for-employers-and-employees
MIND - Coronavirus and your wellbeing: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/