Getting Back to Business-Real Business

So as businesses, some of us had to close our doors, some of us had to adapt survival strategies to get us through knowing business would commence once Covid-19 was ‘so called controlled’, whilst other steamed ahead with a whole new market such as Zoom and mask makers. For the latter I am sure you are managing your own strategy but you may wish to read this as your business may calm down soon. I already cancelled my Zoom upgrade to a FREE basic package with the changes in my business structure. They lost £14.99 from me and I am sure many other businesses who now have headed back to the office.

It has been very difficult for everyone and especially if you have big overheads such as staff, rent, rates, mortgages and even outstanding bills from suppliers. Marketing will probably be the last thing on your mind but it really needs to be addressed seriously as we move into this semi-open stage.

I wrote an article on the website related to Keeping Your Brand through the Covid Crisis and highlighted it was vital to ensure it was maintained throughout. What will you be remembered for during this crisis? Your customers will remember that message for a long time to come so it is vital you assess that and ask your Customers. There is still time to make any changes…

Contact and Communication

This has been vital for businesses throughout the Covid Crisis and I have encouraged constant updates through your Social Media channels. Face Book, Twitter and Instagram are all free and are wonderful marketing tools when you have little or no budget. All they need is time and please set aside some to ensure you use it. Make sure you have been and now are sending empathetic emails, both being sympathetic to the customer, whilst encouraging business.

Keeping your clients up to date with opening times, your safety regulations, what you are now offering is vital. Also the message I am receiving seems to be ‘Thanks to our Local Businesses for Staying Open during the Covid Crisis and Supporting the Community’. Brilliant but hey these local people supported you so put great big banners outside and the biggest message is thanks to YOU WE HAVE SURVIVED! Your customers want to feel important, involved and will respond to a great big thank you. I also have a Travel business which of course, hit a wall, but my customers have been awesome and I constantly thanked them for supporting me throughout and we are now off to Snowdon in a few weeks, plus lots more tours and it is totally due to them that my Walking Company has survived.

Advertising

Everyone is fighting for the small amount of money that is available and advertising is much cheaper at present with local newspapers, so it is a great time to do it  BUT negotiate for the best deal.  Always ensure you get some FREE press release space with a great big photo. It is vital your message is a strong one in the advert. Insert a dated ‘voucher’advert not a general information advert and just a small box advert is enough-provided the newspaper offer some FREE article space.

Press Releases

The biggest mistake people make is to say too much so if you offer a newspaper an article use the following triangle rules of writing it. ‘Essential, then informative, then be nice to have if there is room’ and of course a great photo with a caption.

Charitable/Community Support

Our Customers have gone through so many emotions during Covid-19 and are still doing so. Sadly thousands died, people lost jobs, mental health rose tremendously and so many felt the despair of loneliness, isolation and anxiety. Why not support a local or national charity that you believe in, related to one of these sad situations, or get your staff involved in a challenge to raise money. Make sure you shout what you are doing from the roof tops. Supporting the local community is great but that is everyone’s news- sorry I want more..It’s great but not enough!

Discounts and Vouchers

What you are going crazy? Money is so tight already how can I do that? Listen so many people are fighting now for the small amount of money that people have to spend so why not offer a discount to say thank you to your local community for supporting you. Give a FREE biscuit in a coffee shop, a FREE piece of jewellery, a FREE glass of wine in a bar. These customers got you through and will continue to do so and if you don’t grab them someone else will. The government are offering some restaurant and pub discount strategies so ensure you put out the message if they are applicable to you.

Get Rid of Old Stock Now

We had an awesome spring and people are now thinking Autumn so if you are in the retail industry ensure you are well ahead with getting rid of old stock that should have well sold by now. People have so little money and are thinking of small treats if at all possible and clothes, especially are not predominant on their minds. Going out has been reduced and they have been spending online so have lots in their cupboards ready to wear. I am not an expert on this but please be aware. We all know stock is money you need.

Staff Smilies

How did you treat your staff during the Covid-19. We all hear rumours of the big guys and the bad guys so make sure if you treated them well, that there are some fabulous team photos and great big thank you’s from them. People want to know you are a fair, ethical and moral local business. Also make sure they are treated well and watch what they are posting on their social media!

Let’s hope we are back on the road to business recovery. But I also trust this time has given you a space to re-assess your business, become more resilient and be aware none of our businesses can ever be safe..

 

Good luck and thanks for reading

Diane Carter

Marketing Consultant

Marathon Media

Please contact me for FREE advice and tips..

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