The aftereffects of the Coronavirus outbreak with Government guidelines, restrictions and regulations has hit businesses across the UK right at the core. Many big industry names have been forced to close high street stores and small companies have faced financial difficulties during these unprecedented times.
Stay at home to save lives has been the health and safety manta for weeks and will continue to be a strong message for further times ahead. But how does a business thrive when faced with a troublesome blow through no fault of their own? The Brace brothers, Mitchell and Nick, think back to the recession of 2008 and how much of a bad time it was for business. Despite its consequential crash, they say an opportunity and founded Brace that same year as they saw enormous opportunities ahead of them and the future of digital.
This is your moment to grab that entrepreneurial spirit that sparked your business from the beginning and pull through to the other side. It’s not going to be easy, but if it was then all your competitors would be doing the same right? Here’s our tips on how to immunise your company during these challenging times.
Communication is Key
Looking back on the recession of 2008 when Facebook was starting to take over, YouTube was on the rise and Instagram was just a seed in developers’ minds, digital marketing wasn’t thought of as a key asset. But that didn’t stop businesses market their services with other means. Keeping up communication at this time to current customers and potential new ones for the future shows that you’re still active regardless.
This is your opportunity to continue marketing positive stories, how you’re helping your local area, if you now provide takeaway service instead of eating in – let your customers know. If you don’t, then when all this is over how will you rise above the noise? Everyone else will have the same idea and you don’t want to be late to the party, be the leading example and utilise this opportunity.
Remember at the start of this landlords were demanding money off tenants or even worse telling them to leave altogether because they couldn’t afford rent after employers had made them redundant? Don’t be the bad guy. If you have a loyal customer base and want to keep that black book of customers coming back after the troublesome times have died down, then level with them. A relationship based purely on the transition of money isn’t best practice. If you only regard them as that, they’ll see right through you and go elsewhere.
The businesses that reach out to clients, see how they’re doing or offer alternative payment solutions will be remembered for their empathy. Building up an even stronger client base for the future. Like we said in the last point, communication is key. If you have a special deal on at the moment, then let them know. Even if you’re not currently selling, kindness still goes a long way and we respond well to human connection when it’s least expected.
Value Your Services
It’s easy to try and entice customers right now by cutting prices on your products and services because you either want to shift stock or need the extra income. Our tip? Add more value. It might sound like a backwards approach right now, but never forget your business acumen. By reducing prices you’ll hinder your profit margins and will end up in a downwards spiral.
People still have money to spend, some of it may be tied up right now or awaiting arrival following the Government’s financial announcements, but customers will spend again. The economy will thrive again. Take inspiration form entertainment companies like Sky TV. They’re not cutting prices, are they? Instead they are launching new channels, offering customers to rent movies that were set for cinema release and giving those self-isolating at home more things to keep them busy for their buck. How can you give your customers that something extra to make them feel valued without the need to devalue what you already provide.
Get the Help That’s Out There
Although it took a little while to get a clear picture of what help was available for businesses, the Government are ploughing money into funding small companies. From the Furlong system for employers, to grants and business rates relief, there is plenty on offer regardless of size. There are also mortgage holidays, business interruption loans and postponements of VAT payments. If you have a team of staff who may feel uneasy about the economic situation, keep them notified of their rights and what’s available to them.
The paperwork itself will take a little time to complete, but if there is money available to help you in the long run – regardless of whether you need it right now – then how can you say no.
Fix Those Forgotten About Jobs
With more free time on our hands, it’s time to take an in-depth look at where your money is actually going. Are there places where wasteful spending is falling through the gaps? Some of the biggest holes we have found in others is ineffective marketing. Brace are here to help you strengthen your marketing and online presence for the future.
Upon first thought you may think that investing in marketing right now is like flogging a dead horse, but this is perfect opportunity to improve your branding, try out a Google Ads campaign, or view your website differently with additional pages or a video to really make you stand out. Perhaps it’s something you’ve been thinking of doing for a while, but never had the time to sit down and properly think about the plan moving forward.
Fix the holes in the bucket and come out fighting fit on the other side. Make sure you follow up those leads, employ email newsletters to show that you’re still current, get in touch with those that have drifted away. Make sure that previous visitors to your website who haven’t converted into profit, have a reason to pick you over your competitors.
Maximise Your Marketing
Now that you’ve thought about patching up those holes for the future, the penny has dropped about the importance of marketing. If you’re on top of your investment news, then you would know that the time to buy is during a downturn. It may seem a stretch, but if you can then do. Competitors are sadly calling it a day, but this is your calling to thrive during this Coronavirus outbreak.
Upscaling your marketing is part of the process of buying leads and customers. Restaurants have turned to takeaways; physical shops have converted to Ecommerce sites in a few days and B2B companies have changed their websites to lead generation pages. It’s all possible with the right team and expert advice. Seize the day and support yourself for the future.
These tips of course are not a one-size-fits-all solution. So, adapt, be able to change and address those tasks that have been left on the shelf. If you would like more advice and support from our marketing experts, don’t hesitate to get intouch.