2020 is going to be a tough year for most businesses. We have all seen the economic catastrophe that has had a terrible effect on most businesses worldwide. But there are definitely things that businesses that are still currently allowed to operate can do to stay afloat while we are all stuck in this mess.
In this blog post, I am going to cover team culture as well as ideas that specific business types/categories can do to capitalise on what is happening right now.
Take Care Of Yourself And Your Team
As a business owner or manager, the first order of business is to take care of yourself and your team. If your team is working from the same office (i.e. not working from home), even a fun working environment can turn highly stressful during these times. We can all do our bit to stay positive and to create a positive working environment.
- Create a circle of gratitude. Before you start work, get together as a team and share at least one positive thing that you are grateful for each day.
- Take a prayer and/or meditation break. Prayer and meditation are both scientifically proven to help your mental well-being and reduce stress.
Working From Home
If you have allowed your employees to work from home, trust them. Trust that they will actually do the work and be productive. Although we have an office, we have always allowed working from home to be an option. Here’s my at home set up. Apparently I don’t have enough screens.
Have a stand up meeting daily to check in on everyone. Sometimes there are staff members who live alone, so having video calls to check in with people allows them to be social as well as to reconnect with others who they would normally see daily. There are many web conferencing tools that teams can use such as Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, and Cisco WebEx.
There are also many different team communication software apps out there which will allow your staff to chat to each other during the day. Some online project management software programs have chat built in to it. Otherwise programs like Microsoft Teams or Slack can do the trick.
Businesses can still thrive during these times. We know right now that people are ready to spend as they are stuck at home, and e-commerce is doing really well right now. If you are afraid to launch your business right now even though you were due to it’s ok – there are plenty of famous businesses out there that were ‘born’ during crises like the Global Financial Crisis and the Dot Com collapse such as Groupon, Sony Ericsson, Electronic Arts, and Adobe.
Having a plan for business continuity is important regardless of whether you are currently operating or plan to continue your business after this whole coronavirus and restricted movement thing blows over. This could include updating your website, getting your advertising ready, and more. We can assist you whether it’s brainstorming new ideas or if it’s the next step.
I’ve brainstormed a few things various business categories can do right now to help you on your way:
Restaurant and Cafe Marketing Ideas
Restaurants and cafes shut up shop at midday on Monday in Australia. While some have chosen to completely close, there are still places that are still selling their takeaway coffees or depending on food delivery apps.
If you are relying on food delivery apps, you already know how much it cuts into your profits. It’s seriously deep. 😢
So what are some of the alternatives to keep yourself afloat?
1) Change your website to have more of an online menu that has lots of high resolution photos so people know what they are ordering. Food photography pros need work right now, and I’m sure they would appreciate the business especially if it’s their niche.
2) Give people the ability to add these menu items like an online shopping cart. Most website CMS (especially WordPress) allows this quite easily.
3) Allow people to order using their credit card to the system so you can re-order whenever they want with just one click.
4) Start a Facebook and Instagram advertising campaign that informs people that you are still open and you can have food to bring to them or that they can come to you and how that will all work.
You can also take some ideas from what well known brands in China are doing. I haven’t heard anyone in Australia doing this:
In addition, depending on your costs, you could also come up with a daily or weekly delivery package where delicious food is delivered to your door just like Meals on Wheels – but way better
Construction and Trade Marketing Ideas
Are you in the construction industry and can’t go out to do jobs? Now is the time to create a social media following if it’s possible.
While this sounds ridiculous, we have a carpenter creating videos to show off what he makes. You can also show how-to videos. While some people might DIY, there are still heaps of people who are way too lazy or not handy enough to do it themselves.
Architects and interior designers can use this time to give tips and tricks as well.
Whatever it is that you choose to do, you can have people join your Facebook messenger chat bot list or an email list. Now you’ve just built a list based on people who enjoy what you have to offer. Whether it’s writing an eBook about interior design tips or a video course on how to do woodwork, you’ve just created an email list. And as we say in marketing – an email list is worth gold as you can market to them once you can return to business.
Auto Marketing Ideas
Are you working in the auto space?
Here’s an example from Queensland where they are offering to pick up and drop off vehicles. They also do online quotes or at their customer’s home. How can you apply this to your business?
Fitness, Yoga, Martial Arts Marketing Ideas
If you already have clients and are fitness instructors or martial arts instructors – now is the time to create small group classes and even one-on-one personal training. You can do this by adding online bookings of your classes onto your website, advertising them on social media and Google Ads, and by using a video conferencing software like Zoom.
If you’ve already sorted out how to do live streaming and online bookings of your classes, you may be wondering whether there’s any room for growth beyond your current sets of clients.
With fitness and yoga instructors and their dog scrambling to set up live streaming or online classes for their clients, especially since the PM announced the closure of pretty much all fitness spaces today, the online space will be absolutely saturated.
There are also many competitors:
1) People can go on YouTube and get it for free. Even my mum YouTube’s Zumba and dancing videos as they’re free!
2) You can download free fitness apps like the 7-minute fitness app or the weight loss for women app. Or even exercise apps that only cost a few dollars which will save them during their financially difficult time right now.
3) There are existing online fitness websites like Michelle Bridges, Chris Hemsworth’s new venture, and more. Why should they train with you as opposed to them?
However these can be negated if you have a good relationship with your current clients, it means that you can grow your own tribe.
One of the ways you can do this is to really niche down as to who you want to target. In this case, it’s not just so you are known for “Fitness / Martial Arts Instructor for X” but so you can also attract people globally as well. All they need is access to the internet, for you to have a payment facility available, and for you to get the word out through online advertising.
Education Sector Marketing Ideas
Once the dust settles and we get into the groove of this new normal, parents are going to want to get their kids to get into a routine. Part of this is to plan for the future of their child’s education.
This strategy is more relevant to non-K-12 education centres such as tuition centres, music schools, and university consultants/agents. These places typically rely on an in-person tour or a free trial class to get their students.
But since we are advised to work from home, what can you do? Easy – turn what you do into a digital format so you can keep the cash flow coming in and make payroll.
What you can do is to create an online webinar instead of relying on a seminar, preview, or stall. If you already have the material, it only takes a few days to get up and running. If you are starting from scratch, it may take up to a month to get yourself running and enrolling students.
Instead of spending on brand-related advertising, you can do student recruitment-driven advertising.
If you have teachers, you can set them up via Zoom and an online booking system so you can get money through right away via online tuition.
Finance Broker Marketing Ideas
No matter what the economy is like, everyone still needs a finance broker. People need to get a new loan, or they need to adjust their home loan, business loan, and/or car loan.
So how do you capitalise on this? We actually have experience doing this during the mining downturn where we actually increased leads. Part of it is rallying the troops if you have a few brokers who are rather despondent right now. Like I said, there’s always money that you can make during this time for finance brokers.
With finance brokers like mortgage brokers, it’s all about who you know. The main thing right now is to reinvigorate the connection you have with your past and existing clients via email marketing and social media marketing. Of course, you shouldn’t email someone you last had dealings with 5 years ago. They should be relevant, recent connections.
By using this and content marketing techniques, it is definitely possible to keep the cash flow coming through and make payroll if you are a larger finance broking company.
Just check out our case study.