9 Actionable ideas businesses can use to thrive during COVID-19

infographic of business planning strategy equals success

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

coffee cup at a cafe

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

tradie at work

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?

auto accident repair centre facebook post

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.

woman in a white top doing yoga at sunrise

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

student at school presentation

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

mortgage broker case study

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.

3 Reasons Why You Really Need A Digital Marketing Strategy

digital marketing strategy workflow

It’s 2019. Almost every business worldwide does some form of digital marketing. But can you believe only 45% of businesses don’t form a digital marketing strategy first?

Marketing is such an important business function as lead generation is the lifeblood of any company. It is such an important function of your company yet many do not place emphasis on this. Simply because of the misconception that launching a website, establishing a social media presence and publishing content will magically contribute to the growth of your business.

Sadly, it doesn’t work that way especially if you are keen on lead generation or online sales.

For digital marketing to be effective and successful, you need a roadmap. You need a well-laid out plan on how to achieve your business goal by leveraging online media.

In other words, you need a strategy that lets you take a series of clearly defined, data-driven actions to achieve your business goals before you actually use tactics like SEO, social media, ads, and more.

This even works when there is a major slump in the economy. In my case study where our client was a company with 14 finance brokers who were rather despondent because their sales techniques weren’t working during Perth’s economic downturn, executing a good marketing plan turned skeptics into believers that marketing actually does work.

Here are 3 undeniable reasons why you need a digital marketing strategy.

1. Your marketing efforts will not be going around in circles.

digital marketing strategy road map

Without a well-defined strategy, it’s like driving somewhere new without a roadmap or GPS.

You put up a website. Get on all social media channels. And start religiously posting on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Snapchat and the likes.

But are your online marketing efforts taking you closer to business goals? Are you getting more leads or closing more sales? Are reinforcing your brand image in an effective manner? Are you getting more followers or better engagement? Are you even being found on Google for the product/service you offer?

Those would remain questionable!

In fact, many businesses don’t even know whether their posts reach the right target market.

Whereas, when you define your digital marketing strategy, you will have a solid plan that gives you the right direction to take charge of online marketing in an effective and proven manner.

2. Ensure consistent marketing messaging

What's your marketing message?

All your marketing efforts should reinforce your business value proposition.

Why should customers choose your business over competitors? What problems give sleepless nights to your customers? How are you solving those problems? Why exactly should people care about your business?

Ideally, your online marketing efforts should be an answer to all these crucial questions.

Your business should address these issues in your social media channels and not come across like a carbon copy of your competitors.

A well-planned digital strategy can help ensure your message is consistent across all digital marketing channels and immensely contribute to your business bottom line.

You can do this by starting off with content marketing as part of your strategic marketing campaign. This strategy will help by finding your brand’s voice so it is both authentic and compelling to your ideal customer.

3. Track results. Optimise. Achieve your marketing goals.

Google Analytics results

The best part of digital marketing is, you can track, measure, optimise, and test almost every single marketing activity online. By doing so, you will be able to constantly improve your marketing and achieve the desired goals in a cost-effective manner.

Unfortunately, many companies don’t spend the time to review their analytics that helps them identify what’s working and what’s not.

Only when you have a well-documented digital strategy, you will know where opportunities exist even against the sea of competitors, which channels you don’t need to concentrate on, and whether your online marketing is paying off or not.

So before taking a plunge online, start on the right foot by creating a digital marketing strategy Or, you will be simply pouring money down the drain.

If you need help figuring out your digital marketing strategy, I would love to help you do this.

Does your business have a digital marketing strategy or not? I would love to know how you approach digital marketing. Share your comments below.