Businesses are worried about Coronavirus, and rightly so. There is barely a sector unaffected, and even those you might expect to benefit from public isolation such as E-commerce business are seeing dramatic reductions in online sales, as the general public look to tighten their belts in anticipation of having to survive on £94.25 a week SSP, or even being laid off completely. Many are also worried that even if they do work, their employer may be unable to pay their wages.
Scary times indeed.
I am firm believer in creating your own luck; the Government have announced a generous £330bn bailout package, but it is still unclear how, and when we can access the funds on offer and so we need to do what we can for ourselves to stay in the black.
Marketing your way out of the Coronavirus Crisis
Restaurants & Cafes
Based on Government advice, footfall is going to drop. It may be for two weeks, it may be for 3 months. But people still need to eat and meat/fish is still pretty sparse in the supermarkets. What opportunity is there for you?
- If you have a WordPress website, it is fairly easy and inexpensive to add a Woo Commerce online ordering system (we can do this for around £400-500) allowing people to order online. You can pay to promote with Facebook Ads locally, which we can set up for you. Including a ‘ No Contact” option, to leave food on the doorstep and ring the bell.
- ‘Bring Mother’s Day to You’ – Mothers Day would have been one of your most profitable days, but now these will have been cancelled. However, you more than likely have phone numbers/emails for all these people. Why not create a special Mother’s Day dining package for a set price per head, that will be delivered to a designated address on Mother’s Day at their chosen time? Even if families don’t want to get together and dine as a group – I am sure many would purchase this option for their Mum ‘Hey Mum, I’ve arranged for a special dinner to be delivered to your house at 6pm Sunday. Enjoy and sorry I can’t be there!” – better than a bunch of flowers. Text marketing is an effective way to get this message out there.
- Push the sale of gift vouchers (spend £10 for a £15 voucher, spend £20 for a £30 voucher etc) – redeemable anytime in 2020 excluding Christmas etc. Yes it will impact margin, but you need cash coming in now to survive this.
Beauty and Hair Salons
- Many people with limited mobility are going to struggle in isolation to wash and dry their own hair. You could consider a home-hair service (you would need to be equipped with a mask and gloves that are changed after each appointment)
- Consider late night openings and perhaps even Sunday opening if there is still demand, to increase revenues that will see you through the inevitable Coronavirus lockdown that is coming.
- Gift vouchers for Mothers’ Day – could you hand deliver gift vouchers in your local area for those unable to see their parents to give a gift? A gift voucher for a lovely facial, hand delivered to my Mum’s house on Sunday morning to be redeemed when this whole things is over would make a perfect gift.
- There are a lot of ladies who are anxious about being confined with their better half, who is going to see them without their brows/lashes/Botox etc, a final push for appointments before an inevitable lockdown would be a smart move.
Training Companies and Coaching
- Health and Safety, First Aid, business training – can this be taken online? People suddenly have a lot of time and nowhere to go.
- Businesses need a mentor/coach now more than ever, one-off 30/60 minute Skype consultations for a fixed fee would be appreciated by many a stressed business owner right now. They may even lead to ongoing work once normality has resumed.
- People are spending many more hours on social media as they scour the web for news, and occupy their time forging human interaction of some sort. Now is a great time to create videos – give advice, expertise, promote your videos, work on your own marketing.
- A lot of people right now are searching for information about Coronavirus will affect their financials – how and when will the SSP be paid? What is this £10,000 grant and how do I get it? How do I ask HMRC for a payment delay? Should I be handing over the VAT payment I had saved for April payment or hang onto it? Content is your friend – create SEO rich content (or ask us, and we can do it for you!)
- Create online Surgeries by Skype (maybe 15 minute free consultations) if you have the time to do so. Now is a great time to build authority and market yourself to businesses who will remember the help you gave them when things return to normal. And if they are using your service, it’s probably because they don’t have an accountant they can ask.
- With Personal Injury taking a huge hit ( as claimants are unable to attend medicals, putting the cheques on hold) and Court closure preventing the progression of ongoing cases – what services are still in demand? With our law clients we are looking closely at the areas of law that may have increased in demand (commercial litigation, debt recovery, insolvency, employment law) and we are promoting these heavily using Facebook Ads and online marketing.
Personal Trainers and Gyms
- Pretty soon, none of us will be able to go to classes, the gym and like Italy/Spain it may even attract a hefty fine if you’re caught going out running. People like me who train 6x a week, the prospect of being in isolation for weeks fills me with dread. Create closed groups where workouts and ideas can be shared. Create webinars. Online programmes. Home workouts. Here’s an example: create a group, create a daily workout that can be timed (20 sit ups, 10 lunges each leg, 20 air squats, 20 press ups, 50 jumping jacks – everyone logs their time in the group, maintaining a sense of competition and purpose) That closed group might have some real value to sell programmes and sessions when everything returns to normal.
- The supermarkets are pretty short on meat, eggs, fish – create recipes that are clean and high in protein based on what people have in their freezers and cupboards.
- Go Live on Instagram – do Q&A’s, ask people what their biggest fitness concerns are, give advice, build your authority.
What else can you do to help your business survive Coronavirus?
If you don’t already have a budget and forecast, now would be a good time to look at your income and expenditure. Once you’ve cut back on everything you can cut back on, what’s your break even cost? That’s how much you’re aiming to bring in as a minimum.
Schedule your marketing content as far ahead as possible, just in case you become unwell and can’t stay on top of it.
Come up with inventive Social Stunts – use this time to build your social pages, because there have never been more people online at a time!