Whatever the size or type of business you run, the coronavirus is having a huge impact on how we operate. However, it has never been more important to focus on building your brand during this time and think about ways to positively market your business or service.
The current situation we find ourselves in has afforded us time – something we struggled to find before – so use this time wisely to strategise for the future says business owner Craig Simpson, managing director of Jigsaw Media, a Dundee-based marketing agency, which has been advising some clients for no fee since Government restrictions were introduced.
For Craig, who along with his team, has been working from home for four weeks, it has all been about crisis management and supporting clients. The marketing expert works with a diverse range of local and international clients in industries including hospitality, tourism, finance and engineering. And recently, as a charitable gesture, he coordinated the launch of the Broughty Ferry Foodbank – launching it within just 24 hours.
He said: “It has been a challenging few weeks as the impact has been significant across the board with enforced changes in behaviours. You can never properly prepare for something as unprecedented as this.
“For our clients, we wanted to make sure comms were right and, from a PR perspective, make sure that they were telling their story in the right way.
Consumers will remember companies’ behaviour through this which is why it is so important to do the right thing and put people before profit.”
Here, Craig reveals six top tips for surviving the weeks and months ahead:
1. STAY ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
It is important that businesses and brands continue to have a presence on social media and don’t just drop off altogether, especially as consumers are spending more time online than ever. Even though your doors are closed, you must continue to engage with your audience.
2. GOOD PR:
How your business behaves through these times will be remembered by consumers when we come out the other side. There have been a number of national companies that have had PR disasters thus far and recovering from that will prove incredibly difficult for them. Now more than ever it is important to do the right thing, and if you do, tell people about it.
3. CREATE A COMMUNITY:
There will be many policies to come out of this and one that I’m seeing is the increase in community spirit and that includes the business community. Businesses are coming together and working together to support each other and that is incredibly heart warming. I set up a group on WhatsApp with 20 other business owners and the support we have offered each other through this process has been invaluable. If you can, create your own community or simply join another and get involved in it.
4. PRESS THE RESET BUTTON:
This is time to take stock, an opportunity to review where you are and where you want to go with your business. What can you achieve? What can you do better? It’s essentially breathing space, so press the reset button and take the opportunity to look at your processes and procedures and how you can come out the other side stronger.
5. EMBRACE NEW WAYS OF WORKING:
It is also a good opportunity to improve the effectiveness of your business, and how you communicate with your customers and your people. Perhaps, in the future, we will be spending less time in the office environment as we become more comfortable using online platforms, like Zoom, Skype and Teams. Are there online revenue opportunities perhaps? It is easy, as business owners/directors to be too in our businesses. This may have been forced upon us but it is an invaluable opportunity to see what we can all do differently and, more importantly, better in the future.