The coronavirus is not showing signs of slowing down soon, with 4,093 cases confirmed in Australia at time of publishing. What does this mean for you and your small business? GDR are here to help to evolve your business during COVID-19.
THE NEW NORMAL
From gyms and beauty salons to restaurants and entertainment venues – not to mention weddings and even funerals – it’s clear that businesses of all sizes are entering an unprecedented economic environment.
Firstly, business is slowing down. Even China, a global economic powerhouse, saw an historic 20.5% slump in retail sales this year.
The Federal Government is now looking at how to effectively hibernate our economy.
But so far, several initiatives have been set up specifically to support your small business in a series of stimulus package announcements, including:
- A pause on repayments for small business loans
- Bankruptcy protection for six months, where the threshold for creditors to issue a statutory demand on a company has been raised from $2K to $20K
- Tax relief from the ATO (may include payment deferrals, reductions, etc) via a tailored support plan
- A wage subsidy of 50% for small businesses with trainees or apprentices
- Grants of up to $100,000, pending eligibility
- See more details here
- Or state-by-state initiatives in this nifty guide
While it’s understood that small businesses have a rough time ahead, it’s important to remember that most Australians are happy to buy local, and the Government is hoping to keep everyone afloat too
CRISIS BREEDS INNOVATION
As the health authorities and Federal Government have advised, people must stay at home to minimise the spread of COVID-19. This new way of living means a change in the way we all consume and purchase.
In theory, many people will be consuming less, and simply finding alternative ways to purchase. Much like the advice after the 2019/2020 bushfires across the country, shoppers are again being urged by their local councils and governments to buy locally.
There are many ways that small businesses are adapting to the COVID-19 environment:
- Cafes and restaurants have become takeaway only
- Services available online only – including gyms and personal trainers, music teachers, consultants etc
- Offering gift cards for future services to keep the cash flowing now
While sales and profits are likely to suffer for most businesses during this period, our marketing help can help you cut through. We know how difficult this is on a personal level AND on a business level – and we’ve got your back.
COPING AT WORK AND HOME
On a Personal Level
This is an incredibly stressful time to be a human, let alone a business owner. We’ve rounded up some great resources you can rely on when times get tough:
- Make a (preferably telehealth) booking with your GP, counsellor or psychologist, or simply talk to a trusted friend
- Contact the mental health professionals at Beyond Blue, available all day, all night, every day of the week. You can reach them via phone: 1300 22 4636, or head to the Beyond Blue website for chat and email
- Not sure where to turn health-wise? Use the Head to Health government resource to search through their collection of publicly funded online mental health services
On a Work Level
Many major companies and organisations are here to help:
- Facebook is giving away $100 million in cash grants and ad credits through small business grants! See here for details
- Facebook also released a business hub to provide support, guides, skills and training, toolkits and more, plus the ability to connect and talk to owners of businesses like your own
- Telstra is offering free use of their Virtual Meeting Room service to Australian businesses until 30 June, meaning you can connect with your teams and employees who are working from home
- Alongside the earlier stimulus package support info, you can find a detailed information about the timings for the new government support initiatives here, which is updated regularly for accuracy
DIGITAL INNOVATION WITH GDR GROUP
The best thing about marketing is that you don’t need a physical location, and we’re still here to help. We’ve got Skype, FaceTime, email, direct mail, social media and everything in between, so we can connect with you without having to meet face to face.
And, if you’re currently a client, we’re happy to offer a FREE one-hour strategy session where we can get creative and brainstorm together.
Daunting as it may be, strengthening your marketing efforts during an economic slump can create quicker results for your business.
Retaining your current clients and reaching new ones is more important than ever. A digitised marketing strategy is vital as it can be adjusted along the way to adapt to changing needs and environments (Exhibit A: COVID-19).
Most people are working from home and are attached to their devices in order to stay up to date with the news, Facebook and emails.
It’s an opportunity to cut through with an effective email strategy to make the most of dwindling conversion rates across most industries, and social media marketing that takes advantage of the current high traffic, as well as creating customer loyalty and a real sense of community in difficult times.
Unless you work in news or finance, your online traffic is likely to be suffering. Much like the conversion rates mentioned above, there have also been significant drops in organic traffic across the board.
Ramping up your pay-per-click spending (budget permitting, of course) is a short-term fix to get seen online by a highly targeted audience. It may be particularly effective if you are offering an innovative service during the COVID-19 period (e.g. take advantage of locals Googling ‘where can I do group fitness classes online sydney’).
Web Development and Design
Once customers have found your site online, you want to make sure your branding is not only aesthetically pleasing and engaging, but quick and easy to navigate on desktop and mobile alike.
With regards to speed, it’s well documented that a sluggish site can impact your sales. Google even found that 53% of mobile users will leave a site that takes more than three seconds to load, and who wants to risk that?
Printing & Flyer Distribution
Flyers are the perfect way to reach all those locals staying at home for the foreseeable future who may not be as web-reliant as millennials. Open and offering takeaway? Conducting personal training sessions online? Let the area know.
In keeping with social distancing guidelines, we can even post samples to you so you can get a touch and feel for the pieces before making any final decisions.
A FINAL MESSAGE
Running a small business during the COVID-19 crisis is a daunting thing. We get it – we’re doing the same thing. Know that we’re behind you, the Government is doing their best to assist businesses, and the wider community is continuing to buy and choose local!
We’re ready to get creative to navigate difficult circumstances, and get through this – together.