Back in March, we shared useful resources and business advice about how to spend to keep your business afloat during the first lockdown. This time, we’re reflecting on what we’ve learned from 2020 and what you can be doing right now, during this month of lockdown, to keep the momentum and ensure your business blooms in 2021.
Don’t withdraw your marketing budget
A common reaction for business owners is to pull the plug on their marketing budget. We saw it during the financial crash of 2008, we saw it again in March, and we’re seeing it again now. While we understand it might be tempting to do this, it’s imperative not to.
Marketing is the only way to survive any crisis, financial or otherwise, and there is a lot of free or low-cost marketing you can invest in. All you need is time – which makes lockdown the perfect opportunity to either start or readdress this. If you reduce or stop your marketing, you’ll be reducing your visibility to potential customers or clients right at the time when you need them to see you most.
For more information about marketing during a crisis, check out our do’s and don’ts blog here.
Take your business online
If COVID has taught us anything, it’s the importance of having an online presence. Consumers rely on technology, and the pandemic has caused a dramatic shift in thinking for many businesses who have had to re-evaluate their positioning, with digital spearheading the recovery from COVID in 2021.
If you’re not already online, this is a great opportunity to make the jump. Whether it’s a DIY website built using WIX or an affordable package site to get you off the ground, you must have an online hub where customers can find information about you. From here, you can set about creating a Google Business account, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok – whatever it might be, be sure to concentrate on the platforms and the types of media that are most attractive to your target market.
If you’re worried about budget, check out this blog to see if you’re eligible for government funding.
Look at the trends in your industry
Don’t let assumptions guide your budget. Instead, use a tool such as Google Trends to see what people are searching for. This a great way of spotting changes in consumer behaviour, and it’s also a great way of exploring your industry, target location and popular topics of the day.
We did our own research piece back in May on the changes in consumer behaviour due to lockdown.
Consider an investment in passive eCommerce
It might be that you spend this time exploring other avenues to generate an income for yourself. Passive eCommerce is a popular choice for entrepreneurs as it’s relatively easy to set up, and once it’s done, it pretty much runs itself. We’ve also been speaking to our clients about online marketplaces too.
Discover how to generate a passive income with eCommerce.
10 tasks to do now
To help you kick-start the process of investing in your business, we’ve put together our top 10 activities for you to get started with:
- Build or commission a website – our free eBook explores this process in-depth to help you along the way.
- Start a podcast or video series to engage with your customers online.
- Start producing regular, insightful content for your audience via a blog, whitepapers or eBooks.
- Start an email newsletter to your prospects, customers and friends of the business.
- Survey your existing customer base to find out what works for them and what doesn’t.
- Get active on your social channels.
- Address your 2021 business and marketing strategy – this blog explores these ideas in more depth.
- Address your internal marketing plan – how you’ll engage, motivate and inspire your team throughout the process.
- Audit your website – if you already have a site, you might want to look at what is or isn’t working.
- Create a roadmap of ideas for improvements to your online and offline activity for you to refer back to.
Each of these activities is about using your time and what budget you have to effectively promote your business and show your customers and competitors that you’re still active, you’ve not disappeared and that you’ve got plans for the future.