Coronavirus Business Survival Kit: The Show Must Go On!
The situation with Coronavirus is changing rapidly. Although the majority of people infected have recovered, for individuals and families affected, this will be a distressing time. It is difficult to know what the impacts on the economy or business environment will be in the short or medium term. However, together we will get through this, and we want to help you any way possible by putting together our COVID-19 Business Survival Kit.
Support is coming!
This week the Chancellor announced a package of measures to provide support for UK businesses. Full details have yet to be released but here is a summary of some of the support that we believe is going to be made available.
You can find the most up to date Coronavirus guidance for employers and businesses from the gov.uk website, just click here.
For those who qualify for Small Business Rates Relief, it looks like a £10,000 cash grant will be available from your local council. There’s no need to apply – your council will be in contact once the scheme is in place.
Business Rates Relief
If your retail property has a rateable value of up to £51,000 you may have a rates payment holiday for next year.
Statutory Sick Pay
For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. What’s more, SSP can begin from day one of sick leave.
Business Interruption Loan
You may also be eligible for a Business Interruption Loan, provided by your bank and backed by the government. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses. Businesses will be able to apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees.
The key is like is says above, Don’t Panic! Make sure any decisions you make aren’t knee-jerk reactions. Don’t cut back unnecessarily. We all need to stay in business, and do business with each other. Hopefully the support described above will help businesses ride out the storm until this situation passes.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We have written up a few things you can be doing to help your business during this critical time.
This is broken up into three sections.
1. What you should be thinking about from a business point of view to keep your service going and your customers in the loop.
2. How you can ensure that the work keeps coming in over the next few months, crucial for when things go back to ‘normal’.
3. How you can support your local area, community & businesses. Read on for more information…
KEEP YOUR BUSINESS AFLOAT
We have all started to make contingency plans should we have to self isolate, but have you considered the following to keep your customers in the picture?
Contact your IT company
…and find out the best way to keep your business running remotely, and what the best way to execute this would be. Think about things like your phone systems, servers, computer equipment and software licenses.
Share notices with your customer base
…so they know where you stand. Especially if they heavily rely on your services & may suffer if your business slows down for any reason. Remember to keep it positive, and talk about how you’re getting around the problem & making contingency plans! Keep Calm and Carry On!
Educate your staff on best practices
Educate your staff on best practices for the virus, including washing your hands regularly, not shaking hands & when it’s appropriate to self-isolate. Informing your staff on company policy will in turn allow them to communicate this to your customers.
Find an alternative to face to face meetings
Whether that’s just a standard phonecall, or utilising a video/audio platform such as ZOOM to keep your work moving along during this time. Do you have Office 365? If yes, did you know you can make video calls through Mircosoft Teams?
PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE SPENDING MORE TIME ONLINE!
In a time of crisis, it’s natural to think to start cutting costs to save money, and marketing usually falls into this bracket. Scaling back on this may actually have an adverse effect in the long term! Just think, with many employers & employees taking the isolation approach, they are more likely to be online across a variety of platforms.
With that said, there are things that you can be doing right now to keep your audience informed & market your business, as well as planning for the future to allow you to hit the ground running when all of this blows over.
We also have a hub of articles that we have written to help with marketing activities which you can view by clicking here.
Put a notice on your website
You should prioritise putting a COVID-19 statement on your website so anyone that visits your website knows exactly where you stand on the situation. You may also wish to give them the option to opt-in to your email database so they can be quickly informed of any changes that happen to your business.
Speaking of emails...
…send some out to your customers! Send personal ones, Mailchimp ones, whatever you feel is suitable; but it’s important that they are kept in the loop of what’s going on. It helps build trust in your brand & business too.
Thought about live chat?
We have all seen the chat-bots on websites that pop up and say hello when you’re on the site, why not make use of one? We can advise on which would work best on your website if you’re unsure.
Ramp up your social media presence!
Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram to share briefings on your business activities, remind people of your services & share some light-hearted stories. Remember to be positive!
Say thank you!
Although it’s great to say thank you to your customers all year round, it can sometimes be overlooked. Now is a great time to send your thanks to your clients and show that you appreciate their support & custom through these harder times.
Ride the storm!
It might not seem like it right now, but this shall pass. Which is why we encourage you to think about what you can be doing when we come out at the other side of this to get new & existing customers back on your books and recover.
REMEMBER TO SUPPORT OTHERS AROUND YOU
Support your peers, local businesses & communities. During this time it can be difficult to think about other people, especially when you’re trying to support your own business. We’re here to remind you about those around you, and encourage to show support to anyone and everyone who needs it. We’re all in this together!
Look out for the elderley & vulnerable
We have seen how the supermarket shelves are currently looking, making this a scary time for those who can’t leave their homes over health fears, so give a helping hand by offering to pick up a loaf of bread or some milk for anyone in your area that needs it. You can read about this here.
We’re all a little uncertain about the future at the moment, but you can help small businesses even the tiniest amount by popping into their shop (online or offline) and buying something from them. Imagine they do a little happy dance whenever this happens, and it could be the make or break purchase that helps them stay afloat.
Help the NHS, flatten the curve
The Government plans to “flatten the curve”. By slowing down the rate of infection, our hospitals & healthcare system can cope. The following picture shows how this works. We can do this by washing our hands, keeping face to face contact to a minimum & self isolating if you start showing symptoms.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP!
The team are all operating normally from the studio, but we are fortunate enough to be able to keep the business running away from the studio if necessary, and we are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have during this time.
We’re giving out FREE advice to help you get your message out to the world in a professional, informative manner to keep things moving along.
You can contact us using the following information:
Phone: 01562 747411
We can even have a virtual meeting if you would prefer using the ZOOM platform.
Please stay healthy and look after each other,
The Nettl of Kidderminster Team
HOW TO FIND US
12 Comberton Hill
Worcestershire DY10 1QB
T. 01562 747411