5 tips to keep your business running during COVID-19

In times of rapid uncertainties like COVID-19, businesses will be able to build on the current events only if they follow one golden rule: help the customers and/or clients. We collected some awesome examples to show you how others have done it.

Jade Heuillard

Jade Heuillard

Junior Growth Hacker

Have a look at the question that is interesting the most here:

It is appropriate to give customers and clients time to adjust. You shouldn’t force sales or payments in such challenging times. Instead, estimate and decide on the different ways to maintain a good relationship with a customer/client by helping them adapt to their heavily changed routine. 

1. How to transition to digital if you’re an offline business  

Erasmus Sports  

As a gym owner, it can be complicated to see your doors being shut down for an indefinite amount of time. What you can do is offer different types of classes online, which will not only promote your business for better days but also retain your current customers and improve customer relationships and loyalty. Here is an example of how the Erasmus Sports Center handles the lockdown :  

  • Live sports classes on social media 
  • Home sports programs 
  • If you have an app: offer free programs during the COVID-19 times. Later on, try to convert users in-app to a paid subscription 

It is time to give customers and clients time to adjust. You shouldn’t force sales or payments in such challenging times. Instead, estimate and decide on the different ways to maintain a good relationship with a customer/client by helping them adapt to their heavily changed routine. 

 

Burger King France 

The giant chain of fast food decided to use their social platforms to promote their burgers but in a homemade way, they share pictures of the ingredients necessary to make their burgers: “while waiting for the original…”. 
Known for their burgers as much as their smart communication on social media, Burger King proves one more time that they know how to handle any situation. 

Other restaurants found ways to makes revenue based on how many meals they sell. While people can't go to the restaurant and restaurant owners struggle to get the supplies they need, here are smart ideas we’ve seen happening:  

- Partnership with local markets & farmers (who are also touched by quarantine to get) the supplies  

- Use an online platform to sell or offer meals to people who cannot get out: nurses, doctors, people in retirement homes, nannies, etc.  

- Offer no-contact home deliveries or sell via a truck 

Have a look at all the restaurants and food companies that have been offering food here.

Sugar Monk, Hunky Dory and other bars in the world    

How do you keep the business up and running when doors have to stay closed you’re gonna ask? Well, those 7 bars in New York City - and many others in the world - decided to prepare drinks to go. Whether they use a delivery - or pick up service, those bars deliver entertainment and a good time for any customer who’s interested in having a nice cocktail made by professionals. When you cannot go to the bar, make the bar come to you. Have a look at how they do so here

To sum up:  

  • Focus on this part of your product or service that could be dealt with online, and make it your revenue generator. Find it, and exploit it: optimise and simplify your sales funnel to this particular product/service.
  • Now is the time to create ‘stickiness’; what are your growth loops? 
  • Offer online versions of appointments when they are necessary 
  • Make products portable, with a solution to order them online.

2. How to advertise your e-commerce or online service 

Bol.com 

Many people are at home right now and don't know what to do with that time, how to keep up with a healthy routine or how to spend time with children. Bol.com is putting some extra time featuring products for educating children, staying fit, etc.  

Netflix 

Recently, the initiative of three smart students created a buzz online. Those intelligent students used the power of spoilers to generate billboards revealing the biggest endings and cliffhangers of Netflix series. Working as a warning, those would be placed in public places to “punish” people breaking the quarantine.  

If this isn’t directly a Netflix campaign, the platform re-used the clever initiative to do some self-promotion, but emphasise the importance of staying home to just "Netflix and chill" and #StayHome. 

 

 

To sum up: 

  • Invest time in understanding the biggest pains and fears of your audience. 
  • Adapt your SEO tactics. Base keywords on actual news, facts, concerns,  
  • Shift your copy in your Q&A; provide information about where your product is from, how it can be bought and returned (under all circumstances), delivery services, and which hygiene measures were taken.  

3. How to offer unique experiences remotely 

 

The Louvre  

The famous museum has been offering virtual visits of their most famous exhibitions, allowing people to take part in one of a kind cultural experiences. Many more museums offer this option nowadays, reserving other exhibitions for the moment visitors will be able to experience them in person.

 

France 4 (TV Channel) 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many schools have been shut down forcing parents to homeschool their kids. Many television channels now implement a daily learning schedule for kids. Throughout the day, they broadcast interactive classes recorded by teachers and targeting different ages and class levels to educate kids.

Pro tip: if you have the necessary budget and are e-commerce, run TV ads for kids toys in between the lessons to promote your brand.

 

Tomorrowland 

In those times of uncertainties, many artists saw their tours and festivals delayed. The festival Tomorrowland was one of them and saw their winter session canceled altogether. Instead, the organisers decided to schedule live sessions from the DJ’s houses for their YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook followers.  

 

To sum up:

Offering a unique experience seems to be the way to go even for offline businesses. In times where currently, many restaurants and bars organise game nights and other events, sending game packages to customers so they can participate during the online event later on.  

Offer unique online educational formats:  

  • webinars 
  • books 
  • educational events  
  • gallery and museum tours 
  • classes (for kids) 

4. How to deal with interruptions in supplies from manufacturers 

Armani, Lacoste, and many others

Many high-fashion brands announced they will start manufacturing medical overalls, masks, and hydroalcoholic gels to fill in the gaps left by foreign manufacturers. They all decided to contribute to the fight against COVID-19.

By doing so, they benefit not only those who are engaged in the fight against the coronavirus, but they also use creative ways to stay afloat when their own businesses cannot run as they used to. 

PICNIC 

During times when it is important to limit travels to public places and contact with other people, some grocery delivery apps are booming. They use directly the stocks available in stores to offer you only the products that are available during a specific time, even though those may be disrupted. 

PICNIC also transitioned to different activities to help those who need support the most by partnering with other local organisations. How awesome is that?

To sum up: 

  • Use AI to predict your stocks/needs and find alternatives to your regular suppliers. Read more about it here.
  • Offer online subscriptions to ensure proper stocks and timings. 
  • Make deals with local businesses to help out each other, as they probably encounter the same difficulty as you.   
  • Be aware of changing needs, search, mail and social habits will change and a smart growth hacker will recognize this and adapt the way he/she works.
  • Transition industry to fill in the interruptions in supplies and keep your business running.

5. How to keep your team together when remote working 

 

RockBoost x DotControl 

At RockBoost and DotControl, we decided to keep things as normal as possible. Our Friday evening drinks? Still there, just remote. Our usual BoostCamps? Still happening, but via video. We decided to over-communicate to avoid under-communicating. 

We use all the functionalities and tools we've always been using to stay connected with each other. We couldn't miss a chance to take home our office parties! 

A digital sports session for RockBoost and DotControl

Netflix Spain

The Spanish team has been taking advantage of their daily meetings to have some fun. Between matching outfits, costume parties, and other celebrations, they didn't let the country lockdown negatively impact their mood.

Reminder: turning on your camera during meetings clearly makes the difference!

To sum up: 

Make the most of the tools you have. If you don’t, pick the right tools for your business:  

  • Microsoft teams/Slack, any workplace chats you may use already  
  • Skype/Microsoft Teams for video conferencing and drinks with your colleagues 
  • Loom for screen recording 
  • Emails emails and even more emails 
  • Set up VPNs and other connection facilitators  

 

Overly communicate. Always. Too much is never enough when everybody is remote: 

  • Schedule daily meetings to keep the whole team aligned.  
  • Organise live events such as drinks & sports sessions  
  • Turn on your camera!  
  • Be flexible on the work schedule if kids are around  

But mostly... stay safe!

And take care of yourself and loved ones. When these times of uncertainties will be behind us, we will mostly remember everything we learned from it.

  • How many very long meetings can really be resolved within a few emails, and which ones are necessary to get things moving. 
  • How staying home when sick should be essential. It's a matter of taking care of yourself first, also of others by staying home.
  • How solidarity and loyalty can bring you a long way and run a society.
  • How important it is to think outside the box, constantly. Not only when there is no other solution. 

 

 

We're thinking about you!

Jade Heuillard

Jade Heuillard

Junior Growth Hacker

Jade Heuillard

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