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My Strategy For Surviving Coronavirus
By Ed Hollands - Founder of DrivenMedia. DrivenMedia is a truck advertising specialist putting your business or organisation's key message onto a commercial truck as it travels the country or region to raise brand awareness. Ed appeared on Dragons' Den and secured initial funding from Dragon Jenny Campbell.
When did you realise the Coronavirus could be a problem for you and your business?
A couple of weeks before the lockdown started when few booked advertisers delayed. We've also had a few people not paying invoices on time which has caused a knock-on with our supply chain.
What has been your plan to continue?
We plan to launch our new rear only advertising package to small business as we had planned, obviously, the messaging with now have to change and possibly the timing delayed. However now is the time to have those conversations and for me to support my supply chain and help them through.
How have you changed your business as the weeks are passing?
We've become a lot leaner, tasks previously outsourced have come back in house, such as our tracking report creation and book keeping. We see this as a temporary measure which is necessary to survive. We are also looking at being consistently visible across social media and aiming not to lose focus around that. Now is the time for that virtual 'coffee and chat' which we previously put off with those who might be interested in our services or where we might be interested in their's.
What have you seen about business which has been positive?
I've been inspired by the fighting spirit of a lot of brands where they are innovating and doing other things rather than shutting down. It's these that I will remember, will draw inspiration from and will emulate if I can.
They are, and we are, still open for business however it may mean we have to be more patient or approach matters in a slightly different way for a while - indeed this may lead to permanent changes in how we do business and I'm going to be ready.
Have you seen any behaviours you feel have been negative in business?
The absolute worst thing is with businesses, sometimes very big businesses, not paying invoices on time. By ignoring their debts and not talking to us - or other suppliers - they are damaging their reputation. Now is the time to work out a payment plan and talk to your suppliers in an honest fashion.
Non-payment causes a huge knock-on effect for others and can lead to a business failing because bad payers have not cared and have not met their obligations.
For me, after this I will remember those who talked to me, paid what they could when they could but paid something, settled their bills allowing me to do the same to my suppliers. As for my suppliers, I'll remember those who were kind, patient and kept faith with me. The others, well I think you can guess what might happen there....
What advice would you give to others in business?
Keep going, sometimes a decision seems mean because it's difficult. However if you are honest and heartfelt and you emphasise that it's about survival of your business - you can make up for it later. For me, it's all about the 'how' you do things at the moment - how are you making people feel about you and your brand?
Your parting thought?
Support each other, keep buying products and promote each other.
Remember that tweet might be the thing that keeps someone going even if you're not a customer. Little things can add huge value. They will also mean you are remembered.
He's offering special deals during Covid19 and for more information visit www.drivenmedia.co.uk