It’s a strange time to be living and working in at the moment, but we wanted to try and bring something positive out of it, so we have come up with a few ideas that you might find useful over the next few weeks!
Have you been meaning to get yourself up and running on social media for a while? Or maybe you’ve got an account that hasn’t been used since 2013. Well, now would be the perfect time to get up and running! Many people find social media a useful tool for various reasons, but it’s particularly relevant at the moment with regards to the connections it can provide.
You can keep customers updated on what’s going on, follow relevant news accounts so you’re up to date, and maybe even make some new friends along the way.
Play around with accounts on different channels to find out what works for you. Do you like taking pictures on the farm? Instagram could be for you. Are you more of a people person, and you like chatting away to like-minded people? Maybe give Twitter a go!
Don’t be put off if you don’t immediately have thousands of followers either – your posts can easily be shared by other accounts, like us at Scene and Herd, to all their followers as well!
Regardless of what you like to post about, now is a great time to connect with other people and share some of the positive things going on around you. If you fancy sharing anything with us, you can! We’re @SceneHerdPR on Twitter, @sceneherdpr on Instagram and Scene & Herd PR & Marketing on Facebook.
2. Look into other ways of selling
Do you have a product that you could sell via a vending machine? If this is something you think could apply to you, whether you produce veggies, eggs, milk, or something entirely different, take this time to look into a vending machine, whether it’s something you could do, and how it could boost your business. Perhaps you could even set it up alongside other producers in the community for local people to use.
Depending on where you live, another simpler option could be to run an honesty box, where people take what they need and leave the money for you to collect.
Maybe you already offer a veg box scheme. With many older and vulnerable people unable to get out and about, this could be a great opportunity to help your customers and the local community.
There are a lot of people struggling to find basic items, so perhaps you could team up with a local shop or bakery and expand your delivery service to include items like bread, milk and dried or tinned goods.
3. Focus on the little jobs
We’ve found that it can help to focus on the little things, and ticking off those jobs that you’ve been putting off for a while can give you a bit of a positive kick during uncertain times. Many of you might actually find that you have some breathing space to be able to think about jobs you’ve been putting off for ages!
Have you got a pile of papers that need filing? That patch in the garden that needs weeding? Have you been meaning to go through your kitchen cupboards and sort out the Tupperware that you NEVER seem to have enough lids for? Now is the perfect time.
4. Click and collect
If you usually run a shop, can you turn it into a click/phone and collect service? To save people coming into the building, and to allow staff to stay at home, if people order via phone or email, you could arrange a collection time and take their order to them in their car. This allows your customers to be able to buy what they need but minimises contact between you.
One of our clients, Connage Highland Dairy, are a great example of this, running their ‘One Toot and Your Order’s Oot!’ scheme, so people can still stock up on cheese.
5. Grow your own
If you don’t already, now is a great time to get seeds sown and planted in pots or out in the garden. This is a great activity for kids as well – nothing beats the excitement of seeing that your seeds have sprouted! Think of all the delicious things you’ll be able to cook up together further down the line as well – it’s a win!
6. Online training
A number of training services are running online seminars at the moment, like Business Gateway https://www.bgateway.com/ Again, if you’ve found you’ve got some extra time on your hands when you’d usually be out and about, check out what’s available.
It doesn’t even have to be work-related – perhaps you’ve fancied taking up a new hobby, or you’re looking to refine your skills in another area, there are some fantastic options out there from learning languages via an app to graphic design software that you can learn on the go.
We can take positives out of this current situation if we choose to do so. It might not be easy, but it’s important to learn and adapt so if anything happens in the future that causes disruption to the supply chain, shuts down businesses, or means people can’t come to work, then there’s a plan in place.
For example, can you ask each of your employees to put together a video of their daily jobs, so if they’re off then someone else can fill-in? Or perhaps you could create an online document or calendar that your team can access, so everyone knows who’s doing what.
8. Sign up to email alerts
A number of important bodies, including local councils, have been keeping people updated by email when new information occurs. This means updates are delivered straight to you and you can keep up to date with how the situation is developing.
NFUS, local councils and various other bodies all have mailing lists that you can register with, so find what’s relevant to you and sign up!
9. Checking in with neighbours and friends
Is there someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with for a while, but you keep putting off picking up the phone? Now is a fantastic time to check in with friends and family members, especially if you know anyone that lives on their own, or has to keep themselves isolated for a long time. They’ll definitely appreciate it, and you’ll feel better afterwards too!
Think outside the box too – there are plenty of apps out there that allow you to video call as a group, so if you’re missing your local pub quiz team or the friends you like to catch up with regularly, invite them to hang out virtually.
10. Let someone know if you need a hand
Isolation is all too real for a lot of people, and having to isolate yourself, even more, can be difficult. If you feel like you can’t reach out to friends or family, or you just want someone to chat to, RSABI is there to listen.
Available for farmers, agricultural workers, crofters, and their families, they can lend you an ear and point you in the right direction if you need help. Their helpline number is 0300 111 4166
11. Website updates
We’re aware of a number of businesses who are using this time to update their website, laying a secure foundation for when things get back to normal. If your site needs an upgrade, or there are some simple tweaks you’d like to make, why not investigate your options and re-launch when things are back on track. If this is something you’d like a hand with, get in touch and we can put you in touch with web designers and developers.
12. Marketing Plan
We would urge everyone to make sure they have a marketing plan in place. It doesn’t have to be a huge document, just a plan that allows you to be proactive and have measures for when you have to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The plan should include things like what actions need to be taken, who is responsible for what jobs, things that need to be implemented for the business to survive, and what you can do to get back on track when the crisis is over.
If this is something you would like a hand with, please get in touch with us to find out more.
Get in touch and let us know if there’s anything you or your business are doing at the moment that you find helpful. It can seem overwhelming but remember that we’re all in this together and we can virtually join forces to help each other out! We’d also love to hear news and updates from you and your business, as we understand that there are still exciting things going on behind the scenes.