How the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is Changing My Life and My Business Overnight
With escalating risks of COVID-19 in Toronto, Eden Advertising is working remotely to ensure the safety of our team and their families.
Dear fellow Business Owners and Entrepreneurs,
We’re all in this together! I’m thinking of you and can relate to the daily changes and challenges we are all going through in these uncertain times.
Circumstances and regular daily life have literally flipped on us overnight.
A week ago, I was in the midst of planning my son’s Bar Mitzvah in Israel, a plan that was set in motion the day he was born, 13 years ago. On Monday, March 9th, Israel declared a two-week quarantine for anybody entering the country. With guests immediately cancelling under the circumstances, reality started to set in that the vision of our son’s Bar Mitzvah in Israel was not going to happen.
Within less than 48 hours after Bibi Netanyahu’s announcement, my husband and I conceived Plan B to have the Bar Mitzvah in Toronto and notified our guests accordingly. The outpouring of support from our friends and family in Toronto was extremely touching, supportive and very uplifting.
The Willinger family – A symbol of the Bar Mitzvah plans that are changing as news continues to evolve.
It was an emotional change, but I quickly believed it was all for the best, and it would still be a beautiful celebration for family and friends. The excitement started to build up again over the next couple days, but quickly shifted when the “Next Level” announcement came out on Thursday evening, March 12th – that all Ontario schools will be shut down for the next few weeks!
Not only did we need to start shifting our home-life experience overnight with our children (as I’m sure you’re all going through), but the reality of my son’s Bar Mitzvah will most likely be a very private intimate ceremony in the next few weeks. Who could ever imagine that a plan put into motion 13 years ago, clear in sight, within one’s grasp, with all things booked, confirmed, family and friends ready to attend, could completely change so drastically overnight?
That’s what’s happening to all our businesses as well. Every well thought-out plan, every detail of our businesses, are having to be revisited overnight, with no guarantee of how or if we’ll all get through this as small business owners.
But I’m here to remind you that WE ARE ENTREPRENEURS!
- We are resilient.
- We are adaptive.
- We are resourceful.
- We are collaborative.
- We are always learning.
- We are creative.
- We are supportive and we are here for each other!
So as small business entrepreneurs, let’s stick together and figure out how we can serve each other to keep our businesses alive during these turbulent times.
Being a small digital marketing agency that has been around for the last 20 years, here’s how I’ve been adapting over the last week.
I’ve had to request two employees to work from home.
Alex, our Senior Copywriter, attended the DX3 Retail, Marketing & Technology Conference in Toronto on Tuesday, March 10th. On Day 2, March 11th, the conference was shut down due to finding out that somebody infected with the Coronavirus attended Day 1. Responsibly, we asked Alex to work from home for the next two weeks and he willingly complied. Thankfully, Alex continues to feel healthy and well, is working from home and will be sharing the details of his experience and what he learned on Day 1 of attending DX3 in our next blog.
A second employee, David, our Digital Marketing Specialist, told us that his girlfriend wasn’t feeling well that same day. All staff agreed he should get tested and immediately work from home. He too, willingly complied. Thankfully David was advised at the clinic that he nor his girlfriend exhibited the symptoms for COVID-19, yet we all agreed that he should work from home over the next couple weeks to ensure health and safety.
After escalations and warnings over the weekend, we are now mandating that all our employees work from home for Social Distancing purposes.
Luckily, Eden Advertising is a digital marketing business where we mostly work on computers and can adapt quickly to this shift. While we’ll miss the office interaction, it’s a small price to pay for each person’s health and safety right now.
With that said, in times of economic uncertainty, the first thing businesses start to cut is MARKETING, which is concerning for a business like mine that has a very talented full-time, in-house team of individuals standing by and ready to serve clients.
Realistically, as an entrepreneur, this is a time to COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS… and think DIGITAL more than ever!
Here are some tips to think about to keep your businesses running and communicate with your clients digitally:
Email is the easiest, fastest and least expensive medium to communicate with your existing database.
- Do you have an email list set-up?
- Do you have a branded email communication template designed?
- Have you sent out a Coronavirus update to your customers?
- Do you have an online email subscription on your site and your web forms for new visitors to easily subscribe to your database for future updates?
Social Media is another quick, easy and inexpensive way to communicate with your audience and brand followers.
- Are you posting updates and communicating with your audience through your social media channels?
- This is a time to connect on a more personal level and let people know how you can help and serve them.
Website and Landing Pages
Your website is the first thing people check out to understand what you do and find information about your business.
- Is there anything you need to update on your site to let people know how you can help them, products they may need, services you can provide for them at this time, changes you’re implementing in your policies or protocols to ensure customer safety during this epidemic?
- Make these updates to your site and share them through your email list and social media posts.
Are there other people aside from your existing customers that need your products and services right now, but don’t know your business even exists?
- Rest assured that with the world going into full quarantine over the next few weeks, people will be spending an exorbitant amount of time online, getting news updates, communicating with family and friends, buying groceries, ordering products, games, activities, books, health regimes / advice to make their at-home experiences more manageable and comfortable.
- If you ever wanted to get anybody’s attention for your service or product that would be useful to them at this time, digital marketing can pinpoint who they are, get your brand and message in front of them quickly, and virtually lead them right to you.
Before I wrap this up, I want to take a moment to give gratitude to all the local business owners and their dedicated hard working employees and delivery teams who are out there working tirelessly to serve all of us who are adjusting to the at-home work experience.
I also want to thank my team for staying positive, collaborative and flexible to adjust to the needs of our business and our clients’ needs during these uncertain days.
Lastly, I want to thank our clients for continuing to put your faith in us. We are here to work though this with you and adapt to the needs of your company, and whatever you are going through, to keep your business alive and prosperous.
For those of you who may not be our clients yet, if you have a business that has a product or service that people need right now, our talented team of writers, graphic artists, programmers, and digital marketing specialists are ready to serve you.
Just let us know what you need and how we can help you!
Stay safe and healthy, everyone!