There is an ancient saying that sounds like a blessing but is really a curse that reads, “May you live in interesting times.” While that sounds good, who wants to be bored, it’s really meant more of a curse. And if there were ever a time of being cursed, now might just be it.
This blog is typically about marketing and making the most of your tourism and travel business and that’s the case here, too. However the tourism and travel and special events world have been absolutely turned on their heads with some lodging properties reporting single digit occupancy rates and others just shuttering their operations altogether.
Who would have thought that Disney parks would just close? Truly interesting times.
This blog goes out to a lot of owner/operators of small businesses, some are just single individuals trying to hustle their way to fame and others are team leaders and owners. So here are a few ideas to weather the storm, and I wish you the very best of success in riding out this one.
One of the things I did was create a spreadsheet on Google Sheets with the local area restaurants and their hours along with whether or not they were open at all during this time and if they were offering curbside pickup or even delivery. Please feel free to copy this idea for your area.
A number of local restaurants have expanded their operations to include local delivery and one, who is always ahead of the curve on marketing, even had shirts printed with “Covid-19 Survivor” on them. Another eatery is including a roll of toilet paper with each order over a certain dollar amount. Sometimes it’s the little things that count and you can bet the photos with the t-shirts and the rolls of toilet paper are making their rounds on the Internet.
This might also be the time to work with complimentary businesses, at a six foot distance of course, to combine and offer something unique.
For example, if your lodging property or campground is staying open during all of this perhaps working with local eateries or even grocery stories to give your customers more value. And, sometimes, it’s even a smile that makes a difference.
Now is also a time to potentially brush up on your digital communications skills.
A friend of mine specialized in entertaining seniors at retirement communities. In one day he lost 54 performances which represented all of his income. After an initial panic, he decided to make the most of the situation and created a video series where he distributes DVDs to his former clients.
This was not someone who had ever done anything even remotely like this but he quickly got up to speed and now has more retirement communities than he ever did with each one getting a weekly DVD with a really entertaining performance.
True, it’s not the same as his live performances but he also only has to do one performance and record it and then duplicate those DVDs.
A lot of local eateries and campgrounds have been contacting me to finally get their websites rolling. Did you know that, if you use SquareUp for your inventory system, you can have a website up in a very, very short period of time? And if you’re using Sysco’s Cake system, it’s even faster?
We’ve also been getting campground websites up within one day’s time although building out the reservations system does take longer and there is a lot of demand at the moment but, still, you can get rolling in under a day. Not bad!
My point with this is that there are ways to adapt to this crazy time. It is going to be difficult and the market and business does not like uncertainty and there is certainly a lot of that in the air.
If you have ideas for how business can adapt in these “interesting” times please share those. I’m very happy to use this platform to help others with your outstanding ideas.
And the best to you.