With March 2021 marking the start of our national rollout from lockdown and all the business decisions that have come with it, companies around the country are finally starting to channel energy into mapping out a reopening plan.
Whether your business operates in the social sphere, the hospitality sector, the corporate world or the retail sector, it is more important than ever to now put time and energy into bringing customers back through the doors and finding ways of keeping both customers/clients and your team members safe.
As a web design and digital marketing agency, we have spent the past 12 months working with companies and organisations across every touchpoint of every industry. We have seen businesses turning to technology and the online world for the first time; we have created online transaction functions for countless companies; we have support and set up more social media and online user strategies than we can possibly track. But one area that businesses now need to focus on is the reopening of their physical presence – and that means working relationships, building up new partnerships, and finding new ways to reach customers and clients.
Why now is the time to keep it local
Throughout the pandemic, one of the biggest messages being shared across social media and beyond was the concept of shopping small and supporting local businesses as much as possible. From purchasing takeaways from local pubs to organising delivery of eggs and meat from the local farm shop, consumers have no doubt changed the way they shop during the pandemic and are likely to leave the pandemic with a commitment to continuing their support of local shops and village makers.
But where does that leave the corporate and business world? Aside from buying the office milk from the local village shop, what else can we do to keep small businesses running?
It all comes down to where you source your goods from. Here at Slate, one of our business aims has always been to keep our suppliers as local as possible. Not only does that mean we are supporting businesses in our locality, but it also allows us to build real working relationships with the people behind the supplies, and for us that is the essence of a successful and reputable business. A great example is our ongoing supplier relationship with Chandra Sharma at Tangent Office Resources, who deals with all our office needs and will be the first go-to when the team can finally start coming back to work from our Slate HQ. Chandra and his team have supplied everything from everyday stationery requirements through to Printers and Marketing/Point of Sale items – all top quality, a great price and amazing personal service.
For us, it’s also about working with individuals who we can speak to directly (either in person or via a Zoom call) and who we trust with our company name. Whether we’re looking to bring in someone to perform a service for us, outsourcing the hiring of a new team member, or seeking somewhere to deliver a great team lunch, by keeping our contacts as local as possible we can support local business and always receive the level of service we expect, and which keeps us connected.
What can you do?
If you find yourself reading this blog, the chances are that you are in the market for some online support – whether it be with your digital marketing, your website build, or your overall online strategy.
Aside from continuing your work with Slate, your local online gurus, here are just a few ways in which you could consider supporting local businesses as you bolster your business online and reach customers in new ways.
1. Don’t use online stock images – instead, hire a local photographer, get out and about in your local area, and take your own website shots. Depending on your area of business, these could range from atmospheric setting shots to team photos. The important thing to note is that by keeping personal and local, you immediately give your business more of a personality and allow clients and customers to relate to you.
2. If you outsource a service, find out if someone in your local area can do that service for you. From writing to social media support, you would be amazed at how many people successfully manage these kinds of businesses from their own home – and if you keep it local, you can really build a strong working relationship with that person and ensure that they know your brand and your tone of voice as well as you do.
3. And finally, it doesn’t just have to be your office suppliers and services you keep local – whenever you do something as a team, keep that as local as possible too and really put what you can into supporting the reopening of your surrounding hospitality services. From drinks after work to team days out, hospitality needs your support now more than ever!
For more on how to bring your business to life online, get in touch with us at the click of a button! (And if you’re in the market for office supplies or POS material, we would of course highly recommend Tangent Office Resources!)