5 Grant Funding Opportunities and 10 Tips for Your Business

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Grants, Funding, Offers and Importance of continuing with Digital Marketing during Covid-19

Open for business or here for you?

During the past 3 weeks, we have received a number of emails from several businesses stating that they are still operating. Whilst this is great to see and we glad that businesses are continuing to trade, in some instances these emails have been sent without any real consideration for their customers. In such emails, businesses have positioned themselves as “we are still open to help you”, but let’s be honest, SMEs need more than this!

This isn’t a statement to simply say that we are still open or to simply state, as others are, that we are here to serve you without any substance. We are here to help you and your business to survive and I shall explain how.

Why is offering support important?

Everyone is currently ensuring some degree of adversity, each and every person has their own story, both at home and work (which for many are now very much one and the same). Sacrifices are being made by everyone and in many different ways. This article relates to businesses, so the tips below are presented as potential ways in which businesses can help assist other businesses:

As a supplier:

  • Offer to pause services.
  • Offer immediate discounts.
  • Offer deferred payments.
  • Offer extra products or services for the current price.

As a buyer:

  • Rather than cancelling a service, just reduce to a minimum.
  • Offer to pay now for a service for the future.
  • Offer to have a discussion about an exchange of services.

Some businesses haven’t seen the impacts yet, others think that this is simply temporary. Some businesses are fortunate enough to be in high-demand, and others are awaiting the impact. Either way, this pandemic will impact every business in some way, if it hasn’t already. Even the businesses that provide cleaning-related products, protective gear or other currently in-demand products will quite possibly see sales subside once the demand has diminished, leaving them with a hole to fill. This in itself is a problem that needs to be considered. This is not likely to be over any time soon, so let’s all work together to plan for the here and now, as well as the longer-term.

As a business, what can you do during this time?

Whilst you might not wish to spend on marketing, or in fact wish to spend any money at all, allow me to explain a few ideas that you can benefit from…

5 options for grants and funding

Fundamentally, try to avoid loans at all costs. You don’t want that looming over you, especially if and when the markets start to recover. Taking a loan to make payments may not be necessary, instead, try to speak with your suppliers to ask them what they can do to assist you. There are still a number of grants, bursaries and other ‘free’ funding options available for businesses, you might just have to look a little harder.

There might be many more, so take the time to have a scour around the internet. Most grants can be spent with novi.digital, so feel free to let us know you if you need assistance with the application process. 

Continue using demand-led marketing

SEO and PPC are both types of demand-led marketing, here are 6 reasons why you should continue to do both:

  1. It’s now easier to compete with PPC. Most businesses are thinking they shouldn’t spend, in turn, this is bringing PPC prices down meaning that you are able to obtain traffic for a lower cost than before.
  2. PPC will help your business be seen. There are still people searching for your services. Whilst search volume has decreased, it’s unlikely to impact conversion rates dramatically. Ultimately, with PPC, you only pay if someone clicks your Ad and if your campaigns are set up correctly, you should only be paying for highly-relevant visitors in any case.
  3. PPC and SEO Together will give you the edge to survive. Some businesses have already closed and ceased trading, meaning that there is less competition and thus more opportunity for you to capture a larger share of the market. This is particularly beneficial with regards to renewals, if you sign up a business now at a low cost, they will likely renew with you. Like buying shares, you are buying when the market is low.
  4. SEO is low cost, high reward. With SEO, you aren’t paying per click, so this can keep costs low at this time.
  5. SEO takes time, so you need to invest now.  Whilst there might not be a demand right now, there will be in good time. If your markets open up again in several months and you start to think about SEO at that point, then there will be a period of time where you are missing out on opportunities. Do SEO now, whilst your competitors are letting it fall by the wayside. You’ll have to do less SEO than you would in the more competitive times and will likely achieve better search performance in the short-term and longer-term.
  6. SEO and PPC agencies need you more than ever. There are good offers to be had from agencies right now, so you are in a position whereby you can get a premium service for a reduced rate.

How do you know whether there is still a demand? It’s quite easy really, you can check on Google Trends. Let us know if you would like our team to walk you through how to best utilise Google trends for your business.

Focus on working on your business

This is an opportunity for some downtime, so use it wisely. What can you be doing? Here are my top 10 tips:

  1. Work on your business plan and business strategy for the next 1, 3, 5 or 10 years.
  2. Conduct market research to find new opportunities.
  3. Pivot your business to supply a new demand.
  4. Training yourself and helping to train your team.
  5. Updating your website.
  6. Revising your mission statement and brand values.
  7. Audit your business processes to find areas for improvement.
  8. Create a recruitment plan.
  9. Speak to your customers, past customers and potential customers to ask them how you can help. Listening to their needs will help you to create solutions to fit their needs.
  10. Take a break from the business and focus on your wellbeing.

How can novi.digital help?

We have a number of different services that we can offer you at this time, these include:

  1. Website Updates – images, text, plugins, dev, design.
  2. SEO Management.
  3. PPC Management.
  4. Paid Social and Managed Social – for branding and customer engagement activities.
  5. Digital Marketing Strategy.
  6. SEO and PPC Audits.
  7. SEO and PPC Training.
  8. Conversion Rate Optimisation and UX Testing.
  9. Business Planning.
  10. Business Consultancy.
  11. Market Research.
  12. Competitor Research.
  13. Recruitment for your digital marketing roles.

Adjusted Payment Options

  1. Retainer-only Fees – Pay us a monthly retainer of £100 + VAT. This keeps us on as your digital agency, available as and when you need us. This retainer will grant you a 20% discount on our standard prices. Think of this like a taste-card of sorts, or a really low-cost law firm retainer!
  2. Performance-based SEO – Pay us a small administration fee and we’ll conduct our services without further charge until we generate you leads or sales. Note: This is restricted to certain specific sectors.
  3. Reduced-rate Training – Haven’t got a day to spare? Instead of a full day, we are offering a 1-hour training session for £50 + VAT, this will be followed with a 15 minute Q & A. If you want further employees or colleagues to join, it will only be £20 + VAT for anyone else in the company who wishes to conference in. 

Further Tips:

  1. Follow further tips on operating during Covid-19
  2. Make sure you are looking after your mental health during Covid-19, as well a the wellbeing of others 
  3. Ensure that you continue focus on Digital ROI 
  4. Look at the most profitable industries during recent years and see where you can look to expand

In summary, we are here to best serve you as our clients. Let us know if there is anything that we can do to help you during this challenging time, either by emailing us or calling us.

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