From being unable to trade, to the knock-on effects of clients being unable to trade, to general uncertainty about the future, 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for all businesses, but particularly local independents, some of whom simply do not have the resources to weather this storm alone. While none of us know what is on the horizon, we don’t have to face 2021 alone when there are so many others in a similar position. There has never been a better time for local businesses to reach out and support each other. Here are some of our suggestions for ways that we can be stronger together…
Attend a networking meeting
Marcomedia has been a member of the Chigwell Business Group for well over ten years now. We attend meetings each week (either face to face at Woolston Manor or, if restrictions are in place, via facetime), have honest discussions with other local businesses about how things are for us and the type of work we are looking for and we all try to support one another by offering advice and recommending each other to our contacts.
Around 50% of our work has always come from networking. It can be hard, particularly when times are hard, to put yourself ‘out there’ and approach a new group but, now more than ever, networking groups are there as support mechanisms for their members. And no one will understand what you and your business are going through better than other local businesses. From financial advisers, therapists, architects and builders, solicitors, consultants, IT and utilities professionals and photographers to us and a whole host of other businesses, check out the full CBG members list here and arrange to come and join us for a meeting.
Join your local chamber of commerce
We have also blogged about being a member of the Newham Chamber of Commerce. Our founder, Surinder, has been a member of the Executive Council since 2018. Newham Chamber has a long history of celebrating local business, most recently with the Newham Business Awards which we were proud to rebrand and support. Newham Chamber has links with local businesses of all sizes and also holds regular virtual meetings in times of restrictions and face to face events at various venues around Newham when not in lockdown. Follow them on Twitter at @newhamchamber or better yet check out the website and join us for a meeting!
If, for whatever reason, you can’t drop-in to a formal networking group, there’s nothing to stop you forming your own, informal support network. From teaming up with the businesses in your location to promote each other, to reaching out online to brands you have synergy with, there are so many benefits to collaborating. Partnering can help you bring more services to your customers, split marketing costs with joint campaigns, or simply share ideas and support each other.
Be a social media supporter
Social media has kept us connected while distanced and is, arguably, often a more effective way to communicate with your customers than face to face. But imagine if you were able to communicate with the followers of other independent brands too? Working with just one business in this way would likely immediately double your reach and wouldn’t cost you a penny. From social media ‘takeover’ events to simply giving each other a shout-out, there are so many ways we can support each other on social media. Alternatively, a glowing google review can make all the difference to a local business and what could be easier than that?
Together we are stronger
We remain here to support our fellow local businesses with digital marketing, websites, social media profiles and, of course, print. Over ten years we are proud to have worked with hundreds (probably thousands) of independent businesses and we are always happy to people in contact with others who may be able to help them. So whether you need design, digital or print services, want to find out more about the networking we do or just want to have an informal chat with a business who ‘gets it’ call us on 0208 590 0922 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We’re here for you throughout lockdown and beyond … Don’t forget to recommend us to others – and we’ll do the same for you!