Are you feeling anxious about the Coronavirus pandemic?
Are you worried that you will go bankrupt and lose your business? COVID-19 may feel like ground zero in a zombie apocalypse, yes, but take a bit of time to drown your sorrows with some Lindt chocolate or a glass of wine or both.
Nothing wrong with a bit of binge-watching Netflix or Amazon Prime. Give yourself some time to process the shock.
Battlefield businesses around the globe are feeling the impact.
You and I have spent our time, energy and money building our businesses. You’ve dedicated your passion to build your enterprise. Building your reputation, a following, and a community. Or maybe you’ve just kicked off a new venture only for it to have been ripped away by an invisible enemy.
Shutdown by Government mandate.
We have just had to close our four local battlefields.
Last weekend was the first time in 21 years that there were no Laser Skirmish events. This is nerve-racking.
But you are not alone.
It is ok to feel a bit vulnerable.
Take a deep breath.
Fear can make you freeze.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world”.
This pandemic is scary.
It represents unique health and business challenges. Even if the worse-case happens, in sickness most people recover and in bankruptcy, you can have a chance to financially reset. It is incredibly sad for those people and their loved ones who succumb to the virus. It is incredibly hard for those businesses that do not make it.
For some life will never be the same. Bloomberg reckons that the Coronavirus will cost the world economy $2.7 trillion dollars. Who knows? That might be a conservative estimate.
But most people and most businesses will survive.
If you have faith and hope, you will be able to reset and restart.
1. Look after yourself and your family. While we ride this roller coaster of a pandemic each of us needs to do our utmost to protect those we love the most.
2. Do an audit. Look and see if there are any business expenses you can trim. Go through your monthly expenses with a fine tooth-comb and see what can be postponed or what can be cut. For example, before the pandemic, we used a rostering app called Deputy, but since many of our staff are furloughed, we have paused this.
3. In some months’ time (who knows exactly how long!) we will, eventually, get to a 'new normal'. So, when things are better, you will want your battlefield business to hit the ground running. If you cannot afford paid marketing then focus on organic promotion. Keep the communication going. If you cannot communicate face-to-face you can still interact with your community via Facebook Groups or elsewhere on the web. Keep your customers informed about what is happening with your business. Since many of us are in lockdown there are more people than ever surfing around the web and socials looking for something, anything!
4. Get social. If you don't have any new images or videos, you can still repost. #TBT - Throw Back Thursday is a great one! Take another look at your social media channels. You can schedule Instagram posts free apps like Planoly. Or use the Facebook scheduler.
5. You don’t ask you won’t get. Look for government grants or support for small businesses. In most countries, there are new announcements every week to support small business operators. Make the most of them.
6. Talk with your financial institution or bank. Consider asking about interest-only for a period or a moratorium on payments. But don’t put your head in the sand and ignore loans. Get in communication with your banker, I’m confident they would prefer to hear from you and work something out, then ignoring the situation.
7. Take the time to spring clean your web site and marketing collateral. Are there any blog posts that could be updated and refreshed with new content? Could your site use an SEO update?
8. If you are allowed to visit your battlefield or arena, then maybe this could be an opportune time to re-paint or redecorate or refurbish your battlefield props. Or take the time to service and maintain your equipment such as zeroing all of your taggers (or contact us so we can service them for you). That way then you finally do re-open then you can invite your customer database back to check out your new look.
9. Learn something new. You might have been putting off tackling the Home Study CO Course or other resources in the Battlefield Sports University. You’ve been too busy! Well if you are in lockdown then use this time to make a start.
10. Look for new opportunities. Many businesses have pivoted their ordinary operations to support the community in the fight against COVID-19. For example, the factory next door was a fashion label instead now they are sewing face masks. While our fixed venues are closed, we have a renewed focus on “do-it-yourself” Laser Tag at home rental offers. (Remember the SATR system has dedicated rental “lock-out” settings. If you need help re-setting your laser tag equipment, just let us know.) Consider what new opportunities can your operation focus on?
Many businesses are still reeling from the impact of the Coronavirus. Its health, social, and economic impact. I feel your shock. I reckon we will be talking about this in the future as: “Before COVID-19” and “After CV19”.
Everyone in the entertainment business, the battlefield business, is going to struggle for a while. But this will pass, eventually.
Until then, we as a battlefield community need to stick together, support each other. And together we will get to the other side.