Don’t self-isolate your business

Does the world stop when you are stuck at home?, asks Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell.

Imagine that you can have the undivided attention of your customers – actual or potential.

Imagine that they stopped what they were doing; they no longer had factories to run, showrooms to man, or projects to complete. Imagine that they were sat at home, frustrated at not being able to carry out their usual work tasks, but still in a ‘work’ frame of mind.

Also, imagine that you had time to complete those work functions that usually get buried beneath something else.

Between production and sales is that often disregarded business element that doesn’t get the attention it deserves: marketing.

I’m receiving information that some companies are putting their marketing activities on hold; advertising and PR stopped because the business outlook is bleak.

Let’s be under no illusion. The lockdown we are all subject to will have a big impact on the bottom line but (and I know that I am a glass-half-full kind of guy) the demand for glass and glazing isn’t going to go away; it has simply been delayed.

Commercial projects are on hold. Glass Times has already reported that the start of the year saw a spike in activity following the general election and the subsequent wave of certainty and positivity, so there’s no reason why that shouldn’t pick up once we are let out again.

On the domestic refurbishment side, people are (obviously) spending more time at home scrutinising their properties, then going for their hour-long walk to compare them to their neighbours’. Some have found that working from home is impossible without a garden office, others have realised their homes are too small and require a conservatory, while there are those who need more sunlight and a closer connection to their gardens by way of bifolding or sliding doors.

Furthermore, foreign holidays are going to be avoided by most of us this year, which should free up a good-sized deposit at least.

Therefore, now is the time to up your marketing game.

Karma Design’s Karma Abourachid said: “Smart manufactures and fabricators should use this opportunity to drown out the competition and turn a crisis into a positive.

“Don’t self-isolate your business.”

We have seen a surge in people choosing to have their copies of Glass Times delivered to their home address instead of work, and we are committed to continuing the marketing messages shared by all companies.

Anecdotal evidence also points to continued sales activity. As I scrolled through Tiwtter earlier, I saw @DutemannUK’s tweet: “Day three of working remotely, I am surprised by the amount of quote requests and orders still arriving.”

Meanwhile, other companies are meeting new demands created by the pandemic.

Extrudaseal had this to say on Facebook: “We have just received a big order to make a special seal which is used to manufacture clear perspex sheets to protect cashiers at checkout counters in supermarkets. We are working 24/7 to fulfil this order fast and we are very proud to be helping these key workers stay safe.”

Yes, there are cost implications connected to keeping business functions going, but think twice before shutting down completely while your competitors are making the most of an opportunity.