Macleay Valley Business Chamber

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Kempsey NSW

Make hay while the sun shines… without a tractor.

Greetings again to all the Macleay Valley Coast business operators, managers, employees and community members that are reading this newsletter from the Macleay Valley Business Chamber.

Over the last few weeks, the Macleay Valley Business Chamber (MVBC) has been striving to keep all of our region’s business operators to up to date on ideas and opportunities that have been created in these trying times of a pandemic and post bushfire and drought.

Currently there are multiple offerings from various levels of government to provide financial support for businesses (and community) to help keep businesses operating and community members spending in their local area to stave off economic ruin in the longer term. Many of these assistive programs are easily accessible by contacting Service NSW who will ‘triage’ your situation and help steer you in the right direction.

Whilst it may seem a difficult task now while we try to keep our operations going with the downturn the majority of businesses have been experiencing, this quieter time could be the perfect opportunity to do some in house auditing and take stock of how we have operated till now and how we will operate into the future.

In a recent newsletter I spoke of taking your business online and out to your customers/ clients. How many businesses have started down this path?

Ok, so your customers/ clients aren’t users of electronic media and internet?

Have you considered printing a letter and posting it out to those clients?

Pick up the telephone and call them if you don’t have their postal address, oh I hear you say, “I don’t have their phone number”.

So, some things to some to consider during this quieter time;

  • Should I build a database (list) of my customers and their contact details?
    • ALL businesses regardless of industry should create and maintain a customer/ client database.

  • Should I look at getting my business advertising on the internet?
    • No business in the 21st century should rely solely on word of mouth or the phone book.

  • Is it time to start a free Facebook page or Google business account?
    • These things are free, and the majority of people now search on the internet before they go out to buy even at a local level.

  • What allocation my operating budget have I made for marketing?
    • This one is really a discussion you should have with your financial professional or chat to other business operators to see what they are doing.
  • Is this a good time to plan a ‘revamp/new look’ for my business?
    • How long since your business had a makeover in one way or another? Keep your story current, relevant and interesting to keep the customers you have and attract new ones.

  • What networking activities do I do and how do I grow this?
    • Do you belong to and industry group? Are you a member of your local business chamber? (they are for ALL businesses) and work to create local strength in business.
    • Do you discuss local business trends with other business operators around you?

So, there are a few simple suggestions and you may be wondering where to start.

Right now, there are hundreds if not thousands of people doing their part to stem the spread of COVID-19, staying at home and all working together as our Governments are asking us to do.

Consequently, there are a lot of people looking for things to read and just itching for communication with the outside world that ties them to their ‘everyday normal’ pre – virus lifestyles’ and now is the time to get their attention!

Considering these points above, you can make hay now, (turn negative ‘quiet times’ to positive ‘the sun is shining’) and investigate what you have been doing, plan for the future and spring into action. Future proof your business against the financial impacts of COVID-19.

Please reach out to us at MVBC and see what conversation brings and what ideas may come up. And please remember, to help everyone in these difficult times, you don’t need to be a member of the Chamber to ask for our help.

Thought for today

DATA: Successful modern businesses collect, analyse and use data to base their strategic planning and develop their forward direction.

Best wishes

Scott Marsh

President – Macleay Valley Business Chamber