5 things you can do to boost revenue during lockdown
Updated: Apr 28
The Covid-19 lockdown and social distancing rules have hit businesses hard across the board.
When your organisation provides events, conferences and private hire space for meetings and parties though, much like bars and restaurants, you are entirely prohibited from providing normal service.
Closed for business
Whether you’re a traditional events business with a large conferencing operation, or an organisation that uses private hire services as a secondary revenue stream - everyone from colleges and universities to sports clubs, theatres and museums and local councils - you aren’t getting paid and you aren’t making sales.
For many organisations, particularly those who offer events as a secondary service, creatively sweating these assets will be critical when it comes to resuming business and surviving in a financially constrained post-crisis world.
We will get back to work, but can you actively prepare for that day when the current rules preclude you from delivering these services?
We think so. Here’s our 5 tips to be at the front of the queue when it comes to kickstarting your private hire operations.
5 tips for getting going now
1 Focus marketing on the things people are going to want to do as soon as they can
For businesses and organisations, getting teams back together to rebuild relationships and thrash through strategy is going to be high on the agenda. We predict there’ll be a stack of 'offsites' and ‘Town Hall’ events planned once social distancing is relaxed. Likewise there’s been a number of milestone events like birthdays and anniversary parties postponed, as well as a few celebrations being planned to mark the return to normal life with friends and family.
Embrace optimism for the other side of this crisis, by getting people thinking about what they might use your space for when they can.
2 Get people booking
No-one is booking anything as they don’t know when they can, and they don’t want to risk another cancellation and the potential charges that go with it.
Remove the stick and increase the size of the carrot. Offer attractive discounts and freebies to make bookings for July onwards, removing any cancellation fees and offering free re-booking for any ongoing restrictions that prohibit the booking from taking place. Ask for a small refundable deposit to bring in a little income and help with cashflow, but make balance payments only fall due after the event.
Make a compelling case for making a booking now.
3 Be creative about what you can offer for hire
Do you have access to specialist equipment like laboratories or media resources that people will need but can’t buy? Do you have access to coaches or experts that can support events or speak? Will a number of businesses go remote permanently to save on costs but need casual space to work from now and again that speaks to what you have at your venue? Do you have parking or other outside facilities that can be monetised?
If virtual events continue, can you provide event management services for those, running everything from setup to guest management and conference packs in the same way you would for a physical event?
Look at what assets you have and can offer for rent, people will want to hire rather than buy in the short term, but they’ll still want good quality service offering that takes the hassle away.
4 Remove barriers to customers looking to start booking again
As confidence grows and things start to return to normal, there will be a big leap in demand for private hire and events again. This might start to ramp whilst organisations are continuing to run light on resources with staff still placed on furlough. Don’t make it hard for customers to buy. Look at how you can offer your private hire bookings online, with visibility of availability, associated services like food, drink and equipment packages and pricing so that prospects can self serve quickly, and don’t have to rely on enquiry forms and the responsiveness of skeleton teams. The personal touch can still be applied once a customer has made a booking.
Make it easy for people to make plans, even when you're closed.
5 Review your systems and processes
With the day to day traffic of managing prospects, customers and events temporarily gone, organisations with teams still working are afforded some time to review how things were being done.
What was impacting enquiry conversion? What risks do current processes and systems create for delivery and payment? What does customer satisfaction and repeat business look like? Did you have the data to know if you were doing a good job in terms of performance indicators? The crisis may provide a great opportunity to look at how things were being done and to what extent systems and processes were negatively impacting revenue, margin and service.
Make some impactful changes that boost performance when things are rosier.
Things will return to normal in time. We hope to see you all on the other side.
And we will gladly spend some time on a video call with you to help apply the tips above to your business.
In addition we are offering a no obligation 'buy now, pay later' onboarding to Switch, giving you full access to our software so you can offer online booking, promotions and discounts and simplify the management of all your private hire resources and services.
We’ll set you up and get you started, and we won’t charge a penny until your first post Covid-19 booking is fulfilled. We’ll also give you the opportunity to cancel without any charge if you’re not happy with Switch.
Drop us a line if you’d like to chat about how we can help. You can book an appointment here or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org