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Corona: undergo or undertake?

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As a lot of companies have to close their doors (partly or completely) as a result of Covid-19 and everyone stays "in their home" as much as possible, customers often don't find their way to their known selling point. And what does an entrepreneur do when from one day to the next he risks losing his income? Be even more creative than usual and continue to deliver his product or service, if necessary by bicycle or even virtually. Out of the box thinking becomes more than ever a requirement in these bizarre times. 

Besides the fact that your company can count on a number of support measures from the government to get through this difficult period, you can also take a lot of creative steps yourself to give your company that extra push. Below are a number of tips and tricks.

Don't immediately stop all your marketing activities! For many companies, marketing expenditure is the first expense they cut in times of crisis, causing many campaigns to be put on hold. This is understandable if you can no longer deliver products or services, but on the other hand, it is now important to remain active and visible to your target group. Because of the lockdown measures people are sitting at home and online surfing behaviour is increasing. So make sure you are / remain visible on social media. Stay in touch with your target group and inform them! Join, for example, an initiative of the Flemish government that highlights local entrepreneurship.

Thus we see many good online initiatives pass by to support local entrepreneurship. After all, e-commerce offers a solution for avoiding physical contact in necessary or normal consumer purchases. Let your customer order his products electronically (via webshop or e-mail). Think of the less young people who are not so familiar with the Internet and also provide the opportunity to order by phone. Payment can be made by bank transfer or on collection. Keep in mind that the start of a webshop comes with a lot of practical issues: "what information do I have to provide?", "how do I provide a secure payment method?", "what about orders from abroad?", "which VAT rate is applicable?", "should I provide an additional insurance / license?", "are my terms and conditions adapted to online sales?" As a sparring partner of the entrepreneur, we will of course always help you provide the necessary answers.

Also, for example, explore the possibility of start a collaboration With another offline store. By working together, you can on the one hand increase your sales a bit and, on the other hand, you can thus also broaden your target group. Think for example of a cooperation between a local store and a butcher. Moreover, in this way you can also spread the practical worries associated with the allocation of the goods.

Also for the hospitality Various actions have already been launched. Via the campaign HorecaComeback consumers can already order vouchers in their favorite café or restaurant. Take-a-way meals are also more than a success. Let your customer know that you are open and that they can order meals easily. You can also provide a meal for the little ones. Again, pay sufficient attention to the practical consequences that come with take-a-way, for example in terms of VAT.

So dare to take initiative. Customers are also aware that buying local is a must today more than ever and will appreciate your efforts more than ever. On Friday, April 24, there will be another National Security Council meeting, which should clarify our country's broader exit strategy. This with a focus on meetings and the economy. In advance, we join you in hoping that this lockdown comes to an end soon. And in anticipation:

Keep distance, but stay in touch!