By Daniel Todaro, Managing Director, Gekko
Small British businesses are facing an existential crisis like never before on the back of COVID 19. Recessions bite slowly and in those circumstances small businesses can see and plan for every eventuality across sales, cashflow, headcount etc, but this virus has hit us like a bolt out of the blue and a lot of small businesses have seen revenue ravaged literally overnight and that’s both consumer and b2b.
So now more than ever big and small business need to work together. This is no longer about David and Goliath, but the fabric of the business ecosystem that keeps this country afloat and people able to feed their families. Often small businesses find themselves in situations where they are scared to ask for help or argue with big business in case they lose a contract – but this isn’t the time for self-deprecation, it’s fight for what’s right.
Big brands often have more support and cash to deal with such challenges yet many are pulling deals, campaigns and agreed contracts at a stroke. And having been in this situation myself here’s my advice when faced with big brands not playing fair.
Practice what you preach:
If you own your own business, you are in charge of your own destiny and the people that work for you. Rather than shareholders telling you what to do, in these unprecedented times, you do what’s right. Be proud of the strategies you are implementing and articulate clearly to big business – especially if you’re currently operating not for profit so you can keep your team employed.
If big businesses want to stop contracts overnight, push them with alternative solutions like scaling down spend slowly rather than switching it off immediately, paying a proportion of fees for their next project.
Don’t believe the Hype:
Diageo has this week announced a $1million pot to help its on-trade customers through these difficult times, so it is possible for big business to put people before profit. Don’t be fobbed off, keep working with them on a solution that works for them and you. They also have a moral duty and it’s incumbent on them to do their bit to support you.
Unscrupulous brands who turn their back on their responsibilities, relationships and partners are the brands that need to be called out. When they act in this manner, they also fail the consumer as the brand values that portray in their marketing are the antithesis of the brand values they trade on.