Clients are disappearing, economies are being upended, and agencies are getting harder to run. Time to get tactical.
We’re deep enough into the COVID-19 pandemic to see common effects that will hit digital agencies and marketing agencies around the world. It’s easy to only see downsides, but there will be green shoots. There will be new opportunities. And we’ve come up with an easy way to help you find your way into a sector that’s going to stay relevant and move ever further online: the restaurant trade.
You don’t need me to tell you that the world has changed, or that agencies all around the world are seeing client work disappear and don’t know whether “normal” times will ever return. Lockdowns and quarantines vary around the world, but by looking at what’s the same we can see a way through the coming weeks and months.
We’ve come up with a new idea that you can use to keep trading, and even build a new client book while you’re at it. But let’s start with the big market trends.
Clients Aren’t Thinking Long-Term
Usually, you’re looking for clients with a solid digital strategy, a series of projects lined up like a staircase, and a clear 1-3 year view of their digital evolution.
Today that’s a bit like hunting the Loch Ness monster. Businesses are retrenching. Survival mode is taking hold. Trading is a month-to-month or week-to-week proposition. Your more visionary services will probably have to wait.
Instead, you need to be delivering instant, measurable gains to businesses that don’t have time to worry about phase 3 or 4. Clients find decisions harder to make when they’re stressed, so complicated pitches are out. You need to be offering demonstrable value.
Cashflow Is King
It’s not just clients that are in a new financial reality. A lot of agencies are working hard just to keep money flowing too. In downturns you spend a lot more energy on what used to be the basics: turning around enough paid work each month, collecting payments, and making payroll. Every day you open the door (if your makeshift home office even has a door) is a victory.
Have you sensed a change in the industry? There’s a feeling in the air that the days of selling hours and keeping clients on the hook with ever-more project work are behind us. Smart agencies are looking to build new streams of recurring revenue. As winners emerge, you can expect to hear a lot about the passive income that helped the best survivors thrive.
In this environment, quick projects with smaller price tags make sense, especially if there’s a recurring billing cycle that runs on after the main work is done. Clients will appreciate the work that you deliver in days (or hours). More than ever they are counting every dollar, too, so smaller invoices find their way to the top of the pile.
Economies Don’t Reopen All at Once
Every industry is experiencing pandemic differently. It’s a better time to be selling food, for example than operating an airline. Even then, restaurateurs who offer takeaways have a much clearer path to survival than their dine-in only competitors.
Online Business Will Grow
As the restaurant trade demonstrates, one guaranteed outcome from 2020 will be the growth of online shopping and ordering. The cost of ignoring online opportunities will increase. New ways of combining clicks and bricks will emerge.
For agencies, this means new potential clients and new types of work.
You need a quick way to find those new clients. A lot of them will be established businesses wanting to make their first moves beyond, say, a Facebook account and a static website. They’re exactly the sort of business that you’ve probably never talked to before.
New Clients Will Choose Their First-Ever Agency
Remember a couple of minutes ago when I said you might be able to attract new clients now, in the middle of a downturn? Now you know who I was talking about.
You need to pick a sector that will see enough demand to reopen (or stay open) in a weak economy. You need a quick and simple offer with an obvious payoff.
Here’s where we come in with our new Restaurant Toolkit.
Your Route to New Clients and Recurring Revenue
With the Restaurant Toolkit, you have a simple offer to take to local restaurants that aren’t ready for the local economy to move online. Use it to take restaurants in your city from no online presence (and no prior relationship with your agency) to a professional website, complete with ordering and payment facilities, in hours.
The Restaurant Toolkit is a standard installation that you can access just by signing up to Cloudways. It costs no extra but gives you a package to put a price on.
The big idea is that you can use the Restaurant Toolkit to get your foot in the door with a lot of new prospects, and quickly deliver something truly valuable (maybe even business-saving). For some, it will be a starting point and more work will grow from it when the time is right.
Websites that you build with the Restaurant Toolkit are hosted through Cloudways and the whole thing—a WordPress site, the RestroPress plugin (for handling menus, ordering, payment and delivery), all RestroPress addons and a selection of appropriate themes—install in one click. Then the branding and content of each website is up to you and your new client. Within hours you can have a new client online and ready to trade.
Their first orders (and your invoice) could be in their inbox the day that work began.
We believe that this is perfectly pitched for today’s economy. You get new clients and work you can get done fast. Your clients get something that’s much more thorough and professional than a Facebook presence, way cheaper than joining UberEats, and completely suited to a world where takeaway and delivery is more important than ever.
Sound good? Take a closer look at the Restaurant Toolkit and spin up a demo now.
Owais works as a Marketing Manager at Cloudways (managed hosting platform) where he focuses on growth, demand generation, and strategic partnerships. With more than a decade of experience in digital marketing and B2B, Owais prefers to build systems that help teams achieve their full potential.