Marketing skills are going to be vital to getting your business rolling again. Planning now for the restart is also likely to mean that you can be out of the starting gate before your competition so here are four simple steps you might like to take.

Rebuild your team

Whether your team is your own staff or trusted suppliers and partners, the first step will be to re-engage with them.  You will need to bear in mind that, just because lockdown restrictions are lifted, it won’t mean that everyone can just get back to normal; it is likely that some people will still need to shield or self-isolate (for various reasons) or simply to take time to physically restock.  So, communicate with your team; establish what they are capable of and when they will be able to re-engage.  The rest of your business plan has to start from that.

My recent blog on the importance of internal communications also has some handy tips.

Set expectations

Once you know what your organisation is going to be able to offer, you can then set some expectations with your clients.  It is far better for long-term customer relationships to be honest about what you are going to be able to offer than just to hope for the best.  Once you are reasonably confident about this, you can start sharing these messages – and to show how much you are looking forward to working with them again.  It is probably also safer to be just a little cautious with expectations and to beat them than to be over-confident and fail to meet them.

Rethink your target audience

At a networking group I belong to we recently discussed what we have learnt from the lockdown and what we think the ‘new normal’ might look like for us after it.  One of the points that arose several times was how the move to online business has made people re-evaluate who their target market could be.  Those organisations who have been responsive and shifted their business model to make use of technology could now find themselves with a – potentially – global market.  So, as part of your restart plan, don’t be restricted by what you might previously have seen as your ‘catchment area’ and have an eye on a wider marketplace if it could be relevant to your business.

Make a (realistic) marketing plan

If you have had the chance to read (and action!) the suggestions in my earlier article you should have some ‘juicy’ data about how well your website is working, how you’ve recruited your best customers and how you keep your customers – and perhaps even some ‘banked’ articles.  Now is the time to use that data to inform your marketing actions going forward.  Be clear what your marketing objectives are (and remember they should be SMART so you can tell if you have achieved them). Don’t have too many objectives; at this time, it’s probably a more effective use of your time and energy to be focussed than a bit scatter-gun.

If you’ve never written a marketing plan before, this beginners guide from The Chartered Institute of Marketing could be useful.  But a simple grid with dates along one axis and marketing channels along with other – although ‘quick and dirty’ – could be just as effective to get you going.


I cut the Alex cartoon above out of my Dad’s newspaper almost twenty years ago; the perceptive (and ‘funny-because-it’s-true’) take on the value of marketing in some organisations struck a chord.  While we might not be thinking about Christmas cards yet, the lesson is just as relevant; now is the time to be reinforcing your marketing budget, time and efforts to strengthen your business, not seeing it as a ‘nice to have’.