It’s a pretty well-known fact by now that the current situation which we all find ourselves in is less than ideal. The way COVID19 is impacting on businesses is nothing short of devastating and the ripple effects on our community will be felt by all. Some businesses in the region have been able to adapt their business practices to survive, as we have showcased in articles in Bizconnect, and we hope this has helped evolve ideas you have already had and put some new strategies into place. We have put together a few more ideas that might suit your business, in an effort to be putting this “enforced down-time” to good use. We hope some of these ideas will help contribute to greater recovery when this is all over.

Diversify

Did you know in 2019, the locally filmed production of the TV series “Harrow” injected $50 000 into the Southern Downs and Granite Belt region’s economy in one week? Film companies are often looking for locations for film and TV productions, as well as any facilities they might need for the duration of their shoot. When producers are scouting for locations, they are generally looking for something very specific….maybe an art deco 80s style motel, or a grand old house in the mountains, or perhaps even an average looking brick office building. And, when they have found their ideal location, they also need to find the facilities they will use for the duration of the shoot – like accommodation, hire cars, hire equipment (eg. portaloos), caterers, hairdressers etc. In Queensland, there is a one-stop shop for production companies to find all this information to help them with their next shoot, and that is the Screen QLD website. If you are the operator of one of these businesses/locations and you think you could offer location or services to a production company, please consider using this time to upload high quality, well-lit imagery and details of your business to the Screen QLD website. Go to screenqld.com.au and then to the ‘Make it in Qld’ tab. From there you will find either a ‘Locations’ or ‘Facilities’ tab and you can register from there. If you can offer both, ensure you register in both locations of the website and upload appropriate imagery to each. This could ensure a great boost to your business income and the local economy for the next TV production. Remember to keep details and imagery updated if anything changes over time, and keep information to the point and factual. Imagery should be of high resolution for the producers who may view the images on a large screen. You want to do everything you can to ensure you stand out as an appealing location/business and then sit back and reap the benefits when life is back to normal.

Training

Could you or your staff benefit from up-skilling or re-training during this time? We have compiled an extensive list of online training opportunities that could benefit your management and your team. From small skill-sets to major courses, there is plenty to choose from. Download the PDF here: Online Training

Get ready with new, creative marketing strategies and put time into considering your ‘recovery plan’ for when this is all over! Get together with your teams and have a really good brainstorming session.

Tourism operators

Have you listed your place of business with Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW), so that it can be displayed on nation-wide tourism websites? If you already have a listing, have you checked it lately? Could it use some refreshing, updating or uploading of new great quality images? Broaden your reach and use this time to be planning for the future and increasing promotion of your establishment or events to the nation while they are in ‘holiday planning’ mode. Again, ensure you use high quality, well-lit (professional if possible) imagery to increase your appeal and stick to sharp and factual details about your property, including any points of interest for things to do in the area, and travel suggestions. We all know visitors can’t travel at the moment, but why not put this ‘down-time’ to great use in preparation for when they can and put your best foot forward!

Feel free to contact the Economic Development and Tourism team at Southern Downs Regional Council for support and assistance.

Social Media

Are your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages active? This could be a great time to implement a posting schedule for your business, again using great quality imagery and short, catchy captions that have a theme of ‘holiday planning’ for right now, but will also help encourage a healthy relationship with social media for when business is up and running and again. An active presence on social media – like it or not – and the utilisation of hashtags, is a great way to engage with your repeat guests, but also catch the interest of others – domestic and international. We suggest doing some browsing on other tourism operator’s media channels for inspiration. Try Spicers Retreats, Discover Queensland, Halcyon House, The Old Clare Hotel. Now is a great time for research!