Hey Everyone. Here’s a beautiful initiative from Andrew [@aattwood] – Do go check it out!
They have great traction and sales that are generating an income…
TWO Initiative actually 🙂
I am sharing my story and am offering what we have done in the hope that it will help others survive this mess. We are in this together and the only way through it to help each other. Right from the beginning of this crisis, we identified a path of survival for our lodge [www.antbear.co.za] and have stuck to it quite solidly. It seems that this is providing us with significant resilience to the crisis. The first was the acceptance that we will not be able to operate a sustainable business until next year. If I am proven wrong no one will be more pleased than me but having accepted that length of staying shut or hobbling along enabled us to plan significantly. The plan has the following priorities.
* Health for ourselves and our staff and their families
* Survival of the lodge because without it, our livelihood and that of our staff does not exist
* Generate cashflow
* Setup our recovery
* Mitigate our losses
* Generation of some sort of income for ourselves and our staff to minimally sustain ourselves
1. Generate cashflow. I have created a free to use with zero commission web platform (http://www.africannights.co.za) to sell discounted vouchers of forward bookings. It uses crowdfunding principals to generate traffic. The transaction is directly between you and your client so no transaction fees and zero commission. I am selling vouchers for my own lodge and these voucher sales are what will get me through till we are able to operate again sustainably. Please note that in some respects you are just kicking the can down the road and will have another cash flow crises when you have to redeem the vouchers but I figure that will be a smaller problem than to one we have now.
2. Generate cashflow and setup recovery. I have created a collaborative direct email marketing list where participants can contribute their own client emails into a massive list and in exchange for contributing to the list, your services offered on AfricanNights.co.za are promoted directly to the entire list. So far we have collaboratively collected over 90000 emails. An additional benefit is that your own email list is cleaned and you can export it for uses as an own marketing tool.
3. Generate cashflow. We are now giving R1000 coupons away with urgency to book now. Anyone who would like to join this program is welcome. Contact me at email@example.com. Free of charge. Also works using crowdfunding principles and we are additionally all automatically promoting each other.
4. Setup recovery I have created http://www.gosouthafrica.co.za which is a networking platform using collaboration. It offers a library of free or discounted resources. It also allows for networking with media which is creating more publicity without which it will be difficult to restart. Additionally I will implement networking with agents which will create market access. All of this networking is collaborative and free.
5. Setup recovery I have added functionality to http://www.gosouthafrica.co.za to enable contactless check-in. The cooler part of this functionality is that it improves our business models, capture indemnities online and adds a new layer of marketing to what we already have. Currently using email but the next step will be to add WhatsApp. Just imagine the benefit if every single client you have has your number on their WhatsApp list. It enables amazing push notification functionality and WhatsApp has a 100% open rate.
6. I cant help you do this but other initiatives I have had some success with have been crowdfunding to raise cashflow for our lodge through donations from previous guests, setup an auction to raise money for our community which is proving to be tough, and have submitted lots of grant funding applications although not much response. I am also trying various things not in tourism to generate cash flow and support our staff and the community like cutting thatch grass and assisting with infrastructure in the community and pushing for permaculture gardens in the community.