Is Crowdfunding the way forward for small businesses to survive

Banjaraa owner Ajay Sabharwal, famous for his orange horsebox at local events has been forced to close his business during the lockdown. Along with many other event & outside catering businesses, it is heartbreaking to see all the hard work and determination put into their business to be forced to close overnight and many of their summer events cancelled.

Banjaraa now in its second full year of business was set to have the best year yet, fully booked throughout summer. Events included Burghley fine food markets, St Botolph’s on the green, Baston car show, Bourne festival, Langtoft music festival, Rockingham festival, Oundle food festival, Cambridge festival and private bookings for weddings and corporate events.

Ajay spent many hours researching the Crowdfunding initiative and whether it could work for his business to get him through the lockdown and help towards keeping the company afloat. Crowdfunder is creating a new way of working for companies with 100% free crowdfunding during the coronavirus crisis as a part of their #payitforward campaign.

Ajay’s solution is to offer great rewards that people can use in the future, including fantastic offers on Banjaraa’s fat boy Indian wraps by rewarding people with savings on the regular price.

Ajay has also come up with a reward which can be used during this lockdown period where he will teach you how to make the perfect masala. There are some great options for prospective private and corporate clients too. Once this is all over, the corporates might want to thank their employees or customers. This is where Banjaraa can step in – bringing their horsebox to the workplace and serving awesome wraps and rice boxes.

Ajay said: “2020 was set to be our biggest year yet. We were fully booked across multiple events throughout the summer and had begun to scout locations for our new permanent base, the Banjaraa deli. The rapid spread and subsequent lockdown due to this crisis have decimated our income stream, and it’s just been heartbreaking! We are not looking for charity, but assistance to get us through this uncertain and difficult period. As soon as we are fully operational, we will share with you how we intend to pay forward the kindness we’ve received. This is going to be something extra from us and will involve food.”

So far, Banjaraa has had a great start with over 10% of the target already achieved on day one from his local fans and friends. May be crowdfunding with giving rewards is one of the solutions for small businesses who cannot get help exactly when it is needed and who have slipped through the support available.

Whichever reward people choose will directly contribute to Banjaraa weathering this storm. If people can help in purchasing rewards, this will help Ajay sustain Banjaraa over this period. There is no expiry date on the rewards Banjaraa will be paid forward.

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How can businesses survive Covid-19 and hit the deck running when the coast is clear?

The answer is if you are serious about your business – YOU DON’T!!

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many of us to stop and think about the way we live and work and how we run our businesses. David Blackman, founder of Marketing Quotes provides tip to survive and thrive after Covid-19.

So when this is all over, how do we hit the deck running? In practical terms , we don’t! In reality, we don’t take our feet off the ground! We don’t stop running. If you are serious about your business, you work harder now that you have ever worked in your life. We keep running.

If you want a 12-week holiday, the chance is your business will not be there when you wake up in 3 months. Just because we are all working remotely doesn’t mean we can’t keep communicating, sharing ideas, seeking opportunities, talking to clients and keeping our staff engaged while we wait for the UK to heal itself.

So, being positive, what can we do? How can we help ourselves? How can we ensure we recover and thrive after the virus? Here are a few tips to help you beat the virus.

Research Grants

Grants and loans are being made ready for businesses and employees. Funds are there to help, however, understanding issues like this on the .GOV website is never easy. Unravelling the advice and financial help and how it applies to you can be, and is, a maze. However grants for small businesses are coming online, and business loans are now being made available and terms imposed by banks are being regulated by Government.

Evaluate & Reduce Overheads

Now you understand funding, evaluate your business. How bad is it? And be honest! Do you offer essential services that the public will need right now? If not, can you adapt, as the virus becomes more vigilant and lock-down continues? Key advice right now it to preserve cash, cut orders, slow/stop supplier payments, stop rent payments, cancel Business Rate DDs, and focus on credit control. The Government support on workers’ wages is there to help, as is the deferment of Vat & July tax payments.

Meet Demands

Can you change your business offering? Restaurants becoming takeaways. Gin producers making hand sanitiser! Has your business the opportunity to change before closing it down in line with Government legislation? If no hope exists, shut down, hibernate and plan for the future.


Talk to your customers! Explain how the virus has affected you and what you are doing to either hibernate or diversify. If you are hibernating, tell your clients of your plans moving forward. If you are diversifying, tell them what you are planning, which may be community projects, such as restaurants offering take-away meals for essential Key Workers, or charity donations of stock and products you can no longer sell.

Look to your competitors

Keep your clients close but keep your competitors closer. Before you plan your own marketing look to your competitors. Are they still marketing? If they are, you cannot afford to stop. If they are not, it’s your opportunity to dominate areas of the market. With less competition search engine results pages, and PPC (pay per click) will be cheaper. This is now a great time to create more traffic whilst the cost per click is lower.

Plan & Change

When we come out the other end of these troubled times, the business landscape will have changes that we may not have foreseen. There may be new opportunities. So, now is the time for some essential ‘house-keeping’. In the coming down months do something positive to get ready for change. DO NOT stop marketing your business. If you stop marketing, you lose momentum. Once you stop, people forget you. Keep waving the flag, and wave it hard!!

• PLAN – Write a marketing plan for your business, scheduling how you are going to move forward, when the pandemic is over. Plan from today, with activities through hibernation, culminating in your re-emergence and look to take some market share.

• DATA – Built a new database, or cleanse your existing database, to include clients, suspects and prospects. With a good database, plan direct mail campaigns to stay in touch.

• PR – Think about your profile, how you can communicate good stories about what you are doing, what you plan to do, and make sure your audience sees these news items online, in the press, on your social media and on your web.

• SOCIAL MEDIA – Social media activity can be very powerful right now. Don’t fall silent. The whole world is living on its mobile following social media trends and looking for news. Chefs are conducting cookery lessons on line. Fitness gurus are running classes on line. What can you do to inform, entertain, and raise your profile? You have a chance to be a resource to your wider business or local community.

• NEW PROPOSITIONS – Now is an ideal time for business to develop new products and propositions. Be bold. Think outside the box and be different. What will the market need?

• RETARGET – COVID-19 won’t be here forever, so invest in the future and retarget. When life returns to normal, business will quickly pick up, and by setting up retargeting now, you can take market share in your industry.

• EXECUTE – Some of these measures to keep your business active could become a big part of your marketing plan moving forward. Customers are expecting disruption to the way we do business, so why not plan to de different and different gets noticed!!
Lastly, stay focussed and positive. Businesses can survive and beat Covid-19 with a little planning and doing things a little differently.

Lastly, stay focussed and positive. Businesses can survive and beat Covid-19 with a little planning and doing things a little differently.

Written by: David Blackman, founder of Marketing Quotes, providing businesses with FIVE Agency Quotes for FREE.


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Can Your Business Survive When Employees Work from Home?

Massive social distancing unprecedented in modern humanity is sweeping across the world due to Coronavirus. As a result, employers are trying to figure out how to protect employees while maintaining continuity of business. This has required an immediate shift to work from home, telework and telecommuting. Tens of thousands of companies were under-prepared for these radical changes.

Initially many company leaders anticipated that work from home would last days or weeks. But, based on new and developing information, it is increasingly probable workers will be obligated to work from home for up to one year. “While our response to COVID-19 is already in effect, it will take many months for employers to be able to ensure a safe work environment,” stated Lief Larson of Workface, a provider of productivity software used by employees to work from home.

Larson says key factors determining a return to workplace normalcy include health and safety, projections for exposure, and mitigation through appropriate access to treatment of COVID-19. Until then, there are some things your business can do to help employees. Larson recommends that you give employees a solid video conferencing solution that allows for text chat, holding meetings with colleagues and customers via audio and video, the ability to do screensharing, and the ability to have a digital LDAP-type company directory so employees can see who’s online and have an easy method to reach out to them.

Additional ways to support employees over the next year include potentially providing a stipend for employees to maintain a strong connection to the Internet, which may require upgrading their residential fiber or DSL service, and a potential stipend or reimbursement for their personal mobile phone if that needs to be used to conduct business from home. “If the employees are customer-facing it’s also a really good idea that you encourage them to reach out to customers and let them know how to communicate during the pandemic,” said Larson.

About Workface
Workface is a work-from-home app that features text chat, audio and video conferencing for holding meetings, screensharing, a company directory to see who is online/offline, and a way for team members to communicate via SMS/text. Workface helps employees work from home, but stay connected and productive throughout the day. Learn more by visiting

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