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WEB SCHOOL How to Sell Web Design/Web Services during Coronavirus

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Excuse the title but that is exactly what this thread will be about:

How to Sell Web Design/Web Services during Coronavirus (or any major crisis)

At the summit, @ZCP had a challenge to positively impact as many people as you could and I feel this is a thread that could help out a few of you over the next few weeks or months.

The advantages right now:
- you can do this from your house
- you already got everything you need right now to start
- there is no shortage of people who need help

So let's get right into it...

The common way to think/sell web design is to focus on the design side.

This would be things like:
"I can make your website modern-looking"
"We can add more pages and make it load faster"
"I can make it more responsive for using on different devices "


The thing is no business owner cares about that stuff. That is way down the list of 1000 other things they could be focused on.

People who sell websites and web design this way struggle to close any deals, and any they do close are usually at a low price.

The much stronger way to sell a website is to find a serious business problem(s) that show web design as being a great way to fix/reduce that issue.

This creates a strong mental case in a business owners mind to invest in a solution (for 1x) that can solve a much bigger problem (10-100x)

Basically show you can solve a $10k or $100k or $10m problem and it isn't hard to close a decent web project deal.

---

Now under normal circumstances, this would be a good example of how you go about this:

- A business is not closing big contracts (problem)

Solution: The website can have better messaging to focus on what is needed to close these contracts, we can use trust-building content like reviews, awards, testimonials, case studies to build trust and authority.

We can also back this up with effective copywriting and persuasive images and/or videos.

Then on top of that, we can make the sales-system of the website very effective at meeting people where they are at and bringing them through the different sales stages needed so they are comfortable (and motivated) to take the right action.

Now when bidding you can include the website name within the contracts and also refer possible leads to your website to view past projects (which we include) and more details about your business. Instead of a normal website, we have an effective strategic selling machine that compliments and improves all your current bidding activities.

---

Now that is a fictional example but it shows the overall idea of how it is done. You don't focus on the design or visual side of things - it has to be all about what will get the business real valuable results, what is worth them investing in to solve problems, and showing why it will be effective/useful.

In short - Find real and painful business problems > show how web design can solve them in a high value (and high ROI) way.

---

So how to sell/help in Coronavirus?

You got to meet businesses where they are at right now.
The problems are clearly there at the moment and for a lot of people simple web design skills could go a long way.

Let's look at two fictional examples to see how we could maybe help a business...

Yoga Studio

- Problem: they probably have to shut down soon and will lose all monthly membership income.

Possible solution: We bring the classes online with live broadcasts done through a Facebook group. Members can still watch their favourite instructor online and also get some morning breathing and relaxing exercises through email. New members can sign up online through the website and if needed can quickly book a 15-minute call with staff before joining.

The website can also have new content to show how to do Yoga at home and the benefits of doing so at the moment.

The quick pitch: You can reduce the loss of your monthly income while keeping your staff on payroll and also helping out your customers in a time of stress. Also, you have the added opportunity of being the only studio open in your area right now and might even create new members.

What is needed as a web designer to do this: Some very basic tech skills and a few hours of watching videos on Youtube about how to live broadcast through FB.


Legal Services

Problem: The government has said they have to close their offices and work from home. They have 8 experienced legal staff but have zero online experience.

Solution: Changes to the website (or a new website) to allow for an online meeting with a lawyer and doing all legal services 100% online. People can view the availability of different lawyers and book an initial or full consultation. There is an email system set up to tell people their meeting time after booking and how to prepare for a video call.

The website can also offer online advice on the new common legal issues that arise in a crisis to help create new customers and run new effective local ads. They can pick the top issues they see people facing and have great content to give people useful content. This link could also be shared in local business online groups and to their current email list.

The quick pitch: No need to lose a ton of potential cash, people need your legal services right now and this can be quickly set up to help them.
It also shows your business as a leader/trusted advisor in a time of crisis. Plenty of chances to land new customers and improve your brand/reputation.

Again what is needed as a web designer - very simple tech skills but simply the right mindset to creatively solve an immediate problem.

---

I hope this gets some wheels spinning and shows people this is something they could be doing right now to help people.

For you newer entrepreneurs who maybe have your main biz slow right now this is something you could easily pivot into for a few weeks to keep the funds going.

It is easy enough to learn the code part and after it is much more just about your mindset and strategy on how you solve problems.

If you are interested in this thread please post up and let me know. I will be happy to post a lot of content to get you up and going with the sales side and also how to learn things on the tech side.

Anyone is able to do this and you already got what you need to get going.

Hope this helps - there is no shortage of problems right now and this is something people on here could be doing to help businesses stay going and hopefully stay growing.
 

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I like where your head's at with this. Strong thinking. The examples should get wheels spinning.
Life goes on. People out there need help and we are a bunch of highly creative people who are able to provide solutions. It is time to shine!
 

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This is the time where you can help people digitalize their businesses. Now people are in desperate need of someone to help them with moving as much of their business as they can online since people can't move freely.

It's not even strictly related to web design (although it would be a great asset), as proven by Fox himself with the first example. You just need to be willing to solve a problem by helping someone digitalize their business. I can see pivoting this into some sort of consulting business where you help people with the online side of their activity.

I'll see if I can do something similar in my area.
 
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This is the time where you can help people digitalize their businesses. Now people are in desperate need of someone to help them with moving as much of their business as they can online since people can't move freely.

It's not even strictly related to web design (although it would be a great asset), as proven by Fox himself with the first example. You just need to be willing to solve a problem by helping someone digitalize their business. I can see pivoting this into some sort of consulting business where you help people with the online side of their activity.

I'll see if I can do something similar in my area.
Ya exactly - think web design but think everything else too. It’s about putting their problem first and then working back to a solution.

I’d look at all tools available - slack, fb, email systems, booking systems, live calls, automated systems, and so on.

“web solutions” - the demand is going to be high and people will need real help.
 

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You could also set up a subscription style formatted website with videos.

Body weight exercises

Yoga

Meditation etc.
Something for those in isolation.

Sorry if this is kinda derailing the thread maybe I should start another.
 
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You could also set up a subscription style formatted website with videos.

Body weight exercises

Yoga

Meditation etc.
Something for those in isolation.

Sorry if this is kinda derailing the thread maybe I should start another.
Nah it's 100% in line.

I recommended this to someone in Ireland yesterday - find the best yoga studio in town with the highest membership and help them get it all online asap. They already have the members and they need to be offering something while they are shut down.

There is no need to create these services yourself though - just find the people who already offer them (and do a great job) and simply partner up for a while. Easy and fast and can be done within a few days.
 

Timmy C

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Nah it's 100% in line.

I recommended this to someone in Ireland yesterday - find the best yoga studio in town with the highest membership and help them get it all online asap. They already have the members and they need to be offering something while they are shut down.

There is no need to create these services yourself though - just find the people who already offer them (and do a great job) and simply partner up for a while. Easy and fast and can be done within a few days.

Not a bad idea, creating an excel sheet of people to contact tomorrow in different verticals that could go online.

Looks like the last year of video editing and using software will pay off for me!

For both me and my potential clients.
 

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You could also set up a subscription style formatted website with videos.

Body weight exercises

Yoga

Meditation etc.
Something for those in isolation.

Sorry if this is kinda derailing the thread maybe I should start another.
You’re a chef @Timmy C.

What about restaurants delivering food that currently don’t have a take-out service and menus online?

Same for the local grocery stores. I’m going to order food for my mum online via Tescos in the UK. It would be nice to support a small local grocer though, but none of them have an eCommerce website.

Who has chef courses? Can you consult to them about putting their courses online?
 

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Great post @Fox.

I’ve been thinking about this for Google Ads services.

Who is struggling that Google Ads could help?

Who is not struggling but could do even better in the current climate?

My preference is always to help the people in motion, rather than convince those who aren’t keen.

What are people doing that indicates they’re already trying to move services / functions online?

Are they new to putting certain functions online and searching for things like “best software to manage a team online” (bad example but hopefully gives you an idea what I mean).

What about government bodies and charities trying to help the public? How can we help these entities help the public better?

Who can we help?

Who can we help who will help the public in this time of need?

Who is *already* trying to help the public more?

How can we position our business to go where the puck is going?
 

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I’m due to give a Google Ads workshop in Dublin in April. I will suggest they do it online.

I’m in a paid Facebook group of Irish business owners. This week they had their second virtual networking/meeting event and it was online on Zoom. I haven’t attended any yet, but will make sure I attend the next and give suggestions of how they can help their market using online solutions or channels.

I’ll create a thread too in the large free Facebook group of a few thousand members.


“Money is proof you helped your fellow man.” (MJ DeMarco)

I recommend we don’t see this as a $$$ opportunity, but as a chance to help our fellow man.

Our communities need us to step up and lead. Let’s do this.
 

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Awesome write up @Fox
Exactly what I was thinking about yesterday.
 
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Speaking to an Entrepreneur in my home town at the moment about how i want to help people in the area.

I sent him a drive full of my video content, video editing and the skills i have.

He said we should work together, and mentioned he knows some people that could invest up to$100,000,. He has a couple of other businesses in town.

but m taking that with a pinch of salt and seeing where it goes, still focusing on how i want to help people and keeping up the communication with him.

Just did a Toilet Paper drop off to a guy who had none at home. He has 3 daughters and was very thankful.

The Toilet paper facebook group is killing it!
 

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Excuse the title but that is exactly what this thread will be about:

How to Sell Web Design/Web Services during Coronavirus (or any major crisis)

At the summit, @ZCP had a challenge to positively impact as many people as you could and I feel this is a thread that could help out a few of you over the next few weeks or months.

The advantages right now:
- you can do this from your house
- you already got everything you need right now to start
- there is no shortage of people who need help

So let's get right into it...

The common way to think/sell web design is to focus on the design side.

This would be things like:
"I can make your website modern-looking"
"We can add more pages and make it load faster"
"I can make it more responsive for using on different devices "


The thing is no business owner cares about that stuff. That is way down the list of 1000 other things they could be focused on.

People who sell websites and web design this way struggle to close any deals, and any they do close are usually at a low price.

The much stronger way to sell a website is to find a serious business problem(s) that show web design as being a great way to fix/reduce that issue.

This creates a strong mental case in a business owners mind to invest in a solution (for 1x) that can solve a much bigger problem (10-100x)

Basically show you can solve a $10k or $100k or $10m problem and it isn't hard to close a decent web project deal.

---

Now under normal circumstances, this would be a good example of how you go about this:

- A business is not closing big contracts (problem)

Solution: The website can have better messaging to focus on what is needed to close these contracts, we can use trust-building content like reviews, awards, testimonials, case studies to build trust and authority.

We can also back this up with effective copywriting and persuasive images and/or videos.

Then on top of that, we can make the sales-system of the website very effective at meeting people where they are at and bringing them through the different sales stages needed so they are comfortable (and motivated) to take the right action.

Now when bidding you can include the website name within the contracts and also refer possible leads to your website to view past projects (which we include) and more details about your business. Instead of a normal website, we have an effective strategic selling machine that compliments and improves all your current bidding activities.

---

Now that is a fictional example but it shows the overall idea of how it is done. You don't focus on the design or visual side of things - it has to be all about what will get the business real valuable results, what is worth them investing in to solve problems, and showing why it will be effective/useful.

In short - Find real and painful business problems > show how web design can solve them in a high value (and high ROI) way.

---

So how to sell/help in Coronavirus?

You got to meet businesses where they are at right now.
The problems are clearly there at the moment and for a lot of people simple web design skills could go a long way.

Let's look at two fictional examples to see how we could maybe help a business...

Yoga Studio

- Problem: they probably have to shut down soon and will lose all monthly membership income.

Possible solution: We bring the classes online with live broadcasts done through a Facebook group. Members can still watch their favourite instructor online and also get some morning breathing and relaxing exercises through email. New members can sign up online through the website and if needed can quickly book a 15-minute call with staff before joining.

The website can also have new content to show how to do Yoga at home and the benefits of doing so at the moment.

The quick pitch: You can reduce the loss of your monthly income while keeping your staff on payroll and also helping out your customers in a time of stress. Also, you have the added opportunity of being the only studio open in your area right now and might even create new members.

What is needed as a web designer to do this: Some very basic tech skills and a few hours of watching videos on Youtube about how to live broadcast through FB.


Legal Services

Problem: The government has said they have to close their offices and work from home. They have 8 experienced legal staff but have zero online experience.

Solution: Changes to the website (or a new website) to allow for an online meeting with a lawyer and doing all legal services 100% online. People can view the availability of different lawyers and book an initial or full consultation. There is an email system set up to tell people their meeting time after booking and how to prepare for a video call.

The website can also offer online advice on the new common legal issues that arise in a crisis to help create new customers and run new effective local ads. They can pick the top issues they see people facing and have great content to give people useful content. This link could also be shared in local business online groups and to their current email list.

The quick pitch: No need to lose a ton of potential cash, people need your legal services right now and this can be quickly set up to help them.
It also shows your business as a leader/trusted advisor in a time of crisis. Plenty of chances to land new customers and improve your brand/reputation.

Again what is needed as a web designer - very simple tech skills but simply the right mindset to creatively solve an immediate problem.

---

I hope this gets some wheels spinning and shows people this is something they could be doing right now to help people.

For you newer entrepreneurs who maybe have your main biz slow right now this is something you could easily pivot into for a few weeks to keep the funds going.

It is easy enough to learn the code part and after it is much more just about your mindset and strategy on how you solve problems.

If you are interested in this thread please post up and let me know. I will be happy to post a lot of content to get you up and going with the sales side and also how to learn things on the tech side.

Anyone is able to do this and you already got what you need to get going.

Hope this helps - there is no shortage of problems right now and this is something people on here could be doing to help businesses stay going and hopefully stay growing.
Thank you @Fox . This message is timely.

I am a newbie in digital marketing (4 years+) doing all sorts of works. After reading some articles online, I must niche down both by service and industry.

By service, I chose web designing with WordPress (my expertise here) as a focus.

By industry, I am terrified - don't know what to do.

Recently, the choices on my mind have been the coaching industry, personal branding, or small businesses.

But then, below are data gotten from each industry.

For coaches -They hardly use their website (It's shown in the date at the footer).

For personal branding - Felt it's too broad and so will make me a generalist and then priced low.

For small businesses - Afraid they don't have the money to pay, especially the recurring fees.

Please, what's your opinion? And what other suggestions will you give?

Note: I don't mind using three months to learning about any industry, so I become an expert in it - provided the industry is profitable.

Thank you!
 
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Great post. This is momentum in the right direction and a good reminder to focus on problems we might help solve now and in the future.
 

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let's talk through some of the specifics for this. What are some tools that would work for people?

Online appointment creation and tracking:
Calendly

Online meetings:
Zoom
GotoMeeting
Webex

I'm assuming that we'd integrate some of this on their websites - calendar

perhaps we'd only allow people to join the classes that have paid for them?

thoughts?

How much would be reasonable to charge for something like this? $1000? $2500?
 
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Thank you @Fox . This message is timely.

I am a newbie in digital marketing (4 years+) doing all sorts of works. After reading some articles online, I must niche down both by service and industry.

By service, I chose web designing with WordPress (my expertise here) as a focus.

By industry, I am terrified - don't know what to do.

Recently, the choices on my mind have been the coaching industry, personal branding, or small businesses.

But then, below are data gotten from each industry.

For coaches -They hardly use their website (It's shown in the date at the footer).

For personal branding - Felt it's too broad and so will make me a generalist and then priced low.

For small businesses - Afraid they don't have the money to pay, especially the recurring fees.

Please, what's your opinion? And what other suggestions will you give?

Note: I don't mind using three months to learning about any industry, so I become an expert in it - provided the industry is profitable.

Thank you!
Okay so there are 3 main areas to focus on right now:

- bleeding necks

These are the people right now who are losing massive money and that you can help. Maybe they have 100% lost their ability to sell in person, maybe they had no online systems before this hit, maybe they need to change everything about how they operate.

These are the people who you don't necessarily have to think "can I make them more money?" - it is a case of they are crashing big time right now and just need to stabilize.

If you look around there are plenty of these people in all sorts of niches. If you are stuck for ideas just drive around or have some time to think at home of who might be panicking right now (but could be helped).

- adjusters

These are other people who are not in so bad a situation but who will have to start changing how they have been doing things. They won't need to buy quite as fast as above but they will need to adjust sooner rather than later. They got some cash flow right now but they could be doing more and they could even use this to their advantage. This will be more of a "potential" pitch than just stopping the damage as mentioned above.

- long term change

Then finally there will be a LOT of opportunity long term as whole industries change and new industries emerge. Web/online will be on the rise (I feel) as people will want to adjust and protect themselves from this happening again. Any smarter business owner is going to rebuild but also secure their income with a lot more online systems/presence in the near future. Tons of chances to help with that.

I would say to focus heavily on learning about sales, business growth and systems, and marketing. The code/design side is needed but a small part - people want the systems and sales most.
 
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let's talk through some of the specifics for this. What are some tools that would work for people?

Online appointment creation and tracking:
Calendly

Online meetings:
Zoom
GotoMeeting
Webex

I'm assuming that we'd integrate some of this on their websites - calendar

perhaps we'd only allow people to join the classes that have paid for them?

thoughts?

How much would be reasonable to charge for something like this? $1000? $2500?
Ya all of these.

I think the best approach is to start with the problem.

Look at the business impacted and get creative "what do they need right now to survive and thrive"?

I think everything you mentioned above is a potential tool to use but the best place to begin is with their clear and urgent problems.

This way you don't get caught looking through the lens of "who can I still X service to" but rather "who needs help right now... okay, how do I fix that?".

You will find a lot more people to help this way and a lot bigger needs to solve (so more budget).

It is good to niche down but right now I would say stay very open to what the market is telling you. Start with the market needs and work back to what you can be offering people.

And when you help one person then show others the results and go from there.
 

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Ya all of these.

I think the best approach is to start with the problem.

Look at the business impacted and get creative "what do they need right now to survive and thrive"?

I think everything you mentioned above is a potential tool to use but the best place to begin is with their clear and urgent problems.

This way you don't get caught looking through the lens of "who can I still X service to" but rather "who needs help right now... okay, how do I fix that?".

You will find a lot more people to help this way and a lot bigger needs to solve (so more budget).

It is good to niche down but right now I would say stay very open to what the market is telling you. Start with the market needs and work back to what you can be offering people.

And when you help one person then show others the results and go from there.
This makes a lot of sense. I typically underbid or somehow manage to charge way too little for my services. (to the point that it leaves me in a financial bind). I've had a handful of clients where that hadn't been the case, but those clients were gracious and had the budget. I tend to end up with people that are stingy and difficult to work with. Two of my three current clients are like that.

How do I avoid that, especially in this service offering where a lot of the businesses out there are struggling to pay basic bills?

(I know this is a 'hold my hand and walk me through this' type of question, but even after years of working on this issue, it's still there)

Let's take a yoga studio as an example. They need an online system to broadcast their classes. They don't have a lot of money and don't care if some people slip through the cracks and get in for free. Let's say we decide that zoom meetings work best for them. Each standing meeting is password protected and passwords are emailed out to all paying members. There's probably more to the solution but that's the gist of it. It will get them by for the next couple months.

This would probably take 5 hours or so to set up total. Couple hours talking through things with the owner. 3 hours doing some configuration work. How would I charge for this?
 

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How would I charge for this?
A low monthly support fee?
 

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What's reasonable for that example case? Like 500 a month? 250?
Hard to say. I’d guess $500/mth would be too much for a small yoga studio. Personally, I prefer to charge lower to help businesses get profitable, with a long term goal of rolling out the solution to many other businesses.
 

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What's reasonable for that example case? Like 500 a month? 250?
A brief consult with the owner of the studio will give you a solid grasp of how large their client base is and how affluent they are.

Work your pricing scheme around the customer profile not the other way around.
 
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This would probably take 5 hours or so to set up total. Couple hours talking through things with the owner. 3 hours doing some configuration work. How would I charge for this?
Hours have nothing to do with it.
A surgeon might fix me in 10 minutes but if it saves my life I will gladly pay 100k.

The result is what you are selling - no one cares how many hours, pages, lines of code, or words it took.

To find the right price you need to explore the problem fully.

What exactly is wrong, what does that mean for the business, what is the cost of NOT having it probably fixed***?

***The cost of not having it fixed can be both actively losing money and/or the potential income they are missing out on.

After you have explored it properly look at what you need to help them fully. There is no point having that doesn't fix the problem fully - so you got to charge what is needed for you to do the job right.

With this mindset, you will find you will start to focus on the businesses with the bigger problems - not necessarily the people who are easier to get money from. That is the way it should be because the people with big problems will see you really want to help and will be way more likely to hire you over someone else who is only thinking of selling for themselves.

In short - charge what is needed to fix the problem fully, make a fair profit, and get them the best results possible.
 

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This would work with other businesses, not just webdesign.

Good solid info fox.
 

BizyDad

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Here's a thought.

A lot of local businesses suddenly want to sell more gift certificates now to get through a bad time.

But their websites aren't set up for that.

Can you help?

I know how I'd do it, but I have my own custom platform. But we can help these little guys if we can help them set this up.

And if you can sell the certificates too? Now we're getting somewhere...
 
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Here's a thought.

A lot of local businesses suddenly want to sell more gift certificates now to get through a bad time.

But their websites aren't set up for that.

Can you help?

I know how I'd do it, but I have my own custom platform. But we can help these little guys if we can help them set this up.

And if you can sell the certificates too? Now we're getting somewhere...
I feel there are much larger problems to help people with right now.

There are businesses that need massive system changes today or they are done - they need an online website that can sell, they need the systems to run their team and business, and they need people to know they exist (ads).

Gift certs are one idea for sure but there are massive needs right now today that need to be solved.
 

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Yeah. I could be wrong but I don’t see people spending money on gift certificates when they’re anxious about the future.

A lot of businesses such as hotels and b&bs are getting hammered. Maybe they make their own soaps or jams to sell to guests? Can they sell these online to tide themselves over and/or deliver things people want to people stuck at home?
 

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Thought this was an excellent idea from the "Never let a good crisis go to waste" thread:


Ok, so I've just received an absolute masterclass in how to make the most of this recession.

I just received a phone call from a company that helps redesign your website to add a delivery feature (I own an ice cream business for those that don't know), no high-pressure selling. The guy just called me, told me that they were getting in contact with a lot of independent food businesses and asking if they were doing deliveries through their website, he then asked me when a good time would be to have a colleague talk me through a demo. I very happily booked an appointment for tomorrow as I was going to implement this anyway, but great timing from these guys.

These guys are taking the initiative and taking the time to call people and chase business in a time when everyone else is losing their mind or being panicked into indecision.
You could execute on this in any local area.
 

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