The Founder of Travelocity Shows How to Beat the Coronavirus Disruption

With every economic downturn, there is always a large disruption for most small businesses and their customers. If there is one area that is really a mess during the Pandemic of 2020 it’s the travel industry; air travel alone is down 96%.  How can these industries beat this latest disruption and what can other small business learn from it?

On the Small Business Radio Show this week, I interviewed Terry Jones, who is the founder of Travelocity.com and founding chairman of Kayak.com, and the author of the new book called “Disruption OFF”. Terry began his career as a travel agent, jumped into two startups and then spent 20 years at American Airlines, serving in a variety of management positions including Chief Information Officer. While at American he led the team that created Travelocity.com, served as CEO for six years, and took the company public. After Travelocity, he served as Chairman of Kayak.com for seven years until it was sold to Priceline for $1.8 billion.

Terry insists that there are always changes that are going on in every marketplace. He emphasizes that “innovation and disruption are just two sides of the same coin”; if your competitor makes the big change, you call it a disruption, if you are able to bring that change to the market, you call it an innovation!

Dealing with Disruption

However, this current disruption is different than other past ones that have been caused by advancing technology because it happened so quickly. While some industries will snap back, businesses that provide in person services may have more of a problem. It’s these companies, Terry explains, that need to start to rethink their business models.

Terry believes businesses will need to focus on safety; this will include less lower occupancy on airplanes, in restaurants and at movie theaters. He thinks that RV and Airbnb type accommodations will become more popular since the traveler will have more control over their travel surroundings. Terry thinks people will continue to work safely from home and Amazon Go Stores (with no store check out clerks) will gain in popularity.

According to Terry, it’s time for any changes your small business has put off in the past to start implementing them now. For example, what else needs to be included in your company’s digital transformation? What new technologies do you need to implement? How can you shorten your supply chain?

Terry suggests that all small businesses start to think like a start up again. While you have an advantage of having a brand, customers and a staff, every company will need to take more risk to discover what will be successful in the future.

Listen to the entire interview on the Small Business Radio Show.

Image: tbjones.com

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Auschwitz: The Forgotten Evidence | Reel Truth History Documentaries

Auschwitz: The Forgotten Evidence | Reel Truth History Documentaries

The Nazi extermination camps at Auschwitz in Poland were photographed in extraordinary detail from the air. The vast site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp was only 8km from a large synthetic oil and rubber manufacturing plant. The film raises some uncomfortable questions – if Allied aircraft could photograph the concentration camps in detail, why did they not destroy them?

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Digital Marketing News: Shifting B2B Buyer Behaviors, Brands Evolve Crisis Response, Bad Data’s Effect on B2B Firms, & Twitter Shares New Data With Advertisers

2020 April 17 MarketingCharts Chart

How B2B Buyer Behavior Has Changed in Light of COVID-19, and What Marketers and Sellers Can Do Now
82 percent of B2B buyers said they were concerned or strongly concerned about the possibility of a pandemic-sparked recession, while 30 percent have reported spending more on videoconferencing software — two of several findings of interest to digital marketers in a recently-released survey examining B2B buyer shifts. eMarketer

How Bad Data Hurts B2B Companies [Infographic]
Just 33 percent of marketers say they can rely on their customer relationship management (CRM) software, and 88 percent said that bad data has a direct impact on their company’s bottom line — two of the findings in a new infographic look at the effect of poor data on B2B firms. MarketingProfs

The Evolving Discussion Around COVID-19 and How Brands Have Responded [Infographic]
Brands have used Twitter the most often to mention the global health crisis, according to recently-released survey data examining how brands are using social media in crisis management planning. Social Media Today

Social Media Users Value Brands Responsive To COVID-19 Crisis
83% of social media users expect brands to address the health crisis in their ads, with 31 percent saying they appreciate brands offering products suited for remote work, 28 percent promoting social distancing, and 24 percent mentioning brand philanthropic efforts, according to newly-released survey data of interest to marketers. MediaPost

Why It Takes So Long to Apply Data-Driven Insights to Campaigns
Just 5 percent of marketers say they can immediately go from data gathering to actionable intelligence, while 31 do so later than they would like, and some 3 percent take so long that the output is irrelevant, according to new survey data. MarketingProfs

Instagram Live Streams Can Now Be Viewed on the Web
Facebook-owned Instagram has made it possible for its users to view its previously app-only Instagram Live video streams from its website, bringing marketers a new cross-promotion opportunity with the feature, the firm recently announed. Social Media Today

2020 April 17 Statistics Image

Twitter notifies users that it’s now sharing more data with advertisers
Twitter has notified its users that a previously available user privacy ad interaction sharing option has been shuttered for all, in a move that will bring more audience data to advertisers, the firm recently announced. The Verge

What Customers Need to Hear from You During the COVID Crisis
The types of brand stories companies should be telling their customers include those that put solutions before sales, according to a new examination by Harvard Business School of interest to B2B marketers. Harvard Business School

Facebook Has Launched a New Tournaments Option for People to Create Their Own Gaming Events
With online gaming forecast to produce $196 billion by 2022, a recent move by social giant Facebook allowing its users to create their own private or public gaming events could bring brands new opportunities for reaching its sizable gaming audience. Social Media Today

Content Plays Various Roles in Brands’ Customer Engagement Strategies
61 percent of marketing leaders said that interactive branded content communicates brand promise and value, according to recently-released survey data from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, with 51 percent saying that it delivers thought-leadership, and 45 percent saying that interactive content helps communicate with customers, partners and prospects. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 April 17 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at digital transformation and organizational change by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Grinning Tim Cook Announces New iPhone Will No Longer Be Compatible With AirPods — The Onion

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Leadership and Engagement In a Time of Crisis [Podcast] — Traject
  • Amie Krone — Navigating the new world of working at home — Chaska Herald
  • Dell, SAP — Building A Perfect B2B Influencer Program During Imperfect Times — Forbes
  • Lee Odden — Marketing During a Pandemic – Resources for Small Businesses in the Coronavirus Crisis [Roundup] — Simple Machines

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to join us, and we hope that you’ll return again next Friday for more of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

What Should Landlords Do if Renters Can’t Pay Rent in May?

Owning residential properties and renting them to tenants is a business. However, many landlords are currently struggling.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many states have suspended evictions and tenants are having a hard time paying rent because of layoffs and reduced hours. However, many landlords have mortgages to pay on those properties. So covering expenses and keeping their operations running can be tricky.

Shravan Parsi, CEO and founder of commercial real estate company American Ventures and author of “The Science of the Deal: The DNA of Multifamily and Commercial Real Estate Investing” said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Collections is the most immediate concern. With the large number of layoffs there are many tenants who aren’t able to pay rent. Leasing is a major concern as well. With shelter in place orders, coupled with social distancing requirements, getting prospective tenants to your property is difficult.”



Coronavirus Tips for Landlords

If you’re a landlord who’s not sure where to turn due to the current pandemic and economic crisis, especially if tenants continue struggling to pay rent in May, here are some tips to help you navigate the situation.

Use Reserve Funds

Ideally, landlords should have a bit of extra cash built up to cover basic payments when tenants aren’t able to pay rent. You may not have enough to cover everything when payments are slowed to such a massive scale, but try to scrounge up whatever you can to stay afloat until more people are able to get back to work.

Parsi says, “My advice would be for landlords to find a way to create a reserve fund to cover any cash flow interruptions and do whatever they need to in order to continue making their debt payments. As long as they don’t default and are able to keep their property, I think we will see a rebound once we make it through this difficult situation.”

Reach out to Lenders

If you don’t have extra cash available, reach out to your lenders to discuss what options they may offer for property owners who can’t cover their expenses. Do this as soon as possible, ideally before you default on any payments. Lenders and financial institutions are generally aware of the struggles people are facing. So they may have existing programs available to help you stay afloat until people can start making their payments again.

Try to Work Out Payment Plans

Collecting reduced rent is usually better than collecting no rent. If you have tenants who aren’t able to pay the full amount, you might give them the option of making smaller payments now and spreading out the rest later. This may help you cover some of your expenses in the interim so you can hopefully avoid defaulting on at least some payments.

Offer to Renew Tenants with No Increases

For those who are having trouble keeping residences filled, it’s likely in your best interest to try and keep as many current tenants in place as possible. If you have apartments or houses that you might have otherwise raised rent on, see if you can get more people to stay in place by keeping rates steady. This may serve as an incentive for them to continue paying some rent and help you avoid struggling to fill vacant spaces.

Balance Sensitivity with Realism

The current situation is unprecedented, both for landlords and their tenants. Though the financial concerns of your business are valid, so are the financial concerns of people struggling to make rent payments. As you make decisions moving forward, especially once some industry restrictions are lifted, it’s important to balance your own financial needs with compassion.

Treating people well during unprecedented times may help you keep long-term tenants happy and give them the room they need to recover so they can once again make payments on a recurring basis. This doesn’t mean you need to completely disregard your own struggles. But if you can reasonably give people some leeway if they’ve generally been good tenants in the past, it may help your business in the future.

Make Your Voice Heard

Ideally, Parsi would like to see some assistance provided within the industry to help property owners make ends meet during such a difficult time. You may not have much control over decisions that are made on a larger scale. But in speaking with industry groups, local business organizations, or government entities, you may be able to clearly communicate the needs of business owners like you and encourage positive initiatives.

Parsi added, “I would like to see financial assistance offered to landlords to cover their debt payments or offer deferrals on debt payments. With moratoriums being placed on evictions in most jurisdictions, without also offering assistance to landlords they are left in the extremely difficult position of not being able to collect rent and also not able to make their debt payments.”

Image: Depositphotos.com

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Scotland’s Role In The British Empire – Documentary

Scotland's Role In The British Empire - Documentary

In this video, we discuss the history of Scotland, from the Late Middle Ages, all the way up to the modern day, discussing its path to joining the largest Empire in history.

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Music performed by Kevin Macleod Available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
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“The Pyre”

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