Thinking outside the box: How one local business tripled its turnover in lockdown


Posted: 12 Oct 2020

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Earlier this year, Tractor Outdoor – one of South Africa’s largest out of home (OOH) and digital out of home (DOOH) media owners – launched its SME advertising fund, with the intention of supporting businesses that were hardest hit by the pandemic. Through the fund, Tractor aimed to provide qualifying small and medium-size enterprises with free advertising via its extensive media networks, in an effort to help them survive the country’s challenging lockdown period.

This weekly video series shares the stories of Tractor Outdoor’s SME Heroes, and how they managed to endure the most devastating pandemic in modern history.
Self-respecting, side-walk-loving Capetonians – and particularly those who call the Mother City’s mountain-side suburbs of Vredehoek and Devil’s Peak home – will be familiar with The Red Sofa Café; a veritable institution in an area famous for its café culture.

The Red Sofa Café recently broadened its offering to include an online grocery and fresh produce delivery service, ‘Foodbox’. As one of the beneficiaries of Tractor Outdoor’s SME Advertising Fund, Foodbox stocks a wide variety of fresh, locally-sourced produce, which includes everyday staples such as meats, cheese, dairy and vegetables.

“Like many other small businesses, when Covid-19 hit, we were greatly affected. Our first priority was to do whatever we could for our employees, many of whom have been with us for a very long time,” explains Foodbox owner Rob Gardner.

Gardner notes that for an SME in the wake of a global pandemic, the main challenge was primarily cashflow. “We had to protect the cash, preserving our resources so that we are able to pay salaries and rent at the end of each month.”

Gardner explains that when he first heard about the Tractor Outdoor fund, he realised that it could assist in boosting awareness around his business, with outdoor media being an option the company had not previously explored. “I went online and applied, and was fortunate enough to qualify. We received prime advertising space in a high-traffic area, which drastically increased our visibility.”

“Not only were we able to retain all of our staff; we have also seen our Foodbox trade triple since lockdown began, which can largely be attributed to Tractor Outdoor’s investment.”

Remi du Preez, commercial director at Tractor Outdoor, believes that the measurable success he has witnessed the beneficiaries of the relief fund achieve, can be attributed to the general under-utilisation of outdoor media by SMEs – the result of an incorrect perception around affordability.

“The current climate presents an opportune moment for SMEs to leverage this high-reach, high frequency medium, says du Preez. “There exists a misperception that OOH media is less affordable than other media – which is actually false. Many media owners, such as Tractor Outdoor, are able to tailor-make packages to deliver maximum value, in accordance with your budget.”

Are you an SME that is interested in exploring opportunities within OOH and DOOH? Get in touch with Tractor Outdoor at moc.roodtuorotcart@ofni

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