Alex Campbell, owner of The Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park in Esquimalt, took advantage of the eight-week Digital Marketing Bootcamp during the spring shutdown, as offered by the province. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Alex Campbell, owner of The Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park in Esquimalt, took advantage of the eight-week Digital Marketing Bootcamp during the spring shutdown, as offered by the province. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Digital training helping Esquimalt business bounce back

Businesses can access province’s free Digital Marketing Bootcamp

As the winter shutdown of non-essential businesses lingers, one Esquimalt company is waiting to bounce back.

The Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park has sold $10,000 in gift certificates during the lockdown. When cases are under control and the business can open again, owner Alex Campbell expects the pandemic-restricted bookings to fill up fast.

“We believe at the moment that we’ll survive but it’s tough,” said Campbell, who is in the fourth year of operation. “We’ll make it through but we’re losing substantial amounts of money every month and [there’s] no way to get around that.”

READ ALSO: 2020 headlines: A timeline of COVID-19 in Greater Victoria and the nation

Campbell was driven to sell the gift certificates through a fresh online marketing campaign he created after completing the province’s Digital Marketing Bootcamp.

The province invested $2 million to fund up to 2,500 seats in the bootcamp, an eight-week program with a value of $6,000 per seat.

Campbell enrolled in April when the first shutdown forced him to lock the doors and lay off his staff.

Then came Phase 2, when Campbell was able to reopen the Flying Squirrel under strict protocols. It was good news, except that Campbell wasn’t done the online digital course that was demanding upwards of 35 hours a week.

“When we reopened it was full-time school and I was working 75 to 80 hours a week,” Campbell said.

It was worth it.

“I had a fairly strong understanding of digital marketing but not a firm grasp on the tools and fundamentals of marketing, so it helped me considerably to make better decisions,” he said.

It also helped with training, as Campbell generally has employees help with marketing.

“For someone with little to no experience in marketing this would be an amazing crash course. You would exit with a solid skill-set and knowledge comparable to a junior copywriter or marketer,” Campbell said.

READ ALSO: Island Health making hard choices about who gets in the vaccine lifeboat

In the meantime, Campbell is twitching to get his business buzzing again. He ran an online fundraiser that supported the Mustard Seed Food Bank that doubled as a community giveaway. It was a partnership with the Victoria Fjallraven store which also provided 10 backpacks.

“We gave out $2,000 worth of value in gift cards to the trampoline park with the 10 backpacks, and the idea was if you donated, you increased your chances to win,” Campbell said.

It raised $1,000 for Mustard Seed.

But he’s also watched as the staff he took years to assemble have moved on in their careers.

“The most gut-wrenching thing is we started four years ago and I’ve twice had to lay off an exemplary team that took a long time to build,” he said.

Assembling a new staff promises to be a daunting task, but with $10,000 in pre-sold business he will be able to restart when the province relaxes the current Phase 3 lockdown.

Since November 2020, over 900 people have enrolled in the Digital Marketing Bootcamp which is free for B.C.-based businesses with up to 149 employees, and sole proprietors. The daily online course covers up-to-date digital marketing tools, such as search engine optimization and analytics. Enrolment is open until the end of March.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelly Black, executive director of Point Ellice House Museum and Gardens, is working on years of deferred maintenance around the house and property. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Point Ellice House in Victoria looks to patch up during pandemic

Woodpeckers, leaks and rot keep museum head busy

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read