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

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Office vacancy rates are rising in Greater Victoria while the supply of industrial land is shrinking. (Black Press Media File)
Report finds supply of industrial land in Greater Victoria shrinking

Office vacancy rates in Greater Victoria continue to rise

Central Saanich has received funding for a new multi-use pathway that promises to improve access to Butchart Gardens. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich receives grant for multi-use pathway to Butchart Gardens

Province funds entirety of $322,800 project through economic recovery grant program

February 17, 2021 - Kaelyn (L) and Costin Campbell are Goldstream News Gazette 2021 Local Heroes.
Pint-sized duo inspires others to be green

Costin and Kaelyn Campbell are this year’s Environmental Heroes

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic oportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from BC Ferries staff

After Dasher made a dash, staff in Comox found her and got her home safe

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read