A small business owner on how she flipped her fortune after lockdown

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Small businesses that sell products in stores have been hit hard by the pandemic — as shoppers stay away from high streets due to post-closure lockdowns.

Many entrepreneurs have had to quickly learn how to shift their focus online – or face the devastating reality of going bankrupt.

For Carina Evans, 43, of Hurley, Berkshire, her 16-year-old brand, Stage Products for Pets, had relied on sales to wholesalers or retailers rather than directly to consumers.

Carina Evans, 43, of Hurley, Berkshire, found that orders for her 16-year-old Podium Pet Products brand stalled when stores were told to close in March.

Carina Evans, 43, of Hurley, Berkshire, found that orders for her 16-year-old Podium Pet Products brand stalled when stores were told to close in March.

Carina, like many small business owners, has turned to MailOnline's new Ad Manager, launched to help SMEs thrive as they emerge from lockdown

Carina, like many small business owners, has turned to MailOnline's new Ad Manager, launched to help SMEs thrive as they emerge from lockdown

Carina, like many small business owners, has turned to MailOnline’s new Ad Manager, launched to help SMEs thrive as they emerge from lockdown

However, when stores were told to close in March 2020, orders for their all-natural pet wellness products stalled.

Carina said: ‘We were afraid because all the retailers were closed and our main business is and has been through wholesale. But due to the lockdown there were no visitors. So we had a lot of stock.

“We did some online before this, but it was never important enough for our bottom line to be important. But last year we were lucky enough to turn it on properly.’

AD MANAGER: THE FACTS

Cost: £2799.71

Ad Impressions (how many times the ads were viewed): 443,426

Web clicks: 798

Results: Increase in new customers. Reaching a new demographic.

Carina says, ‘Ad Manager really saved us!’

Carina launched an e-commerce platform for her brand’s website and their distributors also started to sell more to online retailers, leading to Podium Pet Products’ best year yet.

Eager to build on that success, Carina, like many small business owners, has come to MailOnline’s new Ad Manager.

The dynamic advertising platform has been launched to help SMEs thrive as they emerge from lockdown.

It enables companies to market MailOnline’s huge audience, while targeting potential customers by zip code, interests or life stage – all at an incredibly affordable price.

And it’s easy to use. Business owners can easily create their own campaign, set the budget and target audience – and it can be live in less than 24 hours.

There is also a friendly account manager on the other end of the phone to help you every step of the way.

Carina, who created her own seven-day campaign, said: “Ad Manager really saved us.

“Our normal campaigns are all brand awareness campaigns to help retailers buy our products, but since using MailOnline we’ve also seen a really good increase in clicks to our website, a welcome per product.

‘The whole system was user-friendly, intuitive and the best part was that I have a great account manager that I can actually call and speak to.

Carina, who created her own seven-day campaign, said: 'Ad Manager really saved us'

Carina, who created her own seven-day campaign, said: 'Ad Manager really saved us'

Carina, who created her own seven-day campaign, said: ‘Ad Manager really saved us’

“We’ve reached a whole new demographic of people that we’ve been able to turn into new customers.

‘It was a fantastic (and easy) online digital marketing journey, I’m glad I took the plunge!’

The new self-service Ad Manager takes just minutes to set up and allows you to advertise to more people in your area than your local titles can reach.

You can target by zip code, interests and life stage to reach as many of our 25 million consumers as you want.

There are no hidden costs and you can take care of everything from budget to target audience to creative design.

Here’s how to advertise your small business on: Mail Online:

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