It’s true. You worked hard for what you have. You built your business from the ground up, developed the revenue to hire employees and worked to pass it down to your family to sustain and rely upon for generations. It’s your rock, your legacy and now it’s at risk of being taken away from you for no fault of your own. You weren’t prepared, but how could you be? Who the heck can be prepared for a pandemic? It’s not something that you needed to put into your business plan. While your business may have been considered nonessential per government standards, it is essential to your way of living and supporting your family and the people who work for you. You don’t know what to do and binge-watching Blue Bloods on Netflix is not providing any solutions or “AH-HAH” moments. What do you do? How can you keep your business afloat? While this post is not a “magic bullet” to the problem, it may give you some ideas on how the weather the storm.
First, take a look at your business
To many, this may sound redundant but there is a good reason for this. No one knows your business like you do. You know all the services or products that you offer and there are specific things that you are an expert at. It doesn’t matter if you sell clothing, provide martial arts instruction, or even run a beauty salon. With the ‘new normal’ of social distancing and business closures it is essential to look at your business from a different perspective. You may think that there is nothing you can do with your business until things get back to normal, but you would be surprised with what you can do in today’s day in age with the internet and a little bit of creativity, which brings us to the next thing you need to consider.
Examine your skillset
After you have taken a look at your business, you need to take an inventory of your skills. Does your business perform a lot of home-improvement type work? While it has been considered essential, you may have seen a decline due to people working to adhere to social distancing guidelines. What about the stylists and barbers? Obviously you can do hair, however your shop is not open for business right now, which means that it cannot generate revenue the usual way. Why am I talking about these different industries that have nothing to do with each other? Because they have one particular thing in common with each other. They are social businesses. Stylists, barbers, and contractors have to talk to their clients. They need to be able to put the client at ease to build trust and build a relationship with the client to begin with to acquire them and maintain recurring revenue. If you have the skill of conversation and can convey information in a pleasant and informative manner, you are in a better position than you think. If not, it is essential that you take the time during this social distancing period to develop this skill. If you’re wondering how this skill helps you when your business is closed due to being nonessential, keep reading. You’ll find out why shortly.
Identify what your business can do remotely
Contrary to popular belief, there are some things that every business can do outside of the physical location to generate revenue. If it’s done right, it can become an additional source of revenue for the business in the long-term as well. We all get into business to generate profits and improve our quality of life. With that said, it is important to identify what you don’t need to be physically present to do to provide a service or product to your clients and generate revenue. Among the most hard hit by the social distancing orders are fitness businesses like gyms and martial arts schools. These businesses can hold remote sessions with clients to help keep them motivated and engaged. Salons and barber shops have been hit hard as well. While you can’t open the doors to let people in quite yet and it is unadvisable to make home calls during this time. However, people still want to look their best. You can provide clients with options to purchase certain products online or by telephone. If you must visit a someone, like an older client for example, be sure to wear a mask, gloves, and bring plenty of sanitation supplies to keep you and them healthy. Being able to communicate is extremely important in this area.
Get used to being online
More than ever, a strong online presence is important. You need to let your customers know what’s going on. Provide them with updates. Start a blog or online store to give them information, make suggestions, and provide a means to acquire certain products from you to help keep things afloat. Try promoting a gift card program as well to provide further incentive for customers to act on what you have to offer. As I said earlier, this is not an all-inclusive solution, however. You know the ins and outs of your business. Be creative. It’s up to you to figure out what you have to offer to keep your business relevant and keep revenue flowing in until things return to normal.