Enough with the doom and gloom. As small business owners facing this coronavirus lockdown, we need to remember:
- Bad news and fear sell papers. So they get over-promoted.
- Good news is coming from other sources. Share hope, not fear.
- The game has changed, not ended. We lose if we admit defeat.
- Everyone is being hit — but that levels the playing field.
- Adaptability is the small business advantage.
- Negativity undermines creativity and planning.
- Our families and teams need to see confidence, not fear.
- Stress also undermines the immune system. Breathe, and calm.
- Mutual support, determination and flexibility will win.
- No entrepreneur survives without being able to see hope in adversity. Silver linings may be a razor’s edge at times, but that’s where we find the silver.
Business Reality Check
Many UK firms have spent the last week in a panic, figuring out remote working and scaling back on expenses. That was inevitable, but ultimately, as the saying goes, “This, too, shall pass”. We need to protect our health right now, but also prepare for recovery. So here’s how we can do the latter.
First, remember marketing is what turns a pastime into a business. It’s often cut in a recession panic, but that just reduces sales, making it harder to survive. You can’t grow by shrinking.
Second, how often have you longed for time to work on your business instead of just working in your business? Time to plan. Time to document processes. Even time to come up with new offerings. This coronavirus lockdown just gave you that time. Don’t just focus on what government support you can get. Use this opportunity to refine your processes.
Even better, take this as a pause to pivot. Reinvent and ready your business for the recovery.
Turn Adversity Into Opportunity
There are many ways to do this, especially online. After all, having tried remote work, many won’t go back to high office rents and long commute times. The economy just moved even more online, so you need to respond to that.
Some opportunities, like online meetings, can help your business now. Others will help you prepare for recovery. Still others can be side projects — especially if your normal services have to be provided in person. Still, the bottom line here is:
If your business isn’t online already, you need to get it online now. Naturally, I’m doing everything I can to help you achieve that more easily (see my summary below).
Opportunities During the Coronavirus Lockdown
There are too many options to list here, let alone detail them. Still, here are a few of the common ways to make money online.
- Paid webinars, including:
- Online consultancy (one-to-one or in groups)
- Membership sites, selling members-only content
- E‑commerce, including:
- Online ordering of your existing products
- Affiliate sales
- Downloadable products
- E‑books and downloadable courses
- Product Review blogging
- YouTube videos (especially tutorials)
…and that’s just off the top of my head.
Even if you don’t feel these could apply to your business (or a new side-business), you could still generate leads now for when you’re able to resume delivering your services. Consider what you could offer as a (downloadable) lead generator for people signing up to hear when you’re resuming operations.
If you need more than leads right now, consider what you could offer to get advance bookings. Give people something to look forward to. Help them feel better for getting ahead of the game when recovery happens. Delivery dates may have to be provisional, and backed by a strong guarantee, but a first-come-first-served approach usually works. A regular weekly email update on your estimated re-opening date could keep them reassured in the meantime.
Time For Good News
In the meantime, figure out what your target audience really wants, and focus on serving them, rather than just selling to them. What most want right now is good news and reassurance.
So, if you use social media, blogging, or video channels, focus on providing good news about the current situation. Build brand awareness and a positive message whilst you’re preparing your business for the future. If you’re struggling to find ideas for content, or just with creating it, I can help with that.
If you don’t use social media for your business yet, now would be a good time to start. My FREE social media marketing dashboard includes some PDFs on how to do this.
How Can I Help You Through The Coronavirus Lockdown?
Let me know if you need a hand with planning or implementing any of ideas above, or discussing any other web-based ideas.
I’m also making these changes to help you:
- “SEO Plus” flexible digital marketing packages are at 15% off until April 30th 2020. Sign up now to lock in that discount for the duration of your plan.
- Content marketing services are at 20% off until July.
- Web design prices are at 20% off until July.
- I now offer a Discovery phase before you commit to a full website project, to ensure you get the right solution. Many waste money on assumptions.
- Setup fees are waived for “Calling Card” sites until July. So you get a FREE single-page site on my “Starter Plus” hosting package.
- Flexible Payment Plans let you spread the setup cost for a new site over 10 months.