For small business owners, challenge is nothing new. Heck, we signed up for challenge. It’s what we’re after because on the other side is success. Anything worth doing is difficult. We know this in every fiber of our beings. It’s hard to leave corporate jobs with steady paychecks and benefits. In fact, it’s hard to figure out marketing, social media and knowing the right time to hire that first employee. But, did that stop us? No way! And, neither will a pandemic.
As Co-Founders of Women’s Business League, we have the opportunity to speak with hundreds of entrepreneurs. We’ve seen firsthand what works and what doesn’t. Here’s our best advice for navigating this new normal, even when it’s hard.
Knowledge is Power
Know your numbers. Data drives informed decisions. Set aside time to review your last twelve months of sales. Identify the sources of your favorite clients (you know the ones you love to work with and pay on time). Double down your efforts on those sources and build more connections in that space.
Stay with Your Tribe
Stay with your tribe, the customers, and supporters you’ve worked so hard to attract. Rework your offerings. Consider how your ideal client’s world has changed. What does their day look like from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed? Ask yourself, “How can I be of service in their new reality?” If you’re not sure, ask them.
We know these times can be scary. There’s a subtle temptation to run and hide. Don’t. Instead, focus on keeping the communication flowing with your customers. Love on them. Listen to their needs and craft offerings to match. Provide even more value.
Clients will remember the way you cared for them in difficult times. It’s human nature. If you show up for them now, they will show up for you for years to come.
This pandemic has highlighted the importance of running an efficient business. When there is a pullback in money coming through the door, it is crucial to also pull back on expenses. The key is to be selective about what you cut. Businesses that make widespread reductions without a strategy will suffer. The goal in reducing costs is to be able to redirect those funds to revenue producing activities. Now is the time to invest in sales, marketing and products that best serve your clients in their new normal.
Relationship building is the number one activity to be doing right now. Not only is it free, but it has huge upside potential. Reach out to your referral partners and potential future connections. With the world working from home, schedules have become inherently more fluid. Now’s the time to reach out and connect for a video chat. A simple hello can lead to opportunities, resources and collaboration. Best of all, you can do this from the comfort of your own home.
Decide, with unfailing certainty, that you will come out of this stronger and better than before. Then, work to make that true. Set aside limiting beliefs such as, “no one is buying right now” and “I can’t possibly sell during this challenging time.” Not only are these sentiments simply not true, they have the potential to cloud your judgement.
Some of the strongest and best companies in the world cut their teeth during a recession. Hello Apple, Mailchimp and Airbnb. Although these companies are in very different markets, they all had one thing in common. Through innovation and creativity, they were able to create value and solve a problem for their customers.
There is opportunity in every market. Entrepreneur, it’s your job to find it.
Amy Pocsik spends her time and energy on three things: Family, Friendships, and Community. Engaging conversation sets her soul on fire and was her impetus for launching the Women’s Business League. A CPA for nearly a decade, Amy understands what it takes to grow a successful organization and believes wholeheartedly that every business is an opportunity to pump positivity into the world. Her passion is helping female founders recognize what’s possible — a highly profitable business that aligns with their purpose. She believes that a well-built business is the foundation for entrepreneurial creativity and growth.
Small business post pandemic stock photo by Jirsak/Shutterstock