Strengthening Your Business During The Pandemic
“I don’t know what to do… clients are cancelling their photo shoots with me left and right.”
That’s what my friend, a photography business owner, told me over the phone last week.
And I imagine she’s not the only one.
With events, projects, and in-person income streams being dropped, and in some cases outlawed, it’s no wonder why business owners are questioning how solid their foundation is.
As a business owner myself, I know this will affect me, as is the nature of global events.
However, the one thing to remember is that this pandemic does not have to break you or your business.
One of the best qualities that will serve you as an entrepreneur right now is adaptability. By adapting to the way things are currently, you’re more likely to survive and then thrive when it’s over. There may even be an opportunity for business growth.
Here’s guidance on how to approach this situation in the way that serves you and your business best.
1. Can you to provide your product/service online?
Most brick and mortar businesses can become great online businesses with a few tweaks. I’ve seen fitness studios take their class schedules online, theaters livestream shows, and so on. So if you have an in-person trade, this might actually be an opportunity to expand your reach or adapt your service.
And if you’re a product-based business, but mostly sell in person, you can start thriving online. One of my clients has a six-figure product-based business that’s mostly sold on Instagram so when she had a pop-up that got cancelled, she decided to do an online sale instead.
2. What other skills or expertise do you have that could be offered in an online setting?
There are businesses like restaurants, spas, and event venues that might need to be more creative, so I encourage you to really think about what your clientele loves you for.
If you’re a restaurant owner, instead of cooking people food, could you offer your clientele a video course on cooking great meals at home (without giving away your secret recipes of course)?
If you’re a photographer, might there be some people in your audience who want to understand the genius behind your work and learn the basics or the advanced strategies you use to capture unique content?
If you’re a masseuse, could you provide an online training for couples on how to effectively massage each other at home?
Don’t just modify your offering, think bigger about the information you can give to people. Try not to show up halfway with the thing you already do — there’s a difference between amending your service, and taking this as an opportunity to grow.
The golden question here is: What do people always ask you? What seems genius to them, and second-nature to you? Package that up into something new and exciting, and you might have yourself a brand new income stream.
3. How can you set your business up so that it’s not affected by outbreaks or other factors in the future?
When you look at your business offerings, notice which ones have the “oh my god I need that” factor. That’s what I use as the test to make sure my clients have a product or service that’s going to sell. How can you fill a strong need, want, or provide a much needed result?
There’s also a beautiful concept called brand loyalty, which essentially means that your clients or customers are ultra loyal to you even during rocky financial times. Is there a way to increase this rapport right now?
And last but not least, the ultimate antidote to recessions and viruses is diversifying your income streams. If one stream is in-person and dried up, you’ll want to have an online income stream to replace it, so think about how you can diversify the ways you make money, in the same manner that you would diversify your dinner plate or stock portfolio.
If you choose to revamp your business approach by offering something different and accessible to your customers and keep building brand loyalty, you can use this challenging time as an opportunity to expand, and your business will emerge stronger.