"A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles" - Christopher Reeve
Covid19 is changing how we do business.
widespread business closures,
challenges with employee retention,
mounting operational costs, and bankruptcy.
Now more than ever, we need to create a plan for business continuity.
Here's 7 ways to get started:
1. Stay informed
Staying up to date with local and international news will help you to deal with what is a very 'fluid" situation.
Additionally, equipping yourself with the facts helps lessen the fears of nervous customers.
2. Create a strategy to battle cancellations.
While there will be cancellations, working with your clients for a date/time in the future helps to keep things moving. In the event that there's one (or many), ensure that it's done without incurring any further fees.
However, any retainer for product/service should be forfeited.
"When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t." -Thomas Edison.
3. Manage your client relationships.
Your customer relationship will become your MOST important strategy for business continuity.
Being supportive and showing empathy, avoids cancellations and helps to reschedule future work.
You can also:
Reach out to your booked customers/clients.
Find out if they have any concerns, or are thinking about canceling a service, in-person event, or a consult.
Doing this will go a long way to reassure them.
It might also be the key to them keeping the event/service on their schedule.
"Being flexible with rescheduling or being creative about how to interact may be appreciated, especially by clients with compromised immune systems or who care for those with compromised immune systems or elderly people.”-Nichole Beiner
4. Message inquiries/clients
Become proactive in communicating with your clients/prospective clients.
However, you should always adopt a passive stance - one designed to reach a broader audience.
Reassure them you're dealing with the uncertainties that come with a pandemic.
Create a video message for your website, a social media post, email, or a blog post that will help put everyone at ease.
5. Have a backup plan
This is important.
In case you fall ill and can't work, you'll need to create a backup plan in your business continuity strategy.
In such a circumstance, identify a staff member(s) who will step up if needed.
Ensure that your customers/clients are aware of this.
You may also want to include it in your contract for work/service.
6. Use virtual/video meeting software
With "social distancing", many of your in-person meetings will now become "Virtual Meetings". Consider using Zoom - although there's also Skype and Facetime for iPhone users.
"On Wednesday 22nd March 2020, (the most recent day for which data was available), 343,000 people globally downloaded the Zoom app, 60,000 in the U.S. alone, according to mobile intelligence firm Apptopia — compared to 90,000 people worldwide and 27,000 in the U.S"- Forbes Magazine.
Here are some other online platforms you can access for free:
1. Google Hangouts
2. Microsoft Teams
3, Avaya Spaces
5. RingCentral Meetings
6. Dialpad UberConference
7. Identify new revenue streams
It's never too early to start rethinking your services, especially in the short to medium term. The idea is to look for areas of "passive income" - to tide you over until things get back to normal.
1. Posting any other skill you may have:
- Graphic Designers and Content Creators are always in short supply.
2. Getting a "Side Hustle":
Use platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr. Both offer opportunities to showcase your work, and may earn you some money - to reinvest in your biz.
3. See if anyone in your network needs help:
Helping other creatives in your industry will support the ecosystem,
It also allows you to be useful while you wait for a return to normalcy.
4. Turning your existing service into a digital or remote offering:
Offer "free sessions"- this will give you an opportunity to "beta-test" any new processes
that are more convenient for your clients and more lucrative for YOU.
This is a very tough time for small business owners - We all need support.
Remember, I'm always available-check out my 1:1 Coaching Sessions here