Yes. Things have changed dramatically these past few weeks. The global shakeup is shaking many entrepreneurs at their core. Many of us are considering (among other things) the potential impacts on our businesses.
We can't deny that there is a downturn happening in our economy that will likely impact us for years. However, within any "crisis" situation, there are inherent challenges to be addressed but there are also potential opportunities.
Now is a good time to look at your business and where it fits into the bigger picture of our global situation with the pandemic. Now is a good time to adapt and create a new vision that is relevant to this new world.
The ways you served a few weeks ago may not be the best option today. You may be faced with the need to pivot your business focus right now.
All business is based on offering solutions to problems and challenges. So, ask yourself, how you can best serve right now. In 6 months, where might you be? Where might these opportunities lead?
Below is a business inquiry, inventory, and adaptation process to help you stay relevant. I encourage you to utilize your "opportunities mindset" as you consider the 4-steps.
#1: Evaluate Your Services & Products
With the dramatic global shifts of these past few weeks, you may be faced with the need to pivot your business focus. In short, your business's products and services may need to change.
Your clients may “want” what you offer, but they may not “need” it and may no longer feel they can afford it. Right now people need to feel safe and secure. (Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? At the top are self-esteem and self-actualization. At the base is shelter and security.)
So, let’s explore product pivot ideas that make sense in today’s world.
If your current services are in less demand in today’s uncertain world, answer the questions below. You may discover that you have more to offer than what you previously thought. (If your services are still relevant and you know that, move on to step #2 – marketing.)
Additionally, answer these questions about what is needed.
To stay relevant, you want to be positioned at the intersection of your gifts with what the world needs. Take time to explore where this sweet spot is for you. Again, stay open to opportunities!
#2: Re-Craft Your Marketing Message
Now let’s talk marketing and client attraction.
Think about your products and services in the context of today’s new world reality. Why are they relevant? Do you need to shift your marketing to address the uncertainty and new challenges in our Corona Virus era?
It's important to make your outreach content-rich, service-full, AND applicable to our global pandemic. In other words, re-craft your message. Take whatever marketing copy you have and bring it into today’s world.
Answer your potential clients’ burning questions.
Continue to consider the ways in which your services fit into social distancing, health, immunity, financial uncertainty, and so on…
At the same time, let your marketing be uplifting. Speak not so much to the fears and pain points, but to hope and the imagined self – the potential and the possibilities. I encourage you to be positive in your client attraction messaging - and to perpetuate peace.
In short, show up as a timely beacon of light and your clients will be attracted to you!
#3: Shift to Online
The "new norm" of social distancing has necessitated many businesses to operate online. For some, this can be a cumbersome shift that may take time to fully complete. However, below I've outlined some easy ideas to get you started.
If you were used to in-person networking opportunities, explore the possibilities on Facebook. Join Facebook groups that are relevant to your potential clients. Spend time in the groups and focus on serving and making authentic connections. Post helpful content so new people get to know you.
You can also send private messages to interesting people – especially potential referral partners or clients. (However, be sure to check the guidelines of interaction that are stipulated in most groups.) Remember to not lead with your agenda, but to focus on service and connection.
If you were scheduled to present at in-person events, search out online speaking opportunities instead. Research potential podcasts, summits, and YouTube interviews and contact the host. Additionally, share your signature talks and other content on your own webinars or Facebook Lives.
If you previously offered in-person services, consider what can you can offer in a virtual event. This might sound daunting, but jump in and go for it! Consider starting with a small group coaching program, accountability group, or mastermind. Or, if you are feeling more ambitious, join my next Lead Online Programs course and design your own multi-session program!
For most of us, shifting into the online space is no longer just an option, it's become a necessity. However, it doesn't have to feel like an insurmountable hurdle. Keep taking small steps. You'll be amazed at how quickly your online presence can grow!
#4: Be Productive in the Downtime
What have you been putting off that you know is important for your business?
Ok, this is a big one. Ready? I want you to make a list of all the things you know you need to do to support your business growth. Things like updating your bookkeeping, organizing your files, reading a business book, writing a book, creating a content calendar for the next 6-months, designing an online course, cleaning your office, and visioning your business future.
Yes, use this COVID-19 downtime for creative endeavors in your business and for visioning and planning. Consider hiring a business coach to assist you with long-term planning. Or block out time to really fill out that Inspired Action Plan. (This is a living business plan that prompts you with all the most important elements of a successful business. If you don't have one, PM me and I'll send you the template.)
Additionally, use your extra time for the tedious administrative stuff that you know needs to get done. You’ll feel so much better! Trust me. I know from experience.
During this downtime, it's great to rest up and renew yourself. However, don’t be too complacent with your idle time. This is a wonderful opportunity to "close the loops" and set up your foundation of success!
In summary, there are simple things you can begin implementing NOW to help your business adapt to and be relevant in the global shifts that are happening. Empower yourself to make positive choices from a grounded, loving space - with a focus on recognizing opportunities. This is an essential foundation for guiding your business destiny.