On Friday March 13th, my advice to business owners was to look to the recession of 2008 for trends for planning purposes. For example, we had seen a slight delay of several months before the recession hit small businesses. I suspected we might have a similar delay – now was the time to sell, shore up cash, and plan ahead, I told them.
By Monday March 16th I realized that advice wasn’t going to work. There are already too many differences between what’s going on with this pandemic and the 2008 recession. This pandemic has affected the individual consumer much more quickly. He or she is quarantined at home, fear has set in way more quickly, and the ability to interact with others has diminished. Businesses are closing their doors, and companies are cancelling events.
So today, this is what I’m telling business owners.
IF NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION, THEN NOW IS THE TIME TO INNOVATE.
Every single business owner must re-think their service offering.
Here are some ways to think about doing that:
1) If you run facilitation and strategy sessions for groups of 100+ and your work has been cancelled or postponed, put together an implementation plan and steps to facilitate something like that remotely. Map it out, even though it will take much more time. Quickly tell your clients you can still get it done. Then tell other customers what you have developed.
2) If you serve non-profit organizations who are worried about their funding dollars, help them understand what they need to be doing right now, in order for those funding dollars to continue. Call them up. Talk to people by phone. Make the calls.
3) If you run brick and mortar stores, and you don’t yet have an online presence – pick your top sellers and start an Instagram campaign or a newsletter campaign. Sell gift cards (yes!) but also show people how and where they can spend them. Come up with clever campaigns about how people can use your goods and services while at home.
4) If you are in the communications business, pivot immediately to crisis communications. Help others do what we are talking about in this blog post. Pick your favorite client, map something out for them, start there and then tell others what you are now offering.
At Her Corner we are taking our own advice and pivoting as well. We are focused on helping our current clients stay in business and continue to grow by re-thinking how we bring women together, by offering new services, and using our own network to help promote them as they go through their pivots.
Please use this newsletter to continue to gather resources, ideas, and tools to help us all get through this. And as always, please shop small and support the women business owners around you. Chances are, she is not only trying to keep her business running, but she is also taking care of others simultaneously, and thinking about how she can help even more people.
With love and gratitude,
– fred & kimby