Galia Gichon is a Her Corner Accelerator facilitator and business coach. She is a personal finance expert, and lives outside New York City with her two daughters. You can learn more about Galia and her business here.
As my daughter’s rowing coach said recently: “If I had a dollar for every time someone said, “these are strange times we are living in,” I think I would be a rich person by now.
I haven’t stopped working since a couple of weeks ago when we decided to preventively self-quarantine and my children’s school was canceled. I’ve led two video seminars, made plans for a video workshop for Barnard College, worked with ten individual coaching and financial planning clients, had “coffee” with a networking prospect and continued my business in my angel fund (Next Wave Impact)- all from my home! (While my daughters were doing their calculus and Spanish homework downstairs.)
HERE ARE A FEW STRATEGIES FROM THOSE DISCUSSIONS FOR THOSE OF YOU WITH YOUR OWN BUSINESSES.
1) Stay in front of your clients and partners and organizations.
Be as specific as possible and give examples on how you can work with them in the short term while we are all quarantined at home.
I’ve spoken on Zoom, Google Hangout and FaceTime in the last week and we’ve laughed, gotten business done and felt more confident about the new reality.
One client asked me if it was OK to reach out to clients and prospects? YES! 100%.
Most of us want business to run as usual, therefore it feels good to have business move along. Share what you can do for clients and prospects in this new environment. And, if you have vendors or strategic alliances, reach out to them so you can update clients about what you are hearing from others.
2) Offer specific suggestions.
If you are a consultant or service-based business that previously met with clients in person, offer right away to do a video call. The response has been immediate from clients, prospects and networking people.
An interior designer offered to go to a client’s house when she wasn’t there and takes measurements. She also offered to drop off samples in their mailbox. The client took her up on the offer right away!
3) Offer an introductory special.
One client has a higher price tag service that might not close right away, right now. However, she is going to offer a two-hour consultation that allows her to earn some revenue, stay in front of her prospect/client and will hopefully turn into a bigger project when we are back to meeting in person.
4) Be more efficient.
One client realized she was spending too much time traveling between appointments and ended up doing more work because she had to stay home!
If you have children at home, you also have less working hours because school and childcare are taking more time during the day.
5) Work ON your business.
Increase social media followers, rewrite copy on your website, build your prospect lists, schedule webinars, attend tele-classes, learn about digital marketing, write newsletters.
6) Finally – reduce your expenses.
I do want to suggest continuing to spend money (our economy needs it!), but find 5% reduction in your business expenses (as Kimby had suggested) and find personal expenses to cut.
You might be doing this with travel that is no longer happening, but is there someplace else you can cut back?
On your personal finances, you are probably doing this already: variable expenses such as beauty treatments, taxis, eating out and travel are not happening right now.
It’s also a good time to refinance, reallocate your retirement accounts, talk to your credit card companies and sell clothing online at Poshmark or other sites!