It is such a scary time at the moment. Even more scary if you’re self employed. As you can imagine, I’ve been getting lots of calls from very worried business owners. For many, their income has just plummeted to nothing, they’re wondering how on earth they’re going to keep their business in existence to come out the other side of this.
I’m not going to make any false promises. To make ANY revenue in this climate is going to be a challenge whatever your business BUT there are so many ways that most businesses can change and adapt what they are offering and how they are working so that they can continue to bring in revenue AND enable their business to survive this crisis.
Obviously this is a generic article so without speaking to you I can’t offer you advice specific to your business (you’re very welcome to book a free consultation with me so we can talk in more detail) but I can give you some ideas and things to think about.
It’s time to get creative….
Try to stop panicking and/or feeling stressed and worried and try to start thinking practically about what you COULD do. How can you change what you offer – or how you offer it to be able to continue to make money. Get out the pens and paper and write down any and every idea. Talk to your partner or family about it – you’d be surprised how many ideas come out by talking it through.
One of my clients has a company offering classes for preschool and young children. Her revenue plummeted to nothing when the lockdown started and she initially thought her business would have to end. Once she had, had a chance to think clearly she put in place recorded video classes to send out for children who had already paid for the remainder of the term and we’ve worked out a plan to offer forward going classes through a piece of software called Zoom. This will enable the children to ‘attend’ the classes from their front room, kitchen, garden…wherever they have space to move and can access a wifi signal with a device. Families with children at home are crying out for any semblance of normality and for things to do. I’m confidence offering the classes in this way will prove very popular.
Another client has a bespoke kitchen fitting company. We’ve put in place facilities for him to be able to offer consultations and handle the design phase via virtual meetings with his clients. It takes between 10 and 12 weeks from initial contact to get a kitchen ready to fit and in that time we may well be coming out the other side of all this. If not, he can either hold the kitchen ready to fit until it’s possible to get it done – or if the kitchen can be accessed directly from an entrance to the property it is possible seal off the rest of the house and fit the kitchen without the client and fitters coming into contact with each other. Once finished the kitchen will then be completely sanitised before the customer is given access to it.
Many cafes and restaurants have started offering takeaway or delivery services.
What if there is no way to offer my products or services on a ‘virtual’ level?
For some businesses there will literally be no way of making their existing business work at the moment. Travel or holiday based businesses for example will be finding life incredibly tricky at the moment.
If there really is no way of changing or adapting your business to enable you to continue to make money then remember that it’s still absolutely critical to maintain a confident and very active social media presence if you are to have a business to return to after this is all over.
Be clever about your social media. Going back to the travel business example – there is no point in promoting holidays in spain…but you certainly could offer your audience ideas on how they could ‘holiday at home’ – camp in their front room, have a cinema outside, make smores etc. Try to come up with posts that is going to keep your audience engaged – then when we do come out the other side of it you’ll still have their attention.
Use this time productively…
Now is the perfect time to evaluate your business…
- Review/or Create your business plan
- Write some 6/12/24 month business goals
- Look at what changes you could make to your business to improve it.
- Get all those things done that you haven’t had time to.
- Revisit your marketing strategy (or create one if you haven’t got one).
- Update your website.
- Review and improve your social media.
- Do some personal development – read some relevant books (try ‘The Slight Edge’)
Have you considered that you could potentially use this time to start another business? Sound totally bonkers? Maybe, maybe not.
We’re stuck at home. We’ve got more time on our hands that normal and we’re desperate for something interesting to do. Actually now could be the perfect time to start a company. You have at least a couple of months to get it ready to launch before things settle down and there is a sudden ‘boom’ back to normality. And if your current business isn’t making money at the moment then this could be a way to get some money flowing in!
Help for the self employed
The government is still working out what help they’re going to offer the self employed to support them. I’ll get a post on my site and social media as soon as we’re advised what’s going to be put in place so watch this space. I’ll do my best to explain all the options as simply as possible.
If you’re looking for advice on what you can do to help get your business through this difficult time, feel free to get in touch for a free consultation.