At this point in this pandemic, it has become clear that the coronavirus will surely leave in its path a destruction well beyond the health issues we have seen. Much like during a recession, we are seeing businesses being forced to shut their doors and fold. As entrepreneurs however, we need to realize that now is the time to wrench down and make magic happen. Like with the teachings of my boy Grant Cardone, it’s times like these when you need to 10x your life, your business, and get out there and grind!
So now that you have put out the fires, how do you got about capitalizing on this opportunity? Well here are a few ideas I came up with which might help you in your journey:
1. Change your mindset – First and foremost before you do anything you will need to change your mindset from triage, to growth mode. I mentioned earlier the infamous 10x Rule, which is based on the belief that when you do anything in life you should 10X it. 10 times the larger goals, 10 times more activity, and 10 times more hustle. When everyone’s out there scrambling just to survive, you should be out there focusing on grinding and growing. Every business owner knows that time like these are never easy, but I can promise you it is times like these which create once in a lifetime opportunity and truly defines the success of an entrepreneur.
2. Find new leads and take advantage of the less prepared – Because of poor cash flow, it is almost guaranteed that 40-50% of business during this crisis will fold and shut their doors. So, what happens to all those customers? They get left behind with no one to help them. This is the time and opportunity for you to begin generating new leads and using creative techniques to capture these abandoned customers. Use out of the box techniques to become known, to create yourself as an authority figure in your space and build strong brand recognition. Keep in mind that your goal here should not be to generate a sale right away, but rather be the first business they turn to when the green flag is waved, and these stay at home orders are lifted. You better believe people are going to be flooding the marketing once things go back to normal life. I bet you want to be the one they come running to, right?
3. It is time to pivot - In this environment we have seen many businesses change overnight, in some ways good, in some ways bad. With many states invoking stay at home orders, and only essential service businesses being allowed to operate, some serious strain has been put on the small business community. However, this doesn’t have to be your death sentence. I have been amazed with how businesses have adapted to the environment, such as setting up makeshift stores within their restaurants to provide communities with essential items and in turn generating cashflow for their business. I have seen businesses offer special promotions and added services such as pickup and delivery, just to provide work for their employees. As well as developing complimentary introductory programs to subscription services, just to get people to try their products while they sit at home during this quarantine period. The sky is the limit! It is up to you to get creative and execute. Don’t be afraid, just try something.
4. Market with Coronavirus in mind – One of the greatest things that we have seen through this pandemic is our communities coming together to help one another, and some epic memes to go along with it. We have also seen an increase in the use of scare tactics as a form of news and marketing strategies. Understanding the type of messaging which works best for your brand and your service offerings during times likes these, allows you to modify your model and capitalize on the moment. Make sure that you keep your marketing flexible and increase it during this time because many businesses and consumers are wondering who is open and who can help with their current needs. First and foremost, make sure your target audience and current customers know that you are open for business and you are ready to serve them. Be sure to ask them for referrals so you can help their family and friends. Also, identify how you can gain the attention of the low hanging fruit from businesses that are no longer able to serve their customers.
5. Make sure you are relevant far past Coronavirus – Right now it is imperative that you of course survive this pandemic, but you should always plan far beyond the pandemic. When strategizing on how to dominate your market and industry, keep in mind how things will look when returning to our norms. One thing you should consider is the impact of the stay at home orders. For individuals who might have always done business in person, they are now being forced in many ways to do things remotely or online. For consumers who never received services in these ways, this might now end up being their preferred method to receive future services. Find a way to create a simple streamlined online solution for clients to make their life easier now and in the future. This might just be the opportunity you need to pull them away from your competition.
6. Talk to your customers and identify your challenges – Like in any good strategy, find out directly from the source how best help customers with their challenges. As business owners we always assume we know what our customers need or want, and in most cases we are wrong. Talk with your clients and find out how you can best serve them during this pandemic. From there, build a solution around this feedback and find out the best way to get your new solutions out in front of your prospects.
7. Update your tech and keep communication flowing – With employees being forced to work from home, and your business being forced to adapt, this might be a great time to look at updating your technology to ensure your employees can do their job effectively and keep customer communications strong. Beyond clients servicing, you might consider utilizing an email marketing solution such as MailChimp or Constant Contact to keep messages flowing to your clients and prospects, as we are seeing changes and updates happening hour by hour.
8. Stay consistent and stay driven – The most important thing when trying to capitalize on this unique environment is to stay consistent and stay driven. Growing in times like these is never easy. Keep pushing when people tell you that you can’t, keep your messaging and approach consistent, and keep moving towards your end goal. By doing these simple steps you will surely win when others fold. Also, identify where you want to land when all this is over, and plan backwards, breaking down your goals and tasks on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. Use sales and marketing automation tools to maximize your time and bandwidth, and always try to find unique ways to capture the attention of that new prospect or existing lead.
9. Make it easy for your clients to refer you – Lastly, I want to touch on something many entrepreneurs forget about and that is your network. This network of people wants to help you and see you succeed. Develop a process which will allows your network to easily refer people to you who need your products and services. You can do this by creating a landing page where these individuals can input their referral information, which in turn will allow you to capture the prospects info and can create a warm introduction email to the prospect. This will help identify who you are, who referred them and how you can help. Remember, people are scared, they need help and you should be the person to help them.
At the end of the day you just want to do something. Don’t sit around and wait. Don’t succumb to defeat. Get out there and show the world what you can do and what your business is made of!
About Allen Archuleta Jr @allenarchuletajr
Founder & CEO of Archuleta Advisors, business advisor, angel investor and entrepreneur. Allen Archuleta Jr has owned and operated several businesses, and now uses his talents to inspire and help others achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.