We are in an exceptional time right now with the Corona Virus restrictions in place globally - but this needn't be the start of a downturn in your business.In fact, it could be quite the opposite. As is so often the case in times of challenge, it can be just the thing to spur you on to new and better things. Follow these seven tips, and you'll be well on your way to building a stronger, more robust business.
It's important to conduct regular reviews in your business. These can be done on a yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly basis. Even daily, to keep you focused on what's most important. Reviewing your business now, however, is essential. This will ensure you are not wasting any time, money or effort on activities that do not move your business forward. Set some time aside to assess:
- What works well?
- What needs can be improved or done differently?
- What can you stop doing altogether?
- What’s missing? Where are the gaps in your business, budget or knowledge?
Once you have your answers, create an action plan and get to work!
Reviewing your business in these uncertain times is essential. This will ensure you are not wasting any time, money or effort and can double-down on those areas that drive your business.
All successful businesses are build on relationships. While we may all be isolated right now, that doesn't mean that we can't reach out to others, reconnect and build relationships.Reach out to your existing clients. Have a conversation with them about how they are doing, and how best you can serve them at this time. Find out what they value most about your offer so far.
Use this information to help you build for the future and maybe introduce an interim offer to support them right now. Show up in your business and client communities. Now is a great time to take leadership, make a difference and build the 'know, like and trust' factor in your market.
Reconnect with your network. Rekindle relationships that might have slipped recently and don't be afraid to ask for referrals. While you have to do things a little differently at the moment, the work is still out there and many businesses are thriving.
All successful businesses are build on relationships. While we may all be isolated right now, relationships remain important for our business growth.
Now is a great time to reinvent the way you do business and add value for your clients. Think about what needs to change to make if possible for you to operate under our current conditions, then brainstorm ways you can reinvent your offer.It can help to go back to your Why - the reason you started your business in the first place.
This might throw some light on what you can offer right now that's different, but still fully aligned to your purpose. Get creative. Right now, everyone is moving fast trying to adapt to our new world, so no one is expecting anything polished. This makes now is a great time to test out new ideas and concepts without them necessarily being fully formed or perfect.
Now is a great time to reinvent the way you do business and add value for your clients. Get creative and think back to your original purpose to guide your thinking.
Here are some examples of businesses that have introduced new concepts that might inspire you:
PHOTOGRAPHER - since he can no longer use his studio, he is offering families a service where each morning he sends them a photo project for their kids to complete. The kids upload their best picture to a Facebook sight and he offers a general overview of what great things he's seen and offers additional tips. This is not only giving him a small income at this time, but also expanding his market.
PRINCESS PARTIES - since this business owner can no longer offer her princess parties, she's started a membership site to bring kids daily princess activities they can do at home. She even finishes each day with a bedtime story read by a real-life princess. This is giving her a new income stream, while also expanding her market.
FOOD CART - A food tricycle company that offers novel catering for events is using up stock by cycling around his neighbourhood offering his creations for free. While this is not bringing in a direct income, it's great marketing and has already resulted in some event bookings for autumn. The key is to think out of the box - think about what would serve your market right now - and think about something that sounds fun! Some of your services may not be about developing income, but about building your market ready for when things go back to normal. Remember this situation is temporary.
Now is a great time to get ahead on tasks you need to complete later in the year. This will enable you to use more of your time once things are back to normal, on client-facing needle-mover activities. Update and improve on your plans for the second half of the year. What is coming up that you can capitalise on with some additional preparation right now? What can work on now to make things go all the most smoothly later?
Now is a great time to build for the future. You might not be able to get out an network in person for example, but you can certainly double-down on your networking over social media and email. You can even get creative and hold virtual networking events - invite some exciting prospects to your event to kick-start those relationships and warm up cold leads.
This is also an ideal time to build your marketing assets. Think about the tools, tips and insights that your prospects would find helpful right now and create some free or low cost trainings, eBooks, checklists etc. to help them. Then get them out into the world and build your email list. Most importantly - Build your MINDSET!!!
There is a lot of negativity out there right now. It's essential that you protect yourself from this negativity as it will not help you to move your business forward. In my article on Powerful Habits to Start I share a number of ways you can start building a positive mindset. I'd also recommend you check out my list of favourite Mindset books and choose one or two of these to start diving into. You mindset is your most powerful business asset.
That's why in my Dream Clients Blueprint program for driven female entrepreneurs, I have not only build mindset tools into the program, but also have a dedicated mindset expert coach you Live each month.
It's essential that you work on building and protecting your mindset everyday, especially in these times of uncertainty.
You my find that you have to have some difficult conversations with people linked to your business, like partners, suppliers and staff. Don't put these off. Reach out and have these conversations as soon as you can, people will understand and respect you for it. The key with difficult conversations is to have them in person (over the phone or via Zoom if you can't meet in person). Then ensure you remain factual, honest and open, and to listen carefully to the other person.
Reach out to your clients, network and tribe taking a positive and leadership position. They need you to show up right now. Find ways to reassure and comfort those around you through your actions and content. They will remember this and it will help you in your business in the future. You can also reach out to the media and hosts of blogs and podcasts to offer your expertise and guest articles. It's a great way to build your exposure while also helping your own audience.
Also, look for communities where you can get positive support, such as the Driven Female Entrepreneurs Club, where you can mix with like-minded women, enjoy free training, tips and advice and ask questions.
Now’s the time to invest in yourself and your business. Take the opportunity to invest in your business skills and understanding. Read books, take courses and get coaching and advice to help you focus on what's most pressing for you and your business - especially those things in your blind-spot that you might not have noticed.
A Business Coach can be invaluable here. Don't spin in circles on your own, it will only destroy your confidence and self-belief. As mentioned above, building your mindset will be vital too. The Dream Clients Blueprint program is a great one to look into as it's a hybrid between business skills development, mindset development, business growth and community - everything you need right now. Remember, no one succeeds alone.
It may feel counterintuitive right now, but when you put the brakes on your personal and business development, you also put the brakes on your momentum. Invest in yourself and your business skills.
What to do next
Put what you’ve learned into practice. Obviously don't try and do everything at once. The last thing you want right now is more pressure and anxiety! But go through the points above and determine what makes the most sense for you right now, and start there. Each of these ideas and lessons will help you build stronger practices and relationships in your business – that’s always a good thing - so bookmark this article and/or make good notes so you can incorporate these concepts into your business bit by bit.
For more step-by-step business and client-building tools, strategies and advice, take a look at the Dream Clients Blueprint group coaching experience, it will guide you in building a solid foundation for your business, confidently communicating your value, engaging with your ideal clients and building your product suite and marketing plan.
The 12-week program involves weekly Live business coaching with me, so you can get all your questions answered, monthly live mindset coaching with Lynda Heffernan, and a community that you can tap into anytime for additional support and feedback. Right now you can take advantage of an additional month in the program to give you even more help than ever! Check out the details here or contact me for more information.
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