Today’s topic is all about thriving when things are chaotic all around you. I think that my answer—my thoughts or my insights may surprise you. They might even hit you right in the gut, I’m really not sure. At the end of the day, my whole point of doing this show is to help make sure that you stay in business. Like I need to make sure that you, your family, and employees are all taken care of. I would be doing myself an insane disservice if I didn’t give you things straight or if I didn’t give you actionable pieces of information and content. So, how can you survive all this insanity?
Now, some people are asking me what I think is gonna happen? And I can give you two different answers. The first one is to honestly tell you, I really don’t know. Things are definitely opening up, but they’re opening up at a slower pace than I expected.
But on the flip side, I will tell you that I’m really worried that all of this stuff is going to send us into a recession of insurmountable proportions. With that, I need you to be ready. So, what do you do? How do you react? How do you change your marketing? Do you change your business? Do you close your business? What do you do?
The first unfortunate answer is it really depends—business by business and industry by industry. But across everything, the biggest suggestion that I can give you is that I need to see you pivoting. I need to see you pivoting with how you’re doing your marketing, which we’ll talk about. I need you to be pivoting with how you’re branding or how you’re answering the phone. I need you to be pivoting your service offerings unless you’re in something that just fits perfectly with where things are today—cleaning businesses, for example. But even though you’re going to have to pivot your branding and your messaging—you still need to make a huge shift, like now. And if you don’t, I am so worried—so worried that you’re going to be left in the dust.
One of the things that I’m studying at this very moment is the reasons that businesses go out of business. So in my bucket list last year (it’s actually been on my bucket list for several years), has been to get my masters and I decided last year when I was looking at my goals for the year in my bucket list and realize that several things on that list have not gotten touched that I would just start to take action—that was one of those that I decided to take action on.
So I’m writing my dissertation paper and it literally is on the reasons that small businesses, local businesses go out of business. There have been two key findings. And it’s—we take a step back—it’s not always just cash. Cash, obviously is a huge reason but I wanted to look at what led up to that? What pushed things over the edge and again, there were two things:
UNPLANNED EVENTS OF SIZABLE IMPACTS
When we talk about unplanned events, we talk about divorce, economy, COVID, business partners stealing or laundering money, like insane situations and almost every one of those pushes businesses to take things over the edge. Something that was just not planned that they couldn’t weather the storm.
Now, when I was interviewing these business owners they didn’t directly say this, I had to prompt them. They didn’t feel that they went out of business because of their lack of marketing. However, as we started to peel back the layers of the onion, we realized that had they done more effective marketing, that would have given them a fighting chance. That would have most likely brought in more customers and brought in more cash, which then would have allowed them some more time to kind of figure things out.
If I’m looking at the first reason of some kind of unplanned or unexpected event, that is what we’re living through at this very moment in time. If you just expect or hope that everything is going to go back to normal in the next couple of months, I really believe that that’s just wishful thinking. I hate to say it, but I’m a bit more of a realist.
What you need to do now is to start to look at your business and what can you start to pivot? What other services are available? What other products can you offer that can start to drive some more cash flow? Is there something that you need to add? Distilleries companies—instead of producing all this vodka has switched over to hand sanitizer? Clothing shops or retailers are not producing new clothes so they’re producing personal protection gear. What are some things that can drive you cash at this very moment in time?
The first piece of advice is that you need to pivot something in terms of your product or your service. I want you to add something—change it up. I’ve been seeing a lot of businesses doing that very rapidly. I just look at the businesses locally. Restaurants are shifting to take out but not even just take out restaurants—shifting to do-it-yourself for a fun activity or do-it-yourself pizza kits. Dunkin Donuts has the do-it-yourself donut kits, for example. Do things that you’ve never offered before and something that you know your prospects or customers are going to either enjoy or resonate with.
Look at if you’re in the service business, the home service business, just the whole process of quoting things. How much more can you do via zoom or via FaceTime, so that you can start to get those orders and deposits on the book? So, the first thing is you need to do a hard pivot and a hard turn immediately.
The second piece that goes along with that is you need to change up the way that you are marketing—you need to change up how your brand is being perceived. You need to change up the emails, you’re sending the social media content you’re doing or the type of videos you’re doing. A lot of local businesses are still putting out generic content, so you need to change that. I need you to meet your prospects where they are.
Now you need to acknowledge the situation—you need to let them know what you’re doing.
- How are you going to further help them?
- What are you doing to make sure that they’re staying safe that your team is staying safe?
- How can you help restore their confidence?
There’s a lot of businesses that have really long warranties and things like that. Well, how can you restore their confidence if they’re worried you’re going to go out of business? There are all these cool companies that have 30-year guarantees and things like that. Truth is, if your business is closed, your 30-year guarantee was only worth the sheet of paper that it was written on. So, how can you restore confidence to make sure that your customers are starting to return back to business, returning to your business and not necessarily business as usual? We’ve got to get them investing more money with you got to get them spending more money with you and your business.
So look at how you can have a hard pivot in your business and start to execute that now, sooner than later. The second thing is I really encourage you to relook at how you’re marketing, how you’re showing up, and make sure that it’s relevant for the times today.
The first book that I wrote was called marketing in the moment—that is exactly what you need to be focused on right now.
Get out there, make a change, and take some action.