With the spread of COVID-19, it is a very crucial and unusual time for our world and its economy. Restaurants are shutting down, fast food places are drive-thru only, major retailers are closing their doors, theme parks and even Las Vegas’ hotels have halted operations in an effort to keep our communities safe.
While this is happening on a large scale, what about those business owners who are operating on a smaller scale? At Keap, we understand that small businesses are taking proactive steps to protect their employees, customers and neighborhoods. They’re establishing remote work options, posting tips on employee hygiene and moving sales online.
We also understand that small businesses rely on a steady stream of leads and customers, one that won’t be guaranteed for the next few weeks, maybe even months. Many small businesses are taking it day by day. How will it be possible to overcome the considerable slowdown in business during the coronavirus while still remaining successful?
Leveraging the entrepreneurial spirit
Let’s start by defining entrepreneurial spirit. This is what sets small business owners apart. These individuals are brave enough to walk away from stability and fulfill their dreams. They are responsible for inspiring and strengthening families, communities and national economies.
Entrepreneurs are the ones who will rewrite the possibilities for our future generations. They’re the ones who are going to pave the way for and reimagine the future of small businesses.
I think it’s time for entrepreneurs everywhere to re-ignite that spirit, overcome the fear and go to work serving their customers and communities. We know that when people apply the entrepreneurial spirit, they overcome challenges and make a difference in the business world.
Finding the right mindset
As the coronavirus’ threat to small businesses grows more severe, now is the perfect time to regroup and focus on how your business will recover and get back to growth. Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you have to start from scratch. This is a tough economical time for all, so keep your perseverance alive and have a bailout plan in place so your business can heal in a timely manner.
As the founder of Keap, I’ve been at the forefront of helping small businesses succeed for nearly two decades. Here are some proven tips to get into the right mindset before sitting down to work on your business:
Block out the news and noiseTurn off the TV and halt all news alerts on your phone to give yourself a break from the rapid stream of developments. Feel free to tune in after hours for critical updates and possible restrictions from your local government; it’s important to stay informed.
Remove yourself from any rut or routineThis is the time to get creative. If you run a brick and mortar business, but have to close your doors, think outside the box. Go to your website and offer free shipping if your customers buy online. Offer them the option to buy a gift card that they can spend later, but will give you enough cash flow to sustain your business during this time.
Focus and state the positives you seeLook at everything as a small victory. Every time you wipe down a table or sanitize a doorknob, it’s one more smart thing you’re doing to keep you and your customers safe.
Replace negative thoughts with positiveWe will overcome this at some point. As a country, we are resilient. This is especially true for small business owners. The economy will bounce back and so will business.
Exercise, connect, smile, laugh, complimentA little kindness goes a long way. We’re all in this together so connecting on a human level will remind us of how vulnerable we all are and banning together during this time will only make us stronger for it.
Recite accomplishments and triumphsRemind yourself what it took to get your business off the ground. You did it, your business is real and it was thriving. Maintain a relationship with your customers. Send an email out reminding them what initiatives you’re taking to protect your business and their well-being at the same time. They will appreciate the fact that you reached out and that you’re making an effort to alleviate this crisis in your own way. Always remember to nurture your contacts as often as possible.
Read your customers’ success storiesGo on your social media or customer review accounts and remind yourself of how happy you made your customers and have faith that one day, we will get back to normalcy and you can once again make your customers fulfilled when they walk into your business.
Read inspirational books, stories, quotesWe’ve been through a depression and recessions before. Find research and history demonstrating how businesses triumphed even during the hard times, arming you with what it will take to keep your business alive and stay successful on the other side.
Change/elevate your perspective... literallyGet outside. Go for a walk, clear your head by taking a jog. Maybe go for a local hike to take in the views and have faith that this will all feel normal again.
Get grounded in your goals and visionAbove all, never lose sight of why you started your business in the first place. Stay true to your vision and use this time to plan on how you can make small improvements and refresh your business plan so you have a strong marketing strategy to help you hit the ground running when things get back to business.
Start working on your businessIn an effort to maintain focus on your goals and vision, smart businesses need to do more with less and may need to streamline daily operations. But what happens in times like these is that business owners compromise their time working on the business. When they step back and work on their business in lieu of concentrating on menial tasks, they start to see major growth.
Relinquishing some of your more ordinary tasks to a CRM system, like Keap, can help.
So, how can you get started working on your business? Some of the best ways to work on your business include:Starting a customer marketing campaign, which can help your business capture leads and nurture existing contactsImplementing an educational lead generation program, which can help you leverage your products and services to capture organic leads through referralsSystematizing your sales process, a great way to streamline your sales pipelineIntegrating organizational systems to build confidence such as your email, calendar and contactsUsing email to follow up on and fill communication gaps, helping you to never leave a prospect behindLetting workflow automation improve cash flow by improving your invoices and payments systemSetting up invoicing through automation by tracking various checkout methods and paymentsUpdating pricing/packaging changes to grow revenueFocusing on customer outreach to listen and learn; the customer’s always right, so listen to their feedbackBe willing to grow to the next level by investing and improving personal development
While this is a strange and strenuous time for our society and our small businesses, I’m rallying everyone to help small businesses succeed.
As part of our Core Values at Keap, we say all the time, “We face challenges with optimism.” Now is the time to do just that.
Keep going, keep serving and keep growing.
Looking for more information on how to maintain a business mindset during the pandemic? Check out these webinars.