Keeping Cash Flowing During a Pandemic
As I continue cancelling appointments, I can’t help but think of all the people in the service industry that are being hit the hardest during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The bills I see coming through Congress aren’t designed to help those being hit the hardest – wait staff, hair stylists and manicurist just to name a few. Business owners have different ways to survive during a downturn but what is a waitress to do when a her restaurant closes?
Many of you know I have been busy writing a business book and I think its time to dust off a few of my sure-fire ways to make money in a down market.
To begin, this is a good time to review your business strategy and see if you can make improvements. Start with mapping-out the sales cycle for your product or service. How do people find out about you (awareness)? How do they narrow down their selections (consideration)? How do they test your service against others (trial)? And how do they buy your service (purchase)?
When we are in a situation of social distancing, your sales cycle needs to be more automated than ever. Look at your customer contacts and make certain its up-to-date. When was the last time a customer purchased from you? What other products or services can you offer? How can you find new customers? Have you reached out to friends and family? Right now, people want to help each other. What is your current social media program? Does your website need refreshing, or do you even have one? This is a good time to invest in marketing to keep sales flowing. Is there something you can do to drive more prospects to site such as a free webinar? People have a bit more time on their hands and are looking for fresh content to view.
What if you are facing a layoff? Obviously, you want to get your resume up-to-date and get your social media links current. Should you look for a job? Absolutely. Perhaps you won’t find the perfect job in your target industry right now but paying the bills is critical. There are companies needing to add people as business opportunities are opening up. Startups still need to make the numbers and companies in certain industries are actually booming. I was wondering about whether I should keep pitching my book and then read online that agents aren’t getting as many pitches and are looking for book prospects. So, while my current book is with my editor, I’m continuing to build my agent list and starting to outline my next book.This is also a great time to think about new business ideas. Take a review of your industry and see where new opportunities might be opening. For example, if you are a fashion designer you might want to start looking into how you would design an outfit that uses a mask and gloves. This may become a more regular part of our attire given that this may not be our last pandemic. Maybe you design a new accessory for holding wipes or hand sanitizer.
Most importantly, reach out to friends and family that are working to see if they know of any job openings at their companies. Many organizations pay for good referrals. Our perhaps they have a big launch happening and can use some short-term help. Finally, go back to companies you have interviewed with in the past and see if they are looking for anyone. Perhaps they didn’t end up hiring anyone or the person hired didn’t work out. And now is the time to call in every favor you have. Spend time every day doing something to maintain or increase your sales channel or job search. The world is going to be a bit different when we finally get through this and you want to be ready to succeed in the new post-pandemic world.