Day number 421 of #alonetogether. Some people are enjoying this downtime away from their daily hustle & bustle, and some folks are crawling the walls to get away from their “housemates”. Whatever your situation is, it is unique, we respect it and we want to offer you a break.
While it may be a challenge to avoid 24-7 news and focus on something positive this is a great opportunity to spring clean your business “behind the scenes”! You’ve probably been involved with different activities in your daily routine that you weren’t doing in January. It’s a change, it’s a challenge and it’s probably taken you away from your “zone”. But, it’s a great opportunity to take a look at your business with a fresh set of eyes—from an outsider’s perspective. You will likely see things you couldn’t see before.
Who should you stay in contact with and how? What could be organized better? How can you and your staff work more effectively without needing to be in the same office all the time? Where do you see your business 1, 3, 6 months from now? When is an appropriate time to approach clients? Why is your social media important during this time? How can you help others while helping your business? What new ideas can you come up with post-quarantine?
These questions are overwhelming and each really deserve their own detailed blog so let’s keep it simple. Prioritize your list with the biggest benefits and opportunities, then, create a plan around those priorities.
Who should you stay in contact with? Sure, it’s ok to continue to send out your weekly email to your subscribers and customers – but tone it down. Don’t hustle your product or keep trying to sell services during a time where people are uncertain about their jobs, the markets, and the future of the world – just to name a few concerns. Every day my inboxes are filled with products and services I cannot use (now) or afford and I can’t help but think these businesses haven’t taken the time to re-work their messaging. I also found myself unsubscribing to mail I used to find informative but now I view it more as “intrusive.” Reach out, offer advice and comfort – it’s not always about the next sale. It’s about building trust and a relationship with your customer. (Marketing 101).
What could you organize? Is your website user friendly? Can people find what they need easily? Are they staying on your site long enough to engage with your business? Have you posted interesting articles or blogs lately? Are you collecting data and analytics? Does your website have any errors you never noticed? Does it look outdated compared to your competitors? Does your brand need a facelift? Are your contact lists current in your phone and your email? CLEAN OUT THE CLUTTER!! “We have had a big up-tick in website design and redesign over the last month, it’s really amazing,” says Amy Zucchi-Justice, Founder of the Karlyn Group.
Where do you see your business 1, 3, 6 months from now? Will you still be in business when life gets back to “normal”? What can you do now to streamline your processes? How can you save money? Are your policies realistic & current with the present environment we are operating in?
When is an appropriate time to approach clients? When can we get back to “selling” ourselves without seeming out of touch? Are you staying engaged with your audience and delivering an appropriate message? Stay on top of topics/virtual events in your community. How can you contribute so that you are supporting local business’ while keeping yours in view of potential clients – even though they have no interest at the moment. Post a list of restaurants that are still doing take out, support local music. Anything!
A client of ours in Florida is a musician whose sole source of income is live gigs at bars and restaurants. He relies on tips from his performances. With bars and restaurants closed, he had to think creatively and is setting up a live watch party on Facebook and other media outlets performing two hours –every Saturday evening. He gets 25-45 watchers per gig and through the group chat people. He does what he loves while providing his followers with some form of entertainment with music and a virtual happy hour. He is even able to take requests! His backyard or a stool in front of his pool is his “new norm” and guess what the best part is? He set up Zelle, Venmo & Paypal so his fans could send him a tip – guess what else? They do! He has created income for himself, provided a service, without being “pushy” and offered an outlet to make people feel normal again and connected!
Why is your social media important during this time? Use your social media to stay in touch! Clean out your contact lists – why are you following someone on twitter who hasn’t posted anything since 2009? Review the sites on your news feed – are they still relevant to your interests and business or has your needs shifted? Do the same with your personal social media accounts. UNCLUTTER yourself & your newsfeed! Be aware of the tone of your posts – don’t try and sell something today. Perhaps post a positive message or an informative one to your followers that may help their business or just lift someone’s spirits. Stay away from the cliché sayings of the moment – most of us are sick of hearing it. (Maybe one cliché hashtag is ok – see our first sentence… ; ) )
How can you help others while helping your business?
During this time of uncertainty and spring cleaning let your guard down. Ask people’s opinions or even their advice. Post a survey that will help you figure out what people will be interested in when the world opens up again. Post a survey that loosely relates to your business but is entertaining to keep your followers engaged. Any engagement with the proper tone will be well received and benefit you in the long run.
Start small and see where the evaluating takes you. Use this opportunity to organize shop and engage and interact with your customers. Be ready and waiting to see where this “new world” is going to take us and be excited not fearful of our future!