At the time of writing this it is May 2020 and we are not yet out of the woods with COVID-19. Suffice to say there has been mass damage to a large portion of businesses and it has sent shock waves through out the world.
Obviously COVID-19 has been on a catastrophic scale but the reality is; in business spanners get thrown in the works all the time. Business always ebbs and flows and the truth is, there are always things out of our control that can make a significant impact on us in the business world which can pop up at any given time.
Take algorithms for example, a business could be getting stacks of sales from Facebook and then Facebook switches up its algorithms and bam, they are all gone. However, this never has to be the end.
When our business gets blown a part by something unexpected we have the following options:
1) Sink or 2) Pivot and swim like hell.
Before I chat about 2) I want to quickly add a disclaimer in that I do not see any shame in sinking. Sometimes, we just don’t have anything left to give or we can’t find a way out and I believe that it is all part of the journey which is giving you the skills for your next stage.
So if you’re reading this and sunk, I honestly salute you but don’t believe for a second it is the end. Hold onto that faith that you’ll work it out and what is coming is even better than what you had before.
But if you’re in 2) or still trying to stay out of 1) I want to share some tips with you on how you can navigate these murky waters.
It is in these times when we are being pushed to the limits that we have no other option but to find a way out, almost if our life depends on it. We become hyper-focused on the end goal which is survival, and it pushes out all of the fear and limiting beliefs to the side so we can be fully conscious on the immediate task ahead of us. It is this stage of mind where amazing things happen.
Most would jump straight to discounting to try and convert more sales and for sure it can work, but it isn’t ideal so I want to give you a few other options instead:
From here on in it is all about mindset:
Try not to adopt thinking that customers will not buy your product at full price if you’ve had a slow down. It is your job as a business owner to find the ones who can pay and communicate with them effectively why they should. This does take a little more energy and a little more thinking out of the box but it can be done if you stay on course.
Don’t stop showing up:
Be present and continue sharing about how you can help your customers but don’t guilt them into buying from you. Do a marketing-check and ensure the language you are using is appropriate in light of the current crisis, even if it is a self confidence crisis. If you are low on energy switch to lower energy tasks to continue showing up, for example I switch from videos to writing. From long blogs to short posts. From creating new content to repurposing old content.
Provide opportunities for extended payment plans or switch up how people can pay you – this offers some flexibility and room to move for the customers who need it and catches those who may have said no because they couldn’t afford to pay upfront. Bear in mind though, payment plans should invite the aspect of an additional fee, just to cover your administrative time in case payments bounce.
Another strategy you can utilise is grouping. Think of this as the package deal you get when you go to a café and receive a coffee punch-card for “buy 10 coffees, get one free” then it goes on to offer a free coffee deal, free bag of coffee beans and so on. For someone like me, that makes me feel like I am being rewarded for being so loyal.
This works well for repeat customer businesses. It is still discounting, but more a ‘we both win’ situation. If you have loyal customers that you provide to on a regular basis, it is worthwhile finding out if a package would work for them. Be clear and concise in your communication about package expiry or deadlines. Be mindful about listing on a website that does reduced deals or providing discounts too hard and fast, because these bargain shoppers won’t necessarily become your customers at your full rate.
Join my course this month and get an additional 1 hour live business coaching session with me. A freebie with any purchase over $80. 2 free samples added to your order. Things like this really jump out at customers and provides an incentive for them to buy. Do this for items that are a value-add for your customers but ensure it’s not creating extra stress for you.
A good way to maintain the integrity of your business and create another money stream would be to offer smaller or “mini” versions of your service. This in turn provides an affordable option for your customers. Let’s say you usually provide 1:1 coaching, then offer a small group session for a more cost-effective price.
For example my signature package is a fully done for you package where we help you come up with your business concept, design all your branding and create all your platforms so you’re ready to launch. In the current climate the price point isn’t ideal for a lot of people.
So I created a DIY version in an e-course format during COVID-19 which was very successful at a $49 price point. My e-course shares all of my skills and expertise and guides you on how to launch your online business smartly. (check it out here)
And finally, sometimes what happens when we are forced to think outside of the box and when we are pushed to the edge is it forces us to find new options and services that we never would have expanded the energy to find when we were comfortable. These options can end up being even more impactful and profitable than your original options or a new instrumental part of your business. So always remember, business is all about ebb and flow and when you can learn to adapt quickly you’ll be able to ride out all the lows and enjoy the highs and as I say, success is there for the last woman standing.