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Small business advice & resources during the Coronavirus outbreak and beyond

small business advice for the coronavirus and recession

These are unprecedented times and many small business owners, both online and offline, are worried about how it will affect them. So I wanted to share some practical advice on how best to sail these unknown waters in a way that best supports you and your customers.

Whether your business is online or offline, these measures can help you immediately:

First of all, don’t panic

I know that’s easy to say, but if we’re sensible, if we follow advice, if we socially isolate or at least stay at least 6ft away from other people, are meticulous about washing our hands and not touching our faces, we will help to stop the spread (which is a our responsibility). 

And if you’re worrying about the recession, it can actually be a time of opportunity. But we need to be agile to spot those opportunities and act on them fast. Think about how you can help people right now. So many people need to move online, can you help with that? There are a few more ideas later in the post, but keeping an eye out for opportunity will help you through.

Reduce Overheads

Analyse your last 3-6 months of spending by looking at your bank statements. Highlight anything that doesn’t create revenue in your business and remove those. BUT don’t make the mistake of removing marketing! People tend to start here, when actually you need to market yourself more to ensure you reach your audience and increase sales. 

This is something that all businesses should be doing as a matter of course, but it’s easy to let it slip when things are going well. Pulling back now will help you if revenue drops (and if it doesn’t, then profit goes up – it’s a win win).

If you do get into a situation where you’re struggling to pay something yourself (other suppliers, any current debt payments etc) contact them as soon as you can and agree a longer payment period. This isn’t a time to bury your head in the sand, and hopefully people will be supportive through this period. 

Understand Your People

Do you truly ‘get’ your people? How will they be feeling through this? Is there any way you can help them that might be different to what you already do for them? 

Recognising that some will be panicked over this and others more relaxed is important, and supporting them no matter what their reaction is key. 

If they ask you for advice, be sure to share real data and proven advice and avoid all media speculation (I’m on a media blackout and am only following the advice of experts right now). 

Focus On Revenue

Being agile and reacting fast is key in these times. Is there a better, more accessible way you can serve them? Are they struggling with something in particular that you can help them with? Is there something you can quickly create and make available that will really help them right now?

Speak to your people, understand where they’re at as this could give you ideas on what they need right now. How can you help them?

Look at your revenue streams. Which drive the most profit for your business? Which are the easiest to sell right now? Focus on the top 20% and put the other 80% on hold.

What revenue streams could you add in that your people need right now? Could you quickly create an online course or similar to help people right now? Could you move what you do offline, online?

For example:

If you’re in the wellness industry, can you put something out that naturally boosts the immune system? 

Or online classes to relax and destress (stress greatly affects our immune system)? 

Or how to create great meals with only a few ingredients? 

If you run offline classes (think exercise, yoga, crafts etc) can you move this online?

Are some of the projects you’re working on now non-revenue generating? Then put those on hold and go all in on the revenue generating stuff. This will help you through. 

If your clients are struggling to pay you, and you’re able to, could you give them longer payment plans to help support their cashflow? Obviously only do this IF you are able, but right now we all need to support each other. 

Keep an eye on your numbers! You should be doing this anyway, but keeping a close eye on defaulted payments, your own costs at least weekly is key right now.

What If You Get Ill?

If you were to get ill through this period, who is on-hand to take over from you? If you work alone and are the only one doing everything, can you join a consortium of other business owners and agree that you will all step in for each other if anyone gets sick. A dear friend of mine is setting something like this up right now and it’s a great idea. We all need to support each other through these times. 

If you do have a team, are they informed and are there SOPs (standard operating procedures) in place for them to follow without you? If not, nows a great time to do that for those essential business activities that will keep you going.

Take Things Online

Right now is the time to move everything online. I’m blessed that my business is almost entirely online and can easily continue through any self isolation. But if yours isn’t, it’s not difficult to move things online. In the resources list below I’ve added the tools you can use right now to switch from offline to online. This is ideal for more offline businesses, but some online businesses may also benefit from a few of these if they’re not already using them. 

Resources

(Some of these are affiliate links and I may get a commission)

If you need to run meetings, video calls, workshops, webinars or conferences online, then look at Zoom

If you need a booking system to run classes online instead of in person, look at Mind Body.

If you need to receive money online, use Thrive Cart, an online checkout which integrates with both Stripe and Paypal.

Need to sell product online? Take a look at Shopify

Need to quickly create an online course to sell online? Look at Kajabi (this is what I use) but if the cost is prohibitive, look at Membervault (used by a lot of clients who love it). 

Need to move your team online? If you don’t already have an online project management tool, look at either Asana or Trello.

Need to chat to your team or clients online? Either use voice message app Voxer, Whatsapp or by text use Slack (our team uses both Asana and Slack for this and I use Voxer for my clients).

Need to share documents with your team easily online? Use Google for that. Google Docs (Word equivalent), Google Sheets (Excel equivalent), Google Slides (Powerpoint equivalent) and keep them all in Google Drive.

Want to add live chat to your website? Use Chatra for that (it’s what I use on my site and across all sales pages). 

That’s it for now. If I think of anything else, I’ll add it to this list. 

Need more help?

If you feel like you need support I have a few ways I can help. Email me here and let’s chat.

Finally. Look after yourself

Boosting your immune system, keeping stress levels low (hard, I know), hydrating, eating as much fresh fruit and veg as you can and having a good sleep will all help. Basic stuff, but it’s so easy to overlook this. 

Take care of you.

Gx


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