You are a small business owner. You work hard. You manage and promote your businesses as you strive to succeed and a make difference in your finances. We know it’s a tough grind and that there are plenty of obstacles in your way. Covid-19 is just the latest in a long line of hurdles. The pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives and it is reminding us of how interconnected we all and how our actions can significantly impact those around us, as we find ourselves adapting to a new normal. How we respond to new demands, how we support each other through crisis, how we modify our ways of doing business and how we revise the ways in which we interact with both our business partners and our customers, all of these new interactions are shaping our new small business plans.
How we respond to new demands Things are not the same. Living and working through a pandemic is something new for all of us. The economy is being artificial supported by the federal government and showing no real signs of recovery. Economists and experts agree that the economy won’t really start to recover until there is a cure for the Coronavirus. The new world we find ourselves in can NOT be responded to in the same ways we are used to. We must search for new ways to respond to the new demands a of socially distant world. Gone are the days of face to face marketing and meetings in coffee shops. The Zoom call and other online interactions have replaced the time honored tactics of the most successful sales representatives and entrepreneurs. Today, small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy. To do that, they need to be creative. Lucky for you, your business is already online. You have a link to your company website, a place where you can send people that want what you’ve got. You’re used telling people face to face how to get there. Now, for your business to survive, you will have to look for ways to tell them online.
- Directories: Like FindSalesRep, Manta, Yelp and others
- Advertisements: Google is the leader, but there are literally millions of places to buy ads
- Social Media Marketing: There are a lot, but you will have the most success using Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook
- Blog: Share ideas and products that can help others relieve some of the stress. Help people adapt to the new way of life that we are all facing and make life a little easier for others.
How we support each other through crisis There’s no denying how difficult these times are. Stress, hardship, uncertainty all require a response that is both empathetic and compassionate. In your business, you are a leader. Leaders need to look for ways to identify with the feelings, thoughts and attitudes of their customers, their teams, their employees and their business partners. Show that you, through your business have feelings of deep sympathy and sorrow for others who are stricken by misfortune. Show them that you have a strong desire to alleviate their suffering.
- For your customers: Identify strategies that they can use today to combat there problems. Can your business offer a solution, some support or comfort?
- For your Team or employees: How can you directly help them today? Can you call or connect with them to identify what they need
How we modify our ways of doing business In these times especially, we are constantly reminded how one person’s action can impact the life of another. Just think about how big your reach can be and then work with others to make it even bigger. Collaborate with your business partners to change how you do your business. Start work together to use your joint interests to become something bigger than you are apart. There are many types of business partnerships to consider. Businesses with different basic interests can partner together to share content or customers. The benefit of this type of collaboration is to reduce worry about competition. A great example is to host an online party. Invite 10 reps from different, non similar companies to host. In order to qualify as a host each must bring 2 reps with them to the party. That’s 30 people at one event and a fun party! This idea also works for training events, swapping sprees, swag bag exchanges and basket giveaways, all of which can be done completely online. The swapping spree, swag bag exchange and gift basket giveaways can be run a little differently. They offer you and you business partners ways to share revenue. If this sounds too confusing or too difficult, it’s not. In fact, chances are you are already a part of a revenue sharing partnership. If you or your business are an affiliate, consultant, representative or ambassador of any brands where you earn a percentage of the sale, that’s a revenue partnership. 😉 You can get creative with all of these types of partnership.
How we revise the ways in which we interact with both our business partners and our customers. Meaningful interactions begin with kinder leaders. If you think back to the most impactful mentors you have had either professionally or unofficially, you will instantly remember their kindness toward you. They made time for you and they connected with you. Now, during this time of so much anxiety and suffering, you could take advantage of the moment and seize the opportunity and become a more empathetic leader. Reach out and check in on your customers, teammates, employees and business partners. Treat them like friends and family.
These new interactions are shaping your new small business plan. Kindness is contagious and good for business. Show genuine gratitude and interest in the concerns of others. Public display recognition and affection. Putting them first will have an mediate positive effect on your business. These small but meaningful gestures will create lasting connections of goodwill and mutual prosperity.
Take the extra time that you have during this imposed down time that we are all being forced to take and find new ways to make people happy!
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