Since the coronavirus outbreak, businesses all over the world are facing hard times. Due to shutdowns all over the globe, hardly any business can operate on regular levels. Many already started laying off workers. And nobody can predict how much longer this will go on.
Of course, this is all necessary. In times like this, health has a top priority. We aren’t medical doctors but we want to shine a light on the business side of the corona outbreak.
Now, if you are a business owner, you might wonder how your business can weather the storm during hard times. This is not the first crisis we see. Epidemics and recessions happened before. But for sure, this global crisis will change the way we work long term. As a business owner, you might feel responsible for your own security, your family and your employees alike. So what could you do right now, to make the situation a bit better for everyone?
In this article, certain business models are presented with some opportunities and strategies for improvement that work for almost any business type. Those are the strategies you can implement right away. News and regulation change fast right now. What works today might be less effective tomorrow. But this is a collection of tips which worked for others and which are timeless.
Hard Times Call For Hard Measures
Hard times like this mean one thing, first and foremost, – you can’t operate as you used too. Now is the time to be flexible and adapt. Now is the time to step up and act.
It might also mean that you have to step as a leader in your community. Your children, your parents, your peers – they might need to rely on you now because they are worried and anxious. Don’t let them bring you down. In hard times, it’s best to stay calm and collected.
If you keep your cool, you might be able to see the opportunity in the crisis. Depending on your business, it might be easier or harder to do so, but a cool head will prevail.
Time for crisis also calls for hard measures. You might be working day and night. You might need to cancel projects or save money elsewhere. Or you might get help from a bank. If your livelihood is at risk, now is the time to buckle up and get results. You can relax later.
Now let’s dive into some concrete strategies on how your business can weather the storm during hard times.
This is the first thing that many businesses are already doing. To prevent the virus from spreading, it’s best if as many people as possible can stay at home. That’s why many businesses – even huge corporations like Google – asked their employees to switch to home office.
If your business was based on offline tools so far, now is the time to switch. Many businesses start to work cloud-based. It allows the workers to access all they need from home.
This kind of business strategy is on the rise for some time. But now we will transition to this model even faster. More and more businesses notice how easy it is to have employees who work remotely. It actually saves time and cost.
Maybe you can’t transition your whole business online right now. It highly depends on your business model, the size of your business and many other factors. But now is the time to start. Because even when the crisis is over most businesses won’t go back to “normal”. We are convinced some forms of how we do business stay changed forever.
Sell Online Programs
The coronavirus is most dangerous for elderly people who have been sick before. It tragic, but it also means quite many healthy people are stuck at home. And those people are bored. That’s why right now, they take the time to learn something new. So if you are selling online courses or training, you might have your bills covered. You might even see an increase in sales as more people have time to sign up.
Access to knowledge is as valuable as ever and might even increase once the shutdowns are over. More and more people want to educate themselves to be prepared if anything like this was to happen again. The best online programs to sell right now? Anything that teaches people a new skill. Anything that prepares them to work remotely later.
Most schools are closed too. Businesses who sell learning software and programs for kids and teenagers also do quite well right now. We might see a lot more online learning from now on. It’s likely a system that will stay and become even stronger now.
Educate Your Audience
Useful content marketing does very well too right now. People want to keep updated on the crisis daily. If your business can provide valuable information then you build trust with your audience. Maybe this business model doesn’t generate revenue right away but you’ll profit from it in the long run.
Even if there’s no crisis, people rely on social media. More and more people check Facebook and Instagram instead of watching the news. So, you want to have useful and educational content either way. If you start with content now you can nourish your audience and pick up much faster after the crisis is over.
Be Helpful Not Salesy
Some businesses do very well in these hard times by just being helpful. They create online platforms where people can communicate. They aren’t salesy or pitchy. Instead, they just raise awareness and maybe ask for donations.
Again, this might not make you money right away, but it’s a useful thing to do and increases trust. Even after the crisis, people will remember what you did. Hard times like this allow you to show character. Show your audience what your values are by acting on them.
Let’s be frank, the events branch isn’t doing that well right now. Concert, theaters and other major events are canceled. Many businesses lose sponsors because it’s simply too risky. But giving up isn’t an option. That’s why some businesses look into virtual events.
That would allow visitors to enjoy some parts of the events and communicate with each other. It’s unlike anything we’ve known before. But this exactly demonstrates how to make an opportunity out of a crisis.
MODE Studios, for example, is working on the events branch. Many of their major events are canceled which means a huge loss in revenue. But they aren’t giving up. Instead, they’re looking for ways to have a virtual event.
If you are a coach who used to see clients in your office, you might be able to easily switch to online coachings. It’s a huge opportunity right there as many people have time and need for coaching right now. This might even work for online therapy too. Some coaches reported they got more coaching appointments in the last weeks.
Doing coachings online will actually save you and your prospects time, as nobody has to commute. Many coaches already work online exclusively. This way, you can work with clients from all over the world. That’s, of course, a much bigger audience than working locally.
If you are a personal coach or a therapist, your work is very much needed right now. People are stressed and anxious. With online coaching, they can get help without leaving their house.
Show You Care
If you are a local business and you are allowed to operate regularly, then here’s what you want to do. Keep an extra eye on hygiene and sanitize the office or workspace often. There was a local cab business in Estonia. Not many people use taxi services right now.
But the business got a great reputation because they kept gloves and other protective gear in each car. Basically, they signalized that they care about their customers. If they need a cab in the next few weeks whom will they rely on? Chances are on the business where they feel safest.
To get your business through bad times right now is the time to focus on building relationships with your audience. Some of the examples we gave above do exactly that. They focus on value, make useful content and show that they care.
In bad times, businesses who have a face do better than businesses who hide behind a logo. Show your audience who you are and what you stand for. Maybe they can’t buy from you right now but they will remember you when the crisis is over. Sometimes just being present is the best thing you can do.
There are quite many opportunities opening up in the health industry right now. More than ever, people are concerned about their immune system. And even when the virus is gone, the awareness about health will stay. If you sell health products now is the time to step up.
Alternative health options will probably be more popular. It’s definitely a long term game but it will be visible. After a global pandemic, people will likely be more conscious about their health than ever before.
While most people can’t go out and eat in restaurants right now, food delivery services thrive. Many delivery services offer a contactless delivery. Instead of handing the food to you at the doorstep, they just drop it off. This way, any contact is avoided and chances for infection are extremely low.
This also shows that the delivery services care about the wellbeing of their customers. It’s a great way of adding extra value. Customers love to feel cared for. If you own a restaurant, maybe you want to switch to a delivery service too. It could cover your bills during hard times.
In bad times it’s valuable if your business can make people smile. You are selling a piece of certainty in an uncertain world. Lots of people tend to do some therapy shopping during hard times. So maybe you saw some increase in sales in the first few weeks. It might now be like that during the whole crisis, but if you are lighthearted you have an edge. When everything seems stressful people need entertainment and relief.
A business called PopColors, for example, is selling novelty pens. The pens have puns on them. Within a few days, their sales increased by 40%. It also helps that you can order the pens online. While physical shops have to close, online shopping thrives.
Use Your Personal Brand As Your Business
One of the best business models you can have during good or bad times is your personal brand. Personal brand means that you, as the CEO or business owner, represent your whole business. Just like here on Team Dan Lok – Dan is known in public as a mentor.
He is giving advice on youtube and his other social media channels. That’s a competitive advantage. Why? Because even if he chose to try a new business venture he still has his personal brand. He isn’t a copywriter or a closer or a consultant. He is Dan Lok and can do anything Dan Lok wants to do.
Your personal brand is your reputation. It allows you to connect with your audience on a human level. People don’t buy products, they buy people. Maybe you remember a time where you bought something, just because the salesperson was nice? That’s a perfect example of a personal brand. You simply wanted to feel connected with another human being.
When you have a personal brand, you stand for something. People who have similar values feel connected to you.
In Hard Times – Stay Strong And Act Fast
In hard times people need responsible leaders. This is as true for your audience as for your employees. So if you have that personal brand and stand for something, people will naturally draw towards you.
You also want to stay flexible and make decisions fast in times like this. There are new changes almost daily now and you need to adjust quickly. You probably also need to work harder than ever before. Now’s not the time to rest.
When it comes to your team – but also to your audience – communication is key. Tell them about your next steps. Communicate how you want to move forward. Clear communication gives people clarity. And clarity is what we all need in hard times. Basically, you’re not only a business owner. You step up as a leader.
Focus On The Long Term Game
Most businesses are suffering right now. Still, as a business owner or freelancer, you are probably better off than as an employee. As a business owner, you are in control of your income. Employees, on the other hand, can get laid off easily.
What you have to understand is this. The actions you take right now have to be beneficial for your business in the long run. So maybe you have to cancel an event or don’t buy new stock for a certain product.
But instead, you use the remaining money to invest in yourself. Preferably in your personal brand. Start building your strategy now so you are ready as soon as the worst of the crisis is over. Right now you take a step back so you can make a big leap later.
Focusing on the long term game also means to consider how things will be once the crisis is over. If you lay off all your employees right now, how will you go on later? If you add extreme pressure to them now, how will they be able to trust you later? In hard times it’s easy to lose your temper and to unload the stress onto others. But it’s not clever for your business long term.
How To Build Your Personal Brand?
Maybe you didn’t have a personal brand yet? Maybe you were working behind your company logo? Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah – they all have a strong personal brand. When somebody says “Tesla” chances are you immediately think about Elon Musk. When somebody talks about “VW” all you can think of is a company logo. Check out what they do and do it too.
Having that personal connection with your audience will help you weather the storm in hard times in the long run. So maybe you want to start building your personal brand now.
Dan Lok is teaching people all over the world to do exactly that – with his High-Ticket Influencer Program. It’s perfect if you want to use your personal brand as your business. Dan scaled his business from 0 to 1 Million Dollars in 8 months using exactly the techniques you’ll learn.
If you’re serious about building your personal brand and scaling your business – even during and after hard times – then follow this link.