How to grow your small business from home during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic
Hi everybody Jarrod Goldsmith here and during these uncertain times I just want to say a few words about how you can continue to keep growing your small business.
Even though the pandemic is happening we’re encouraged to stay home and not associate in large groups, orattend networking events, or go to conferences or trade shows.
Here are a couple of tidbits that I put together that I hope you’ll find useful because there’s a lot of things we could do now that we could continue building the business even though it might seem like we’re not getting clients at the moment.
We are going to be talking about how to build your business during this little pandemic that we’re dealing with because businesses need to keep going it’s important to do so many of the things behind the scenes so that your businesses can continue.
There are some great organizations out there who transitioned very easily to help others achieve their success.
For instance there’s Gopher It Deliveries who if you can’t drop something off they can do it for you.
There’s Mobile Optician Services who do a great job as well of bringing items to you and they’re fully protected, they clean everything to keep your business going.
But, you can continue to develop relationships during these times.
You can still network without meeting people face to face.
I speak on a lot of other videos on my YouTube channel about the value of face to face networking.
It’s really important, but leveraging LinkedIn for instance.
If you don’t use LinkedIn so often or as much as you should, now is a great opportunity to connect with people, and reconnect with people and say once all this blows over let’s go for coffee but make sure you take note and send yourself a calendar invite or reminder in two or three weeks time to follow up with everybody.
Skype, Facebook messaging, Zoom.
All of these great programs you can continue having what appears to be face-to-face meetings but you’re just not physically there.
It’s always preferable to do it in person but these days we’re encouraged not to so these are another couple of tidbit you can work on.
It’s a perfect time to remember the 80/20 rule.
About 20% of your clients will bring you about 80% of your business.
Now we’re in an opportunity where you have perhaps a bit more time to focus on those 20%.
Treat them, follow-up with them send them a letter; an e-mail.
I hope everything will be okay with your business.
I’m just thinking of you during these difficult times.
Is there anything I can help you with it’d be my pleasure.
Also ask about their families.
A lot of the times networking is about relationship building.
When you’re at a networking event or you’re connected on social media, it’s always about the one-on-one and yes in the back ofour fedora’s we’re trying to come up with ideas and how we can grow business.
But it’s those personal touches about asking about the family oh I’m sorry to hear your trip to Punta Cana was cancelled.
Have them talk about it.
Because it shows that you care and it continues to build the relationships.
I talked earlier about working on sending letters if you know somebody who’s ill or their family is ill, send them a get well soon card.
Write an actual letter!
Remember the old postal service called Canada Post?
It’s still around and it’s such a nice feeling when you get a letter in the mail.
Even though they might not have been a client in the last six months, they’ll keep you in mind.
Something I like to do these days is working on the business planning working on your taxes.
At the end of the year where we’re talking about business development and where are we going in our New Years’ resolutions, the phone usually is not ringing as much andI would say this is a similar situation where you have some time (possibly) to start working on the business and doing the things behind the scenes that might get a little lost.
Work on your bookkeeping.
Work on your billing, your invoices, your follow-up e-mails.
You know how everybody’s e-mail inbox is over flowing so much?
Well, now’s a great time to start going through that.
If you’re not going to events or trade shows.
In theory, you have more time to do that now.
If you have staff who are still going to work, and the phone’s not ringing, what are the staff doing?
Do you have processes in place that they can continue doing things to keep the business going?
The model of every business person needs to have a process in place for their staff so that they can keep growing the business, rather than doing the actual business.
That could mean cleaning up the office, sorting the mail.
They need to have proper direction during these times and it should come down to the leadership of your business.
We can’t have any loss of productivity because it’s a killer for entrepreneurship.
Create a checklist of things that you or your staff can do when the phone is not ringing as much as it should.
This is a good lesson in the future perhaps closer to the Christmas holidays, orMarch break, or whatever the case may be.
Provincial holidays or epidemics for that matter.
A great thing to do at these times is work on your social media.
Everybody (at least in business) should have social media profile accounts, but it’s a matter of keeping them updated with current content and also engagement.
So what you have 500 friends on Facebook, or a 1000 followers on Instagram.
How often are you engaging with them.
Do you have original content to position yourself and your business as an expert, as the leader in the field.
If you do, great, why are you not promoting that now?
Share it acrossyour social media channels.
Tweak the content.
As some of you know, we have hundreds of videos on the eSAX YouTube channel.
Go check it out and subscribe.
I know you’ll be impressed! I have a Google Doc of 100’s of these videos, episodes, podcasts, blogs all on one master document.
When I share it to my LinkedIn profile, I make a note on which video was shared when.
For example, when I’m posting one to my Facebook business page.
When you’re looking at social media and you see the same post four different times across five platforms you’re probably not going to pay too much attention.
You’re going to delete it or mark it as spam.
But if you show up original content then it helps position you more as the expert, there’s no problem to start now and start developing this information.
But you need to start creating this content and letting other people know that you’re still around during these times.
You can automate lots of things.
On Facebook you could pre-post things.
There’s so many other programs.
HootSuite can help pre-program your your posts, your tweets, your Facebook links.
It’s important to keep track on where it was sent, and when.
When more people work from home, we have a greater opportunity to present your staff members, your suppliers and your stakeholders by giving them a shout out.
Tell everybody that they are doing a great job behind the scenes.
For the product or service to get where we are, these are the steps that we have to take so I want to thank the four or five businesses behind the scenes that nobody ever sees.
One of the things you could consider doing is have a sponsor Saturday, stakeholder Tuesday, testimonial Wednesday, motivational Monday.
This is another way to use some of your content across the various platforms.
But you have to be organized.
It can’t just be throwing things randomly.
You should have a plan in place.
Don’t wait to the end of December to start re-evaluating where your business is going.
Now’s a great time to plan out your goals, review your mission statement.
Does your business even HAVE a mission statement?
Look at your overall direction.
During these tough times we might have to pivot a little bit.
There’s nothing wrong with pivoting.
Small businesses do it daily.
But if you’re thinking of radically changing where your business is going, your direction, or your profile or any bigger ticket items, be aware on how they can possibly affect your overall brand.
For instance, let’s say I wake up one day and I’m tired at the hat and I’m not gonna wear it anymore.
Well, it’s a big part of what eSAX is.
I’m not going do that, but if I wake up one day and want to change my opinion, ask around.
Talk to your staff, your colleagues, your friends and brainstorm with other entrepreneurs.
It’s always a wise idea to get some other feedback from people you know, like, and trust.
Like everything in life, this pandemic is how we handle the adversity that should be viewed in a positive light.
For instance the economy is experiencing difficulties, the schools, the sports franchises, theconferences, other activities are being limited for our public safety.
But the world is going to continue.
Working on all these behind the scene items can make perfect sense for your business.
The phone’s not ringing so much, but these days, you should be working on the business rather than actually working in the business.
Catch-up on the admin work.
When all of this passes, your business will be much more positively affected going forward for growth.
So that’s a few little tricks I had and if you have any thoughts bouncing around ideas, we deal with entrepreneurs and small businesses every day.
Many of us have similar situations and issues to deal with.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks very much and stay safe everybody.