14 May What My Small Business Is Doing to Survive the Pandemic
Last week, I wrote about what small retailers can do to survive the pandemic. This week, I’m turning the focus around and sharing what my small business is doing.
I will be completely honest: When our lives screeched to a halt on March 13, I panicked. The shock of our new reality washed over me, and I was dragged through every stage of grief, multiple times. One morning I didn’t want to get out of bed.
Work got quiet for two weeks. And then … people got used to the new abnormal and new clients and projects started popping up. So, I’m doing OK, but yes, things have changed a lot.
I stopped selling, because it’s tone-deaf right now
Because I don’t sell a product or service that satisfies our most basic physiological needs – air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, reproduction – I stopped selling. Yes, I know you need to sell to earn income if you’re going to survive the pandemic, but this is not the time for a heavy-handed sales pitch.
I primarily sell by sharing my expertise. Before mid-March, I wrote about our various services at regular intervals. At the end of each blog post, I added a call-to-action urging people to contact us for help.
Since mid-March, I have written about how small businesses can adjust their business and marketing. My focus is on helping others, not pushing a product or service people might not need.
I cut expenses, and ended up boosting my income
In the past nine weeks, I have taken on nearly every new project that has come in (rather than handing it off to someone on my team). As a result, I have boosted my income considerably.
And guess what? I am so much happier. I am doing what I love – writing and editing – rather than managing projects, accounts and people. And you know what? I doubt I’ll go back.
So that’s a bright silver lining that I did not expect.
I am extra-focused on serving my current clients
My clients are the reason I am making any money right now. The same is true for you. Love on them!
I have done this by proactively reaching out with ideas. When I read something that might be useful, I pass along the tip or article. I have made introductions. I have brainstormed with them.
In fact, one introduction I made could lead to a new client (too soon to tell!), and another introduction lead to an (online) workshop (and therefore, an increase in brand awareness).
I haven’t stopped investing in marketing
I own a marketing agency, so obviously I have not stopped marketing! Therefore, I am going to turn this tip around and speak directly to you.
Sales and marketing are two different things. Like I said above, a sales pitch right now would be inappropriate (in most cases). Marketing is not, because it’s a long-term investment in your future.
As I wrote previously, be helpful. If you have always managed a remote team, share your experience and tips (I think I just found next week’s blog post topic). If a client or vendor has done something inspiring, tell their story.
It is your job to shepherd your small business through this crisis so you can survive the pandemic.
You got this.