If you’re feeling unnerved by the economic challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, this episode is for you. I share three timeless strategies for success that you can apply to your business right now to ensure you stay on track.
Podcast: Play In New Window
So I’ve waited a little longer than usual to record this episode.
Like you, life in my household has changed significantly these past few weeks. My two sons have been home from school for five weeks now, my husband is now working from home full time and we’ve all had to get used to being in each others’ space. I’ve also had my nose in my own business re-jigging a few things around.
But how are you?
I hope you’re safe and well.
I understand if your business has been rattled by the impact of coronavirus. Most businesses have.
I’ve been working with clients these past few weeks who have had hit the accelerator on pivoting all their business online. At the same time I’ve had close friends who have found themselves out of work for the first time in their lives. These are the heartbreaking stories – friends who have worked all their adult lives, say 20 years or so to build a successful business only to have their income plummet to zero overnight because their entire revenue model was based on working with clients in person.
Now since most of you listening to this podcast have been building your online business for quite some time, you already know the opportunities of operating primarily online. In fact for some of you, like me, this pandemic hasn’t changed how you work at all. But that doesn’t mean that external market factors won’t still impact your business in the coming weeks and months.
Which is why today I want to focus on three timeless strategies for business success. Focus on these and you’ll be best placed to not just survive, but thrive the stormy weather ahead.
3 Timeless Business Strategies for Success
1. Serve your current clients and customers first
It’s much more cost effective to keep your current clients and customers, than to go out searching to find new ones. This is always true. Especially in a depressed market.
During this time make an effort to look after your current clients better than usual. Have they got some new challenges that you can support them through? Is there an opportunity for you to add a premium offering where you serve a portion of your clients at a much higher level again? There’s a portion of your market who will always pay for a VIP service offering.
Don’t be swayed by the fact that it seems like everyone is launching their programs right now. My Facebook Feed is going crazy at the moment with everyone launching programs… even if they only launched their program two months ago and weren’t planning on launching now.
Save your launch for later and see how you can better serve your current clients. Of course some of your current clients will drop off as their economic situation changes, but don’t underestimate the desire for your clients who can afford your service to continue to want to support you.
Let them support you.
When my local yoga studio was made to close its doors a few weeks back I could have chosen to pause my membership and jump onto an online yoga provider who was well established in the space. However I preferred to keep my membership going and I was happy to wait for my local yoga studio to pivot online. I really wanted to support the studio through this period so they’re still in business on the other side of Covid-19. And I can’t tell you how reassuring it was, during my first online yoga class, to have the voice of my usual instructor at the same time I’d usually do a class on a Saturday afternoon, coming through my earbuds. It brought me instant calm as it was something regular and normal from my pre-corona life that was now helping me in my corona life. I would have paid triple for that price alone.
So, look after your current clients and let them continue to support you. Don’t just stop your services because you’re uncomfortable making money during this time. Show up and serve like you never have before. You may not realise just how much your clients need you right now, not just for the services you provide, but the normality and routine you provide too.
2. Focus on the ‘Thing’ That Brings in Your Results
Now I’ve always been a fan of having multiple revenue streams in my business to minimise risk. In fact, I have around ten different revenue streams in my business right now, which has given me options to work with moving forward as the market shifts.
But there’s a downside of having too many revenue streams, and that’s dividing your focus and your results.
I mentioned early on that one of the reasons I delayed recording this episode was that I had my nose in my own business re-jigging a few things around. In fact, I made the decision to kill a revenue stream so I could sharpen my focus. I killed an entire brand, my online eco store Sustainahome.
Now this revenue stream was making money, but it was taking up space and stopping me from doubling down on more secure and profitable revenue streams. To be honest, it was stopping me from working in my zone of genius as a sustainability educator and business coach for other experts and educators.
What are you working on that’s taking up space or stopping you from making your big impact?
Many years ago while working as a Business Improvement Specialist for BHP, I learned about the Pareto Principle. It’s where 20% of your efforts bring in 80% of your results. Well if you apply the principle twice this narrows down to 4% of your efforts that bring in 64% of your results.
What is your 4%?
Check your profit and loss statement and you should be able to find your 4%. It make have changed slightly with physical restrictions of doing business during the Covid-19 pandemic. Perhaps you need to pivot that thing online. But the principle is the same, double down on the 4% of your efforts that brings in 64% of your profits and get rid of the rest.
3. Price for the results you deliver
The third and final strategy I want to share with you today is related to pricing and I want to be straight up with you here.
If you are simply pivot services you delivered face to face to online delivery, charge the same. There is no need to think that because you are delivering your thing through a computer screen that it is any less valuable.
Price for the results you get for your clients. This should be the same whether you’re sitting or standing in the same room as them, than if you’re delivering online.
I’ve seen so many examples where businesses have shot themselves in the foot these past few weeks by pivoting their services online and taking an axe to their prices. And in all cases they’re still serving the same group of clients! Don’t do it. You will kill your business if you do.
While I could share many examples where businesses have reduced their prices in error, I’d prefer to share an example that demonstrates what you can do to pivot online and maintain your revenue.
The yoga studio I attend regularly simply released an online yoga timetable to all members. Rather than fronting up to the studio like we would have a month or so ago, we now just do the classes at home via a live Zoom class. I’m still paying the same as I would if I were attending the studio. But you know what? I’m actually getting more value. I’m now attending six classes on average a week, up from my 3-4 classes, and the classes are helping to reduce my stress levels at a pretty intense time. It’s a great example of a win-win and they would have been crazy if they had reduced their prices.
So before you even think about reducing your prices, have a good solid think about the results you get for your clients. If that has not changed, your prices should not change.
Times are uncertain at the moment and it’s easy to get the jitters in business, even if you’re yet to feel the impacts of the economic challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic. By focussing on your current clients and serving them better, doubling down on the 4% that gets 64% of your business results, and pricing for the results you get your clients, you’ll be well placed to weather the coronavirus storm and thrive, not just survive this period.
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