You’ve kept up with the news, read the stories, and followed the guidelines. Still, like the rest of us, you have no idea how long this crisis will last. You’re wondering what the long term impact will be, and when, if ever, things will get back to normal. Whatever “normal” is going to look like now.
It’s become pretty clear that if businesses is going to make it, it’s up to us. “Us” being the business owners, franchisees, sales professionals, and CEOs. It’s time to take action, get creative, and do whatever it takes to keep our businesses going and keep our communities strong.
Let’s Turn UnCertainty into Opportunities
The best person to position your business for success is you. Now it is not easy – it is going to take creativity, courage, and a whole lot of resilience. But the pay-off is more than worth the investment. You will be among the few who turn this uncertainty into opportunity and emerge from this crisis successfully.
Here are four of my favorite stories to show you how. Innovative business owners have shifted their strategies to make it through this crisis. Their stories are inspiring, their ideas solid, and their message relevant.
4 Inspiring Stories That Show You The Path Forward
Find New Markets:
For many of us, not only how we do business changed, but who we did business with may need to change as well. Aman for Home is a residential cleaning service working in client’s homes. When COVID hit, the entire business model was impacted immediately. Understandably, people did not want cleaning professionals in their homes, and with budgets tightening, cleaning services were something many customers felt they could eliminate from the expense column.
Seeing the writing on the wall, Aman for Home immediately pivoted and started offering cleaning services for office buildings, public areas, and spaces that are still in use. Focusing on sterilization and disinfectant, they started differentiating themselves from the competition. While demand is not as high as the residential cleaning business, it is enough to keep the doors open, the lights on, and the team employed.
Collaborate To Expand:
Some industries have just been the unfortunate casualties of this crisis. Their livelihood depends on crowds of people gathering in one place. For them, surviving this crisis is a more significant challenge. They must not only deal with the reality of changing their business model but overcome the fear people have just thought about doing business with them.
Movie theaters across the country have been gravely impacted by this pandemic, with no end in sight. Predictions of when people will feel safe to go back into a crowded theatre go as far as mid-2021. But some innovative movie theaters have not let this deter them; they have gone old school back to the drive-in theatre. Some are teaming up with local restaurants and breweries to provide dinner, a movie, and a beer – what could be better!
This innovative industry has recognized that there is an opportunity in the fact that people are looking for entertainment and things to do in this new world of social distancing. As long as those things are safe and meet the social distancing guidelines, customers are receptive. By working together, restaurants and entertainment– two struggling industries, can reinvent the experience they provide and calm the fears of how consumers view them.
Repackage Your Product:
This is a time when our customers may still want to do business with us, but how we traditionally served them is no longer an option for now. West Orange Creamery and Soda Fountain owner, Jo Eveland, had been in business for just three years when this crisis hit. Her shop had created a loyal customer base who would come in regularly for ice cream, shakes, and sodas.
Not ready to give up when she had to close her doors, Jo immediately turned to curbside pick-up. When that worked so well, she expanded to include delivery with a purchase of $20 or more. Her loyal customers, many of whom came in monthly, are now ordering weekly, and getting their friends and neighbors to support as well.
And this innovative business owner keeps innovating. Recognizing so many people are home with their children, and looking for things to do, Jo expanded into making ice cream making kits. Selling the kits to loyal customers who want to help her keep her doors open and their kids entertained.
Communicate To Learn:
It can be challenging to know which direction to take. As a leader, determining what the best strategies are to keep your business open and running is stressful. The best place to start is by listening to your customers. They have the answers. Reach out, start a conversation with them, and listen to learn. Your customers will guide you as to not only what they want to buy, but how they want to buy it. They will show you the path forward.
A small toy store located in the Southeast relied one hundred percent on foot traffic for their sales. Their niche was inviting children into their store and letting them play with lots of toys before they chose the perfect one. Children loved it!
When the crisis hit, their business strategy went down with it. The business owner, Tom Shevda, quickly started contacting customers just to check-in, see how they were doing, and let them know he was still in business. These conversations turned out to be invaluable, as customer’s shared their challenges with finding Easter Baskets, new games for Family Nights, and the upcoming virtual birthday parties they were planning.
Tom had no idea there was so much opportunity. He quickly shifted his business model, and now not only finds the perfect gift he and his team safely deliver it to your home.
Share your story and ideas
This crisis has undoubtedly changed how we do business, and surviving it will be a challenge for entrepreneurs and CEO’s. But what I love about people who own their businesses is how creative, innovative, and resilient they are.
I would love to include your story here, or inspiring ideas you have come across to ensure that we all emerge successful. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources for You to Emerge Successful
If you haven’t been to this page yet – Emerge Successful – may I encourage you to check it out. I have been updating it pretty often, it is full of webinars, videos, and articles. All of them with the intent to help you, the business owner and leaders to find inspiration and information to help you emerge successfully from this unusual challenging times.