Since this is on everyone’s mind, I wanted to discuss the potential consequences of COVID-19 on our businesses.
Long story short: no-one really knows what the long-term consequences will be, but there are things we can do to better ride out this period of uncertainty.
I also want to talk about ways that we are, in fact, in a great position to deal with this pandemic compared to a lot of people with casual work, gig work, contract work, or those working for companies that might have to shut down.
I do understand that you might be in both of these camps – and if so, there’s never been a better time to devote your time and energy to growing your own product-based online business.
We’ve been sharing our stories in my membership community, the Thriver Circle, and many of the points I’m raising in this video/podcast have come up there.
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Highlights from this episode:
Let’s start with some of the CHALLENGES:
- The potential for job loss and the economic downturn meaning people might be tightening their belts.
- I have experience with this – I started Epheriell in 2008, in the midst of the GFC.
- Think slow and steady.
- Reduce costs where possible and necessary.
- You might be quarantined – do you have everything you need to keep working?
- Are you set up to take a break from your business should you get sick, or have to care for a family member?
- Shipping may be interrupted. Just keep lines of communication open with your customers, and pre-empt any issues by mentioning possible delays in your thank-you message. Keep an eye on your local postal service website, and those of the countries you most often ship to.
OPPORTUNITIES: Some of the ways we are already ahead of the curve
- If you have an online business already, you are in a great position to keep business running – established, you have low overheads, and a lot of people will be stuck at home and have to shop online.
- If you have been procrastinating on setting up online, NOW is the time to get it done!
- If you’ve been relying on markets and shops, you have 2 options. Wait until things get better, and take the hit, OR work out how you can add a robust online arm of your business.
- Experiment! Try a live FB launch party – gather people around with a glass of wine/beverage of choice and run a sale or launch. Think about how you can foster community/connection more strongly between you and your customers AND between them.
- If you are self-employed, you’re already used to being self-motivated, working from home, negotiating work time and family time.
- You already have (hopefully) strong online supportive communities of colleagues (like the Thriver Circle).
- As an entrepreneur, you’re already a bit more comfortable with risk and uncertainty – you’re in a better mental position than those who are reliant 100% on traditional work.
- You are already savvy with online marketing and social media use to connect with your customers.
Think long-term. This won’t last forever.
If you see a downturn in sales, use that time to do deep work on your business. Use it to revamp your website. Use it to do ‘that work you always meant to get to’. Use it to learn (join the Thriver Circle if you want content and community).
Most of all – take care of your mental and physical health. Take care of your family. And take care of each other – we’re all in this together. Everyone is facing challenges.
Do your best with what you have to keep supporting the economy – especially small independent businesses. We need all the support we can get.
The old war slogan is apt right now – ‘keep calm and carry on’ – it’s all you can really do.
Prepare, don’t panic. This too shall pass.
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