Now that we are coming over the hump (hopefully) of our first nationwide shutdown and global pandemic, it’s time to shift from “putting out fires” mode into “opportunity” mode.
If you are an entrepreneur, you likely have a business that was created because you saw some kind of need in the marketplace that wasn’t being served to a level you felt it could be. A challenge I often see with entrepreneurs is comfortability. Once an entrepreneur turns an idea in his or her mind into reality and success is achieved, a common next step is apathy. Things are “doing just fine,” so the growth mindset and fire goes away. This doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense (as many things don’t with the psyche of humans) because that drive to make something better is often what wakes entrepreneurs up in the morning.
Well, it’s time. It’s time to look at all of the opportunities that are coming to the surface in the aftermath of this ridiculously hateful situation. I thought I’d throw out a couple of things for you to think about that could possibly bring some massive growth for your business.
PPP and EIDL Loans Provide Huge Opportunities to Invest in Growth
If you ended up getting your hands on some of that PPP or EIDL cash, it’s time to really think outside the box.
Side note: To be super clear, I am in no way offering legal or financial advice and am not a professional in either of those areas. Check with your CPA, tax planner or lawyer before you do anything crazy.
The reality is that you’ve never gotten a loan with terms as attractive as the one you just got. Heck, you don’t even have to pay back the PPP money if you spend it on the right things at the right percentages.
Try to think of this capital as a tool to build or improve something that will generate you recurring revenue. It could be a process, a tool (digital or physical), a service, inventory, etc.
Take the time to really think about this. Whiteboard for an afternoon by yourself or with some colleagues (from 6 feet apart, of course). Google companies like yours in other markets and see what they’re doing.
Remote Selling: Getting the Tech and Education Needed for Your Team
One of our internal success stories that came out of this is a client in Detroit that sells primarily to folks 55-plus. They sell in their homes. We weren’t sure how this generation was going to respond with the need to have their in-home meetings changed to “drive by” consultations, but the number of appointments actually increased by 10 percent, and their business is up.
It’s time to get your team the technology they need and the training to go with it to help them to better sell your products and services.
Again, go online and see how companies in industries similar to yours are remotely selling.
Entrepreneurial Freedom for You and Your Team Using Virtual Accountability
No one likes to have you breathing over their neck or feel like they’re being micromanaged. Many of us have had to create new accountability systems using technology during this time to make sure our teams are still getting the work that needs done for our paying clients accomplished.
Consider using Google Sheets (it’s free!) or other online sources to create spreadsheets or forms that people have to fill out every day to keep them accountable. Aaron Young introduced me to the idea of MIO (Massively Important Outcomes) sheets. If you have your people set MIO goals and then report their accomplishments on them, you can check in virtually.
This gives you freedom from feeling as if things may not get done and them from feeling as if you’re contacting them 16 times a day for follow-up on their to-dos.
Virtual Tours Can Create Sales Reps on Automation
Virtual tours aren’t just for selling houses. We have many clients who are using video now to do the tours of their operations that they previously did in person. By recording these tours, you can scale your team in an unbelievably effective way. Then, when you do meet that person or speak with them by phone, he or she already has an understanding of your business and is closer to a sale.
I can think of dozens of business types that could use this: car dealerships, country clubs, horse boarding facilities and so many more.
Video production quality isn’t nearly as important as it once was either. Just take out your iPhone (or a lower-quality device if you’re into those “other” companies that make phones) and start shooting.
Oh, make sure you retarget people with ads across social platforms and the web (Google display retargeting) so you can continue to communicate with the people who watch your new snazzy virtual video.
People Are Now More Comfortable With Computer-to-Computer Sales Than Ever
It’s nothing now to say, “Let’s meet on Zoom.”
Use it! Have your video on to make it more personal. For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, why not allow people to connect with you on Zoom and you can have team members walk them around the store and shop for them?
This could be an amazing new way to experience shopping that combines social interaction and technology with the idea of pulling things off the shelf.
Now Go Win!
Businesses that will win coming out of the COVID era are those that are thinking about ways to make the customer’s life better. Trillions of dollars have been delivered to small businesses, so the capital is there. If you use it wisely, your 2021 is going to be gangbusters.