During the Covid Downtime, Work on Your Business Development
As a business owner, I’m sure you have a super long list of things you’d like to do for your business, but with running your business day-to-day, you never have time for all these things. Now that we’re being forced to work from home, take advantage of this downtime to work on those things. Here are a few ideas, if your list isn’t already too long. And remember, this situation is temporary!
Evaluate Your Services
What is selling well? What can you improve on? What do your customers usually ask for? Take the time to make sure you’re giving your customers what they want. Get rid of the things that aren’t really selling and add new things that go well with what you offer.
Create a Lead Process
If you aren’t tracking where your leads come from, you are missing a key piece of information for your business. Make sure you are asking this question for those who actually buy from you. How did they originally find you? You can still ask old clients, they may or may not remember, but you won’t know unless you ask. Our contact form and intake process ask this question. At the end of the year, I put all of our clients on a spreadsheet and look at where they came from.
|Word of Mouth||41%|
|Online (search and Yelp)||17%|
When you know where your good leads come from, you can invest more in that area rather than spending money on things that don’t produce business for you.
Work on Your Marketing
Take this time to figure out which social media channel is performing best, find out where your audience really lives. Then create several months’ worth of content, not just for today or this week, build a library you can pull from all year. We like to use Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule all of our social media content in one place.
Hone Your Networking Skills
I recently met with the CEO of Centricity, Jay, and learned about their networking program. They aim to teach you how to make the most of networking to really help other businesses look great and get you top-notch prospects, not leads, at the same time. And it’s all virtual. I highly recommend checking them out.
Hire New People
When you hire new people there is always some ramp up time, getting them on board with your processes and how you do things. With a regular busy schedule it’s hard to find the time to train someone properly. During this slow time, you’ll be able to really spend quality time together learning the ropes.
If your plan for dealing with this crisis in your business is simply to cut unnecessary expenses and hang on, you are setting yourself up for a slow-motion train wreck.
You have to both cut expenses and increase opportunities. You simply must create demand or take demand from competitors.
I have doubled our sales team size in the past 24 hours, to give you a sense for what I mean.
— Jay Baer
Find Businesses to Partner With
Almost everyone’s business has overlap with similar businesses and can find opportunities to collaborate. For example, IT companies are a great resource for Smack Happy. They are usually working on someone’s computer and that person asks if they build websites. But building websites and working on computers are two entirely different things. So we partner with IT companies and offer packages that help them look very professional. Find those companies who serve your clients as well as you do, make friends and lasting business relationships. Or find that company that your clients are always asking about, so you have a really good referral, someone you trust and can rely on, someone that will make you shine!
Read Business Books
A while ago I read this book called Profit First. It completely changed the way I do my books and how Smack Happy makes a profit, which is then shared with everyone on the team quarterly. Take the time to read books like this and complete the exercises within them. Here is a list of books that I recommend:
- Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine
- Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
- Instant Systems: Foolproof Strategies That Let Your Business Run Itself (Instant Success Series)
- The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur: The tell-it-like-it-is guide to cleaning up in business, even if you are at the end of your roll.
Selling / Making Money
- You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth
- The Magic of Thinking Big
- The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
- The Art of Closing the Sale: The Key to Making More Money Faster in the World of Professional Selling
Introspection / Growth / Productivity
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
- The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals
Marketing / Opportunity
- The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd
- Surge: Time the Marketplace, Ride the Wave of Consumer Demand, and Become Your Industry’s Big Kahuna
Managing / Team