We’ve all heard about flattening the curve, the recent objective with the COVID-19 health crisis. But when it comes to staying in business now’s the time to be thinking about how to get out ahead of the curve, because if you think you’re going to offer the same programs and services in the same way, that ship has sailed.
If you own a small business or work as a coach or consultant, it’s time to pause and reflect on what can you do differently post-pandemic. Hopefully, if you’ve experienced a bit of a slow down during this time of pause, you’ve had some time to consider how you could shift your services.
I know one thing, it’s the business owners who reinvent and innovate who will not only ensure their business survives the pandemic but will thrive into a sustainable future. Simon Sinek sums up what business owners will need to do in the new world, whatever that looks like. He says, “It’s not about how we do what we are doing but rather how will we do what we are doing in this new and different world.” I believe that 40% of how companies do business will change after the economy remerges. Don’t get left behind!
I want to share my advice for reinventing your business for the future. Here are the strategies that have helped me sustain a business through multiple economic downturns over the years.
1) Rethink Your Signature Programs
Your service programs will most likely need to change and be tailored to what people need in the future, not yesterday. If you have signature programs, you may now need to revise both your methodology and your modality.
In terms of your methodology, you may need to change the titles of your programs and re-tool the content around how you help clients because your clients’ needs have changed. How have your clients’ goals shifted? Then decide whether you need to simply update the existing content of what you are teaching your clients or expand into brand new areas where they need help. You should also give thought to how you move clients through your programs. Is it best to move people step-by step-through a standardized expert process or system to achieve results? Or do you need to create more of a customized program that can be adjusted based on the needs of the individual client?
In terms of modality, most likely your program delivery will include using some kind of virtual platform. Prior to the pandemic, if you did 100% of your services in person, can you now do 60% in-person and 40% virtually? Those professionals who only can deliver live services have had a terrible reawakening. Fortunately, long ago I moved about 75% of my business to work remotely so I’ve had less business loss than most people. Be creative and come up with new innovative ways to offer services to your clients.
2) Update Your Speaking Strategy
Now is an excellent time to revise your one-page speaker sheet or corporate brochure and update it with new more relevant speaking titles or speaking takeaways your audience will learn. If you have the capability, like I do, to have 500 people on a webinar, make sure to update your corporate brochure to mention that you offer professional development on virtual stages. If it just lists the older model of live and in-person events, you may get passed over for another speaker.
Speaking virtually may require some practice on your part, especially if you are charging high fees speaking for large organizations. Make sure you are comfortable with the various webinar platforms and the techniques needed for engaging an audience when speaking virtually, as it is much different than speaking live.
3) Choose Your Long-term Online Strategy
Everyone is following the herd to jump on the bandwagon of creating new online programs and products. It’s the thing since most of us have been held in prison in our homes during social distancing mandates around the world. Moving forward, please do realize that the competition is going to be extremely high when you launch your program. The people who do really well at online programs are the people who have a very strong brand and a huge marketing list.
I do believe business owners and consultants need to engage in this new online marketplace, but unfortunately, most will enter it blindly versus being strategic. I want my clients to be strategic. To do so, you need to consider in the long run, do you want to be known as the online expert or the highly-paid consultant or coach? Think through what’s the end result you want from your online programs? At some point, you will need to pick a lane.
Online experts are leveraging their online group programs with a great deal of time, money, and marketing looking for an ideal audience that wants to learn or interact through an online model. On the other hand, the highly-paid consultants will spend a great deal of time, money and marketing looking for people who want to interact with them more regularly, both online and offline. Therefore, your marketing efforts will be very different depending on which of these paths you choose. The former group will run the majority of their programs through an online portal and will scale their business funnel by offering low, medium and high-end online programs. The second group will have some online products, but they will be only used to drive people to the bottom of their funnel which will be designed to move clients forward to their very-high end unique service offerings.
I’ve studied both models for years from different experts and they both work, it just truly depends on what you want to be known for. Today, I have clients doing both models and support all of them. Either model you choose, the key is getting into the game at some point. Remember, always work at building a stronger brand and growing your email marketing list. Those two things are the two secrets ingredients in the online recipe.
There is no greater time than right now to think about changing your business models. I’m changing many ways around how I work with my clients and what I’m offering going forward. I see opportunity in this new time and I’m not worried whether I’ll survive because we should all be reinventing our businesses every few years anyway. This year we were just forced into it a little sooner. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, what extraordinary ideas do you have to accelerate your business?
Sarah’s Predictable Results Insights
- Do your programs need to be freshened up or totally revamped?
- How can you update your strategy for more virtual speaking opportunities?
- Which of the two online business models are you going to focus on to build your business?
If you need support, don’t want until it’s too late, when implementing the right strategy now could save your business. Reach out to me at 1-800-267-3245 for a complimentary strategy session. No pressure tactics, together we’ll brainstorm the next steps you should take for predictable results.