In the midst of the roller coaster, I have 3 ideas that can help you pause and reset your business this summer. Whether you are busy or quiet, these ideas will give you valuable insights and keep you growing in your future
- Are you looking for what you need to do in order to reset your business this summer?
- Uncertain about what to do in the midst of all of the things that are happening around the quarantine
- Nervous about the ability or inability for us to go back to business as normal?
Well, stay tuned to today’s episode and the transcript below.
So, let’s dive in:
Tip #1 Put a pause button on the amount of media so you can reset your business
When the pandemic first happened, I think a lot of us were glued to our televisions and glued to our social media channels. And then when you think about all of the different waves that we’ve been riding in these past weeks; conversations around Black Lives Matter, issues about the number of people that are getting sick with COVID-19. It’s really hard to put a pause and reset your business if you are focused on what’s happening within the media or what you might be seeing on social media.
I’m not saying to ignore what’s going on, but set a time limit daily for the amount of time that you are going to consume social media and watching the news. And here’s why; it is really easy to take in a lot of ideas and a lot of people’s feelings, thoughts, and emotions. And yes, some of it may be critical. But as an entrepreneur – your mind, and your ability to think is one of the most powerful assets you have in your business. It is not going to show up on a balance sheet and yet, it is one of the most powerful things you have.
If you’re not paying attention to what you’re putting in your mind, and you’re not carefully curating what you are listening, reading and seeing, it’s going to be hard (to shift) when you need to make changes.
I challenge you to find a couple of newsletters that you like, find a couple of social media influencers or channels that you pay attention to, and then put a time limit on it.
For example, one of my congresspeople here in New York has an amazing newsletter with highlights about the virus. She shares about her local area within New York City and statewide. When I read her newsletter over the 600 others that are produced, know exactly what’s happening in terms of what I need to know about schools, stores, etc.
So, find one or two credible sources and then don’t pay attention to the rest.
And that leads to point number two. Point number two is where you start rolling up your sleeves and paying attention. So, I know for some of you as business owners, right now, you may be dealing with a very scary scenario because you cannot go back to doing business as you did before. You need to reset.
Or you might be inundated. You are getting hit with so many requests to provide support and to help. People are paying you and you can’t keep up. It’s hard on either end of the spectrum.
Tip #2 – Spend about 30 minutes listening to what customers are really asking for to reset your business
You may find it easier to do it daily, or you might find it easier to do where you sit down for about an hour and pay attention. But here’s what I want you to do; find a couple of Facebook groups. And yes, I know I’m telling you to get back on social media, but there’s a reason for it right now. Find a couple of groups on Facebook that have your ideal target clients in them and look at some of the comments and the discussions that are going on. What are they asking for? Where do they keep saying that they need and that they’ll pay money for?
Another really good way of doing this is to pick up the phone, get on the computer and email all of your former clients and ask them how they are. Do a touch base.
- How are things going?
- How are things happening for you?
- What do you need?
- How can I provide a service?’
Pay attention when you see a couple of themes show up repeatedly. I did this recently with a coaching client. She reached out to all of her former clients and talked to them. While they didn’t hire her to deliver services at the pre-pandemic level, she found that they needed part of her original service. It wasn’t the same money she used to earn. But she was able to recover some of the cash flow.
You don’t have to come up with great ideas. You have to deliver on what people need.
But you have to really pay attention and listen carefully to what people are saying that they want. I’m going to challenge you – a lot of times, those things are not the things that you necessarily want to do. But if that’s what the people need, consider if you can deliver it. Find a way to be a resource and be of service. It could be the option to reset your business.
If nothing else, people will value that you listened to them and you were willing to be able to hear them out. Right now we could use a lot more of that in this world.
And then let me dive into the big, uncomfortable one and that’s deal with your finances.’
Tip #3 Get an honest look at your finances to reset your business
Many don’t look at their business bank accounts. You just pray that you have something in your bank account right now. And I get that. I get that way of living. But if you haven’t already, I want you to dive in and analyze your finances.
And on the last podcast episode, I dove into this topic. So, if you haven’t already listened, I encourage you to listen. But here’s the highlight that I do want to share with you that you do want to make sure you handle for this summer.
Look at what your monthly personal and business expenses and how long your cash flow will last.
Now, for those of you that know that you live on a 30-day cycle, i.e. you just have enough to keep things going for 30 days, you may be able to do this activity quickly.
I challenge you to determine what are the ways that you can find small wins to increase that cash flow or find ways to cut down on the expenses that you are having right now. This may take a little bit of work. But it’s critical to reset your business.
If you need help, I highly recommend working with a credit coach or with a financial planner to be able to do this activity. Because sometimes you may be thinking, “well, I’ve done it as best as I possibly can. And that’s the most I know how to do,” but other experts sometimes can give you tools or give you tips that you may not see for yourself.
So, for example, if you live in the New York City area, there’s a free resource available if you contact 311 and ask to get a personal credit counselor. I can also recommend an amazing financial counselor. She’s a financial coach. Audrey Washington, who does pretty amazing work under her business, under Fiercely Financial Coaching. If you haven’t checked out her work, she has a Debt Slayer Bootcamp that’s pretty awesome.
If you’re struggling with this, don’t try to figure this out by yourself. Seriously, just invest a couple of pennies and learn how you can get that cash flow to last longer.
Option 1: Create solutions, ideas, or plans to extend that cashflow longer.
And there are three ways of thinking about it. The first way of thinking about it is the doomsday scenario.
And it’s saying “well if nothing turns out or if I’m not getting more new customers now, what do I have to do?”
Option 2: What are the services things that launch overnight?
Years ago when I needed some extra holiday spending money, I used to bake cookies and sell those things during the holiday season. Friends who didn’t have time to get a gift but wanted something personable were my target. Those moments sometimes got me through the holiday season with a little extra cash.
I encourage you to get a little scrappy, get a little creative. There’s probably something you can do pretty easily that people know about you already and would be willing and happy to be able to pay for that will help you find ways to extend that cash flow.
Option 3 Examine some of your services and ask yourself if there is a way to make it simpler.
Bridge it in a way that’s going to provide solutions for what people need right now and go after people in an aggressive way that are interested potentially in this service.
And here’s what I mean by that; A lot of people have been saying things like “Oh, nobody’s buying right now. People are not offering things.” And I beg to differ. The last time I checked Instacart and some of the delivery services, they are doing booming business. But don’t pay attention to Instacart. Pay attention to the people who are buying from those delivery services. Who are they? What do they need? What are the services your company currently offers that you could repackage in this way? And then do the heavy lifting to get out there and figure out what that looks like.
But the first thing you need to do is to work it out via your numbers.
How many of these sales would you need to have every day to make that cashflow extend a little bit longer?
Whether you do this activity by yourself or with a financial coach or look at some videos or tools online to learn how to analyze your cash flow, I want you to come up with a number that’s going to help you extend your cash flow. Whether you hit that number doesn’t matter.
But when you have the tools to understand where you need to be, that’s going to be one of the first ways that you can step back and reset and get your business in a new position by the end of this summer.
So, I hope that this podcast episode has been helpful to you.