It wasn’t that long ago when we were marveling at a robust economy, working in our business to stay current, and making robust plans for the future. Business was good and what was even better, the atmosphere had changed. Before this virus hit, many of my clients talked about hiring more staff. There was talk of expansions that would include more vehicles, more locations, adding more money into the “system,” but all that came to a grinding halt by the second week of March 2020. Something that no one could ever imagine happened and business pretty much stopped.
Survive we must! Small business relies on one-to-one, face-to-face meetings. We reach out for handshakes when we meet and again when we say goodbye. We are always there to lend a “hand.” In a time when this cannot be done, how do we get it done?
First and foremost, if your digital footprint is not the size and shape you need, this is the time to make it right. Have a professional review of your website. Too often, we rarely go there ourselves. As a plant, it’s organic, there will be things that need to change. Some things will be less relevant than when the site was built and there will be things that should be added. It may be a good time to change the entire look to reflect the evolved company you have become.
Your website and your social media platforms need to be updated with clear and concise information about you, your business, and most importantly, why you are in this business. Expressing the “why” is more important now than ever. When you define your why, your client will find you. Create some good ads about your why and tie it into something that you’re doing in the community that shows your spirit. Be the light through the darkness. There are enough negative posts these days. Be positive.
Make sure you have a good secure video conference software that will allow multiple people to join. The free ones are okay for one-to-ones, but for a good professional meeting with multiple participants, you need a subscription. Ask your friends what they use and note how each one works when you’re asked to join a meeting. Be sure to invite people with secure links and codes. Open meetings will only bring unwanted internet goofballs. Keep in mind, these are still business meetings and you should dress and act appropriately.
Look at yourself on the video to make sure the office looks good. If you can get a logo of your business behind you, even better. Some software will allow you to flip or mirror the images if the text appears in reverse. Some programs will allow you to change the background so you can have Paris behind you, for example, while others allow you to use a static picture from your drive.
This is the time to strengthen your referral partner team. We all have other business associates whose business complements ours and pass referrals all the time. Now is the time to team up! Pull your resources and promote each other. If you are in real estate, team up with mortgage writers and insurance brokers that promote the three people that can help homeowners. Auto mechanics can team up with coffee shops and pizza shops. Painting contractors should connect with carpet installers and home handymen. The lists can go on and on. If you’re having trouble finding referral partners, that’s what PhillWill is here to provide!
We will get through this and we will get through it together. This year will return to a more positive normal and it is the things we put in place now that will establish us as leaders when we can shake hands once again.