Private businesses owners are telling me they feel a mix of determination and regrets. They’re determined to see their companies through the coronavirus storm, and they regret what they didn’t do when they were too busy (was that just a month ago?).
No Time for Regrets
The first rule is “what’s past is past.” You can’t reverse or remove what you did before. Regret consumes energy and reduces focus on today and tomorrow.
Rule number two is “there will be a tomorrow” even if it’s not 24 or 48 hours from now. Optimism releases your creativity and energizes you, and attracts customers and clients, employees, vendors and the other people your business depends on.
Short Term Wins
You should have one single goal now: short term wins.
During the past 20 years, as we’ve helped more than 500 companies generate $2 billion in revenue, the practice of investing heavily in current buyers was most often the difference between a win and a loss. The current situation demands even more of this.
People will respond to people they know, like and trust.
Look carefully at who is buying your current products and services. Which of these meet relevant wants and needs? List your top 5, in terms of number of buyers, revenue generated and relevance.
These options will give you short term wins. What’s a win? Revenue, for sure, as well as strengthening the relationships with these buyers.
Three Month Plan
Don’t come across as a thoughtless opportunist. One-time “house on fire” emails will not give you short term wins. Recipients hit delete as quickly as possible and feel nothing but contempt for the sender.
Do write a three-month plan that offers solutions to the current situation. Every message, in every format, should give lots of value immediately. Make an offer and assure the reader that you are open for business and ready to serve them.
Communicate, communicate, communicate!
What Should You Offer?
Intellectual capital-based services should capitalize on today’s opportunities. Lawyers are writing contracts, settling disputes, and helping owners plan for the future. CPAs and fractional CFOs are offering customized solutions to specific client needs. Designers can use video to conduct an ‘on-site’ visit, and then continue their design work. Consulting of all kinds, long at the forefront of remote work, can increase their range. Be creative or innovative! Your firm can increase the value you deliver to your clients.
Examples: A CPA is doing deep-dive cash flow analyses for his clients. An M&A expert is doing company valuations and projections for 1 and 2 years. Several specialists we work with are offering virtual training for the first time.
Where services are typically performed in conjunction with a product, focus now on the services part. How can you offer tips and techniques via video? What online classes or training can you create? Can you offer one-on-one tele-training or advising? People are expecting everyone to use technology, so make it work for you.
Examples: A designer apparel stylist is doing closet audits by video. A landscape firm is taking photos of customer’s homes, designing a landscape plan, and emailing it to buyers for a flat fee. A hair salon is doing one-on-one video sessions on how to maintain a hair style and do color at home.
Revenue and Profit
The old calculations of revenue and profit may be called into question. People who are looking closely at their own expenditures may be looking more closely at your charges. While your fixed costs may remain, your variable costs may be less, and buyers will look for savings.
We always urge services providers to think in terms of value received by the buyer. This is more important than ever. One size does not fit all, and we are working with owners to determine how to charge to increase short terms wins. We do not advocate fire sales, but we facilitate a closer look at pricing models.
We Will Help Your Company
We’ll work with you to identify short term wins and help you get them. We offer three levels of engagement: Light Touch, Medium Touch and Deep Dive. Read the details here. Instead of trying on your own to figure out which option works for you, give us a call and we’ll work on it together. You can rest assured that we will only work with you to the extent that you value. 703-801-0345.
The time is now to get short term wins and build for the future.