Business Lessons I Learned From COVID
COVID is a business disruptor.
I pray that soon, the COVID-19 global pandemic, will be something most of us will forget. It’s hard to imagine it right now because most of us are sheltering or working from home and the pandemic is something we think about many times a day. We are wearing masks and gloves when we go out and we are not spending time with friends or family in the same room. But the truth is that once the restaurants, schools, malls and movie theatres are open, we will flock in droves back to our “old normal” as quickly as we can. This experience has been difficult and costly for most of us. I don’t need to remind you of that because you are in the middle of it right now. Eventually normal will come back and we will all rejoice for a while. I for one will not take visiting my friends, my hairdresser, favorite restaurant, beach or coffee shop for granted ever again. The experts are clear: the likelihood of a pandemic reoccurring is only a matter of time. Many people are jobless as a result of this pandemic. We have lost thousands of precious souls to this outbreak. We have seen our portfolios deflated, unemployment inflated, and heroes emerge. I won’t even comment on the National Debt. But humans move quickly towards the future and often do not look back to harvest the “Lessons” that COVID brought. I decided to compile my own list and I am sharing it here in the hopes that you will take a few minutes and capture your own. I pray you had some awakenings like I did. I believe that if I don’t make changes NOW, when the next disruption comes – and the experts say it’s a matter of WHEN not IF – I will, once again, be caught with my pants down. That does not feel good. I decided to control the controllable. I cannot control the economy, or unemployment or the virus. But there are things I can control. Lesson # 1 – I need to stay closer to my PAST clients. The majority of my focus (pre-COVID) was looking for “new” clients to purchase my business coaching services. Don’t get me wrong, I served my clients well and then we both moved on – mostly keeping in touch with them via a bi-monthly blog post. BAD MOVE. I should have been so close to them that when this pandemic hit, I was on the short list of people they wanted to hear from or better yet NEEDED to hear from. I should have worked harder to be TOP OF MIND to PAST CUSTOMERS.
I am considering different ways to change that.
Lesson # 2 – Narrow my market niche / ideal client to a segment that is less affected by a recession. There are certain market segments that are actually super busy right now. I have partnered with an attorney and created a side-hustle called The Profitable Lawyer where I offer what I do (business coaching) with an amazing niche (lawyers). Most of them are busy as a result of the pandemic – believe it or not. We have landed several clients during the quarantine! I am also considering other strategic alliances that could be more “recession proof”. Lesson # 3 – related to # 2 Referral Partners are going to be a bigger part of my post COVID marketing strategies. They were not a focus before. Lesson # 4 – I had not looked at my business expenses as closely as I could have. COVID encouraged me to look at EVERY SINGLE EXPENSE in both my business and personal life and eliminate the ones that were not essential. The temptation was to “keep them for when things go back to normal” but I didn’t. I ruthlessly cut and suspended. I got my business expenses to the lowest possible number I could. Truthfully? I haven’t really missed most of them. Thank you COVID. COVID was a business disruptor. No question. I am choosing to focus on the positive outcomes for my business. Ask yourself, “Is it time to disrupt my business?” COVID or not, it can be a great time to trim the fat, reposition your marketing and make different alliances. See you on the other side of this pandemic. Stay safe and (prayerfully), stay profitable.