small business and Social Distancing
We have seen plenty of local examples of businesses reacting and adapting to the COVID-19 shut down. With the latest announcement from Gov. Inslee that bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. all must adapt their business to delivery or "grab and go" or else close until the 31st (at a minimum). I think over the next few days, we'll see more and more examples of how resilient and creative business owners are, but if you're needing a bit of inspiration, here is a list that our partners at Thrive put together.
The Easy Business Modifications You Can Make Today to Continue Working (and Getting Paid)
Paid Advertising Consultant
Most types of coaching
Most types of consulting
Most types of therapy
Bookkeeping & Accountancy services
Math or Language Tutor
Virtual 1-on-1 Client Meetings
Virtual Group Client Meetings
This way you can simply invite all the clients through a Zoom link and do a voice only or a video call.
Skype also has a meeting feature that allows to invite people through a Skype link, unfortunately it was unclear how many people you could actually have on the call.
By now you might be thinking, that’s all good and well for those people who can work remotely but I’m a [insert your profession here], I can’t do that…
Well, it might take some creative thinking, but let’s give it a shot shall we?
Let’s Get Creative: Online Solutions for Offline Businesses
To find a way to add an online component to a traditionally offline business, we’ll explore the following questions:
- What part of your services could you offer online?
- What are the related skills you could use to create an online offer?
- What existing assets can you turn into an online offer?
- Would your audience be interested in learning from you?
What part of your service could you offer online?
Example 1: A Veterinarian (or a Dentist)
When you think of a veterinarian, I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is NOT an online offer. You think about your sick dog that needs help and needs to be examined. While that is true in most cases, there is also an opportunity to offer an online veterinarian service.
Example 2: A Fitness Coach
An offline offer for a fitness coach requires them to meet up with their clients in the local gym. But I’m sure their clients will want to keep working out even from home.
The Fitness coach can send them an adapted “workout from home” program to make sure they stay in shape and offer video coaching (live or through recorded videos) to follow-up with their clients.
Example 3: A Dance Teacher
When we think about dance classes, we think about going to the studio every Tuesday and Thursday evening… Why not switch those in person classes to online classes? You could use a streaming service such as Zoom that allows for up to 100 people to connect to the “studio” and continue offering the usual classes. Take a look at what Neou is doing with their live stream and on-demand classes.
What are related skills you could use to create an online offer?
For this, think about everything you do in order to deliver your service to your customer today. Is there anything in the process you could offer as a stand-alone service?
Example 1: A Wedding Photographer
Now, times are grim for any group activity and unfortunately that includes celebrations such as weddings.
And let’s be honest, there is no real online alternative for wedding photos…
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use part of your skills to create an online offer. Think about photo editing, creating and selling Photoshop actions, …
Example 2: The Wine Shop Owner
With people not coming out of their houses to hang out in a wine cellar and buy bottles, the wine shop owner needs a different way to earn money.
He could create a “Home Wine Tasting” offer, email his best clients and offer to send them 6 bottles of wine. Then he can do a live stream tasting of the different bottles as he would do when people come to his shop. This is exactly what the Douro Boys are already putting in place.
What existing assets can you turn into an online offer?
Example 1: The Child Care Worker
Child care workers are used to occupying kids all day every day. This means they probably have a ton of games and activities stored in their head or in some kind of “internal” handbook.
Would you think this information is helpful for all the mums who now have to take care of their kids who can’t go to school? Of course it is! They could package this up as a daily email, an ebook or even a consulting call with the mums.
Example 2: The Travel Photographer
While they can’t travel for the time being, it’s time to have a look at all those pictures they took that weren’t selected and ended up collecting virtual dust on the hard drive.
They can use these “old” photos to create collections and offer stock photo bundles.
Example 3: The Yoga Teacher
Does the teacher start and or end the classes with a meditation exercise? They could record it as an audio file and offer it to their clients!
Would your audience be interested in learning from you?
If you can teach others something that’s valuable, today might be the day to do so.
Example 1: The Leadership Coach
Have they helped leaders manage a crisis? Now is the time to package that knowledge in an online course and help many more business owners!
Example 2: The Martial Arts Studio Owner
Your clients know and trust their teacher and they want to keep advancing in their practice. Now that the studio is empty, it’s the perfect time to record that online course!
Is it Time to Learn a New Skill?
The truth is that it will be a hard time for many people and adaptation is the best way to navigate these uncertain times.
This might mean learning a completely new skill that fits the new economy.
Luckily the internet is without a doubt the best place to learn just about anything and a simple Google search will guide you in the right direction.
How Will You Adapt?
The wine shop owner can continue with his home wine tasting webinars, the yoga teacher could decide to have some classes as streaming for people who live far away from the studio, the photographer could continue selling stock photo bundles, etc.
And that’s why I believe adapting is the right answer rather than simply reacting to the crisis.
This article was sourced from our partners at Thrive.