It’s a scary time right now for small business owners – to say the least.
Downtime, closures, quarantines... businesses are already closing as we react to the Coronavirus pandemic. A recession is on the horizon.
That’s nothing we don’t already know.
Here’s what I also know: We’re going to get through this. Things will return to normal. Heck, we may even learn a few things and improve on this big American experiment.
In the meantime, let’s do a couple of things together.
Focus On What We Can Control
First, let’s focus on what we can control and how we can adjust, be proactive and attack this thing. It's easy to get caught up in the doom-and-gloom being portrayed in the media. Be informed, sure, but know those negatives don't define you.
Don’t quit; rather, be the problem solvers.
Second, respect this virus, do what the health officials are telling us so we put it in our rearview as quickly as possible.
Most of all, I’m not stopping, and I hope you and your businesses don’t plan to, either. I won’t be binge watching Netflix or going on a video game marathon... at least not too much.
So, let me condense it down from how I see things from my lens as a marketer for local businesses.
Some people will run for the hills
Not everyone will implement this mindset. There will be people running for the hills, and that’s fine. Let them.
What I saw in the last big economic downturn is the people and businesses who thought long-term, made adjustments and prepared to hit the ground running when things turned around are the ones who made generational growth since then.
Should you be advertising right now?
Well, it depends. Obviously, if you’re shut down, the answer is probably no. But if your business has been forced to make changes; if you’re a winery that isn’t doing tastings but can ship or offer discounts for people who want to stock up; if you’re a restaurant that is closed but still doing takeout or delivery; if you’re a cleaning service who can sanitize people’s homes; well, you need to let your customers and potential new customers know.
If your business is taking a pause right now. Think about adjustments, doing new things, innovating. Think about what you can do once this ends to make sure your customers know you’re back at it and how to pick up new clients to make up for the losses.
Some losses present opportunity
Because those businesses that ran for the hills and decided this is the end, that’s market share ripe for the picking. It may sound insensitive, but we’re business owners, and we have to think about what’s best for us and our families right now.
Also, all you have to do is follow the news to know that the government is about to inject a whole lot of cash into the system right now, billions of dollars, for small businesses to grab. Now is the time to take advantage of it.
So, the way I see it is, you can take this time to panic and feel woe. Or you can focus on solutions, focus on history, focus on what you can control. And, most of all, focus on coming out of this better than ever.
That choice takes bravery. That’s what we’re going to do, and we’re here to help you do the same.