On our last EMPOWER Tribe webinar, we discussed entrepreneurial effectiveness. Many of us are struggling to do the right thing in our business and what the “right thing” is for many of us has changed rapidly because of COVID-19.
Many people have been asking me what the best practice is for their business right now, things may be quiet but everyone wants to be ready for a positive recovery once this is all over.
None of us saw this particular pitfall about to hit our business, so there was no way we could plan for it. However, now we are in this crisis, strategic thinking is our only ally to ensure rapid recovery of business activity, income and growth.
Being able to pivot and shift in line with the market and your audience will be key for survival during the crisis and growth post-crisis. Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is the best example for this: one month ago, we were preparing the launch for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, less than two weeks later when Coronavirus meant that many of our plans for workshops and training had to be changed, we thought about our audience, their needs and challenges. We connected with them and tried to understand them as best as we can. That spawned EMPOWER Tribe which is a business training, coaching and collaboration programme specifically designed for female solopreneurs and micro-business owners. Empower Tribe is already growing, going from strength-to-strength with the support of every new member.
So here, I will share with you what we have been practising for our own business in terms of strategic planning and actions:
What are the reasons for a potential “worst-case” scenario for your business after Coronavirus?
On our first webinar, we discussed how our businesses might look when this crisis ends and discussed the potential reasons for the “worst-case” scenario (a potentially very slow and long business recovery). We found five reasons why this might happen:
- The problem you have been solving for your customers will no longer be a priority for those same people (perception)
- Your customers’ needs may have changed and you haven’t adapted (connection)
- Competitors may have done a better job than you (visibility)
- Getting back into the rhythm of entrepreneurship might be challenging (activity)
- Customers may no longer have the cash to invest in your service (question of time)
How do I protect my business and sure a rapid growth post-Coronavirus?
The first rule of strategic thinking is being able to empathise. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. You have been solving a very specific problem that they needed help with, because you saw a situation that made them unsatisfied. Your service or product was a good fit and they considered your offer as a real solution. This was before Coronavirus.
What will be their buying behaviour after the crisis? You need to understand how they will feel, what they will think and what they will do when the lockdown ends. Think of the worst-case scenario around this to be best prepared. We call this customer mindset triangle.
Join our Empower Tribe Programme for FREE to get access to our training videos and more information on our private Facebook page.
Driving in the Fog
I have likened doing business at this time as like driving in the fog. We can’t see the road, or even know how long it is, but we will get there eventually.
When driving in the fog there are three main rules: 1 – Do not stop, slow down and keep driving. 2 – Increase your attention to see what’s happening around you 3 – Turn your fog lights on to become visible to others.
Right now, I see three main priorities for the female founders I’ve been speaking with:
- Do not stop, keep your operations active, shift, pivot and find ways to offer services.
- Connect with your customers and prospects to understand their mindset now and potential mindset post-crisis.
- Increase your visibility
When you join EMPOWER Tribe, I can give you solid tools on how to do these things, we all have homework to do for our business.
Normally your plans for your business would be for three, six months or even a year, but this crisis requires more immediate action. On the training video of this week, we guide you on how to think. Decide what you are going to do weekly and review it on a weekly basis too. It is a fluid situation that changes quickly, so we need to continuously check what’s happening and stay on top of that.
By staying in touch and keeping visible to your customers, you may not get any sales, but will stay at their top of minds in a positive way.
Our EMPOWER Tribe Facebook group is growing fast, and our Tribe has had dozens of new sign-ups in the past week – these are all AWEsome female solopreneurs and micro-business owners supporting each other during this crisis. Join our free Zoom Coffee and AMA session with Nick Howe, Enterprise Manager from NatWest on Wednesday 15 April 2020 at 1pm.
Looking forward to seeing more of you on our free EMPOWER Tribe programme.
Until then, as usual, stay safe and take care!