How To Build A Resilient Business

How To Build A Resilient Business

Make Immediate Changes To Your Business To Stay In Business.

 

The world is under some intense pressure to conform right now.

This had me worried about my network of friends and collegues and how they were coping with the worldwide problem right now. So I asked in one of my groups how people were pivoting and gave an example of what I had done in my agency to adapt.

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Have you done anything different in your business thanks to the virus just to keep afloat?
I’ll share some of the planning and changes I’ve made that hasn’t resulted in being in damage control. I believe cash is the biggest positive to have in a crisis. A big focus was cutting wasted spend.
Week 1 – reduced and negotiated all software expenses, insurance and anything that was on the expenses list. Got this list as lean as possible
In the war room identified stages of escalation. Lose 10% revenue what do we do. Lose 20% revenue now what and do on.
Forecasted how much $ we needed to get through 3 months and then 6 months.
No clients paused or cancelled
8 new clients 2 upsells
Week 2 – cut all R&D projects. Identified team members who were low impact vs the expense to the business ( harsh but necessary), lower impact tasks pushed back so higher impact tasks can be delivered this gives value to clients in coming weeks.
Identified client issues, concerns and formed plans. Created company internal comms plan, created external comms plan.
Moved entire team to work from home.
A handful of pauses and 1 cancellation
5 new clients and approx 4 upsells
Week 3 – last week this was tough week.
Let go of 4 staff. 1 was performance problems 3 were to protect the business cash flow.
Parted ways with remote team HR company.
It’s still busy and lots of meetings and pitches taking place.
Another handful of pause requests and 4 cancellations.
2 new clients 4 upsells
this week – who knows I’ve heard the domestic boarders will shut on Tuesday meaning shit will hit the fan.
Still clients saying business as usual and a jewellery actually 2 of my jeweller clients have increased spend and added extra services so bizarre.
New prospect meetings this week approx 6
Upsells it’s not even Monday yet
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This is a pretty unique situation we are all in and the key is innovation and being the marketing leader your clients need you to be right now.
If you are a business make some pivots into new territory try new things and adapt as best you can.
Stay positive this is not the end of the world. There are some tactics that you can use to stay ahead.

 

Source: Instagram @emily_rhoads

Some businesses are getting CRUSHED right now and some are growing 🌱

I’ve been thinking constantly about what differentiates failing vs thriving businesses during this health crisis. What type of business can make it through this situation and what businesses are going to fail because the governing bodies have imposed very strict rules. By the time I publish this a lot of countries should be in various stages of lockdown. 

These lockdowns are going to cripple economies. I agree to a small degree with Donald Trumps view of keeping the economy open, but the risk of death is just to great a downside. He is right that the impact of this on the economy will go on for years but that does not mean we should ignore human life just to keep the economy open for business.

My mind also went into overdrive with possible opportunities to pivot into. I honestly lost a lot of sleep thuinking about this and how I could help not just my own businesses but clients, friends and family.

 

One of my goto tactics is SEO. There is such a huge advantage you can have by knowing how to drive free traffic. I can still see a large volume of search trends with commercial intent and this is the plus side wth people stuch at home.

There has been some cancellation requests and pause requests. But speaking with them as business owner to business owner and going through what offensive and defensive strategies have they put in place it became really clear that they didnt have a plan. The bulk of the requests were from scared business owners who acted on what they read in the news. 

My affilaite sites are going ok im down 40% and have 60% operating as normal or slightly up on previous months. My training consulting and digital info businesses are going good a slight spike in interest and signups so Im happy to see that part of the business staying stable.

People have been asking about new courses and where they can learn specific skills and thats been great Ive been able to direct people to my network for some specific trainings. When there is not much else on and people are stuck at home learning new skills is a big plus for everyone.

So, from a Client SEO standpoint, I would be looking at focusing my sales on businesses that are not hurt or not hurt as much by this situation. This shift is one way you can stay in business.

If we narrow our search down to home services, then we want to look at services that are not option/urgent/emergency…

My roof was about to collapse last week the nails of the timber beans were coming through my ceiling. I called the local roofing company that built my house and they came out ASAP because they didnt have much work going. 

They came over and in 48 hours I had a safe to live in house and my roof was supported and ready for me to come back to live in my home. This also generated work for a painter as the roofer guys made a mess of the celing.

People will still have emergency work that needs doing, there are more people at home and more chance that something breaks and they need ASAP! emergency assistance.

These local service type businesses may be quiet but the customer service they can deliver now is there chance to build a stable book of loyal customers because they can act faster and do a better job. They wont have to shuffle appointment times, or use junior tradies to do the work or rush off to the next job. If you get what Im saying.

That said, there are plenty of business that are aggressively hiring right now! I let go of some very talented employees and was able to move them into new employment from people in my network. 

I want to highlight that I was taking action on this the moment I heard rumours around lockdowns, travel bans and the words epidemic. Those actions mean problems for businesses. You may read above my week by week action plan and think I was a bit quick to let people go. My businesses move very fast and in a situation like this I want to be ahead of the curve and proactive. Letting go of employees hurts but when teh smoke clears those people except the one with performance issues will be contacted to rejoin the company.

This right now is the perfect time for your employees to be upskilling themselves. I know that when the smoke clears there will be some extraordinary talent available for hire meaning that the skill and talent of your team can be uplifted by some smart talent hiring with the people who will be on the market for employment.

 

LEARN: Here is a quick course I created on how to make money online with different pathways depending on your interests and skillset.

You just need to buy more time to hold out until there is a cure and the lockdowns pass.

What Changes Can You Make In Your Business Right Now?

 

1 Finances

Have a real look at what can be cancelled, reduced and negotiated down in price. Your expenses should be as lean as possible. If you don’t really need it to do business cut it right now.

These are some questions I raised with my team:

  • What can you cancel?
  • What can you defer payments on?
  • What can you negotiate down in cost?
  • What can you use as needed and not subscription?
  • What can you share costs with someone else?

 

2 Redundency

Staying on finances here look at your salaries and contractor expenses. It might be good to get your operations or managerial team together and do a head count of your team. I found this less difficult than I first thought, my leadership team and I all agreed to remove emotion fro our choices and only hard data.

How we assessed this was by asking these questions:

  • What does this person do?
  • How much impact do they have on client performance?
  • How have they performed this year?
  • How many mistakes have been reported?
  • How much are they paid?
  • Can we operate without them?

This can be confronting but when it means letting go of all of your employees or letting go of 2 or 3 of the lowest performers the choice as a business is sad 😥 but logical.

3 Leadership

Now more than ever its critical for you to be a leader if you own the business, if you are management you need to keep your cool and be someone that your team can go to for guidance.

At the end of the day you are teh future of teh business. If you can guide the company in teh right direction you will have the undying support of your team no matter what. If you are eratic and start crashing into obstacle after obstacle I urgently suggest you reach out to a business consultant and get help.

If you or your management team are flustered the team will fall apart. No doubt about it, strong leadership can get the team through anything.

 

4 Professional Consulting

This is optional but if you are not a finance whiz or HR law professional or other issues related to your business right now hire someone who is a pro at these things.

This does not mean you are a failure it just gives you support in what is a very unique time. I have finance consultants and have formed a network of agency owners where we have been sharing our plans, our losses and any wins. This has been great for my confidence and understanding of just how prepared I really am for this wave of insanity.

Protecting your business is just as important as protecting your money. If this happens again I would be getting a finance consultant in earlier to help me be even more prepared.

 

5 The Offense and Defense Strategy

This might sound like a sports strategy but it works. If you can break down your defense tactics and your offense tactic you start to have a clear plan of what to do.

There is a lot of action you can take to get your business in the best possible position it can be for the upcoming market nosedive. Ive made a lot of changes to allow my agency and other businesses to function throughout the next 12 months without having to worry too much about cashflow.

 Offensive Strategy

  • Get positive messaging out on your blog and in email sequences
  • Clear communication with employees
  • Help employees prepare for the worst
  • Help employees get their home finances in place.
  • Clear communication for clients
  • Clear communication to contractors and partners
  • Be smart about where your Ad spend is going (CPC is lower now)
  • Partner up with other businesses, share costs
  • Give something of value away for free
  • Use or start using affiliates to help you sell more
  • Offer coupons, gift cards anything buy now or payment instalment.

Defensive Strategy

  • Get cash in the accounts
  • Cut the expenses
  • Reduce Ad spend
  • Negotiate payment terms with vendors
  • Freeze hiring, bonuses, raises
  • Review employees for keep, go on leave, let go
  • Pause all contractors who are non essential
  • Employees work from home (during the virus containment period).
  • Review all marketing campaigns so your messaging is not offensive or in poor taste

These 5 strategies can help change your business for teh long term. If we recover from this corona virus and in 5 months we get hit with a new strain of virus at the very least you will be in much better position.

The biggest problem businesses face that I can see if the uncertainty of when this will be over. This is influencing peoples buying behaviour, all you need to do is look at the toilet paper craze and how preppers are snatching all the poo tickets up.

 

Sidenote: I actually thought throughout this whole toilet paper buying craze that one of teh main manufacturers had done some wild viral marketing and thats how this wave of bulk buying started. I was looking for any tell tale signs that someone created the need for bulk buying toilet rolls. 

I have not found anything that can confirm this.

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