I haven’t done this before in my weekly newsletter, but I received an interesting question and I thought it might be best to answer it for you here.
“I need to run my business during the coronavirus outbreak. But I’m struggling offering my services and seeming like I am trying to make a profit when so many people are struggling right now. I feel completely stuck and unsure of what to do. Can you help?”- Mark A.
Mark- first off, I get it. You didn’t mention what your business was, so I can’t get too specific with my answer. But the truth is, even before the coronavirus took hold of the world, many entrepreneurs and freelancers struggled to offer their services because of a fear of selling- or maybe more accurate- the fear of looking like they were being sales-ey. So if you were already feeling that way, this whole situation probably makes it more difficult for you. What this did was just expose in greater light how you already felt.
In your minds eye, you might see the news and believe that everyone is struggling and in a panic. It dominates our news, our social media and our general conversations.
Would it surprise you if I told you that there are a lot of businesses thriving right now? That might sound crazy because it might seem as thought the world is coming to an end. And yes, many businesses have been hit, and hit hard. Restaurants, live events, public speakers, photographers, event planners and others have all been greatly affected by this pandemic.
But not only are many doing well, it’s quite amazing to see the resilience in how many of the ones hit hard are bouncing back. On the Total Life Freedom Podcast this week, I am doing a full week of reinvention stories from people I know who are reinventing what they do on the fly.
Last night, for example, The Bonefish Grill created an amazing offer for carryout that we jumped on. They appeared as busy as ever, and we left a nice tip for the staff. Speakers are reinventing their offerings online. Live events have shifted virtual, and new income streams are being created.
One thing I want to point out, is that none of these companies had “a fear of selling.” Bonefish wasn’t giving their food away for free as to not appear greedy. They know that they could help a lot of people stuck inside, tired, and looking for an amazing meal. (And it was- the salmon and whipped potatoes were fantastic!) And they knew that the cost was one that so many people were excited to pay for.
Understand this- not everyone is struggling. Not just that- there are people who were ready to spend money on tons of things- travel, eating out, ballgames, activities- where they can’t spend it now. So there actually is a lot more money in some pockets than before. The question for you is- can you make your offer appealing enough and helpful enough- that your potential clients are excited to part with their cash because it helps them?
As a consumer, there are things we want and need. Services and products that I am thrilled to give up my cash for. I need that thing way more than I need the cash! Think about it- if you drove around with a truckload of toilet paper right now for sale, you would have people chasing you down the street (six feet apart from each other, of course) with wads of cash in their hand excited to give it to you.
So start thinking about what you can offer that they might need now. Meaning, for many of your customers, the world is going to look much different to them from now on. What service or offer can you add that you haven’t before? For us, we have had so many questions about the world of homeschooling. They want to learn how to do it, they would love a community of homeschoolers to connect to, and they want to learn that with us. So that is a new offer that we are rolling out soon. Two months ago, it wasn’t on our- or their- minds.
Don’t let the fear of selling stop you from providing the value that so many need. There are many things more valuable than money.
Like toilet paper, mango salsa salmon and whipped potatoes, among many others.