A Message to Business Owners affected by COVID 19
by Owner Steph Mazanowski
“A comeback is always stronger than the setback.” -unknown
I applaud those that have chosen to keep going during this time. In fact, I can’t even tell you how many businesses that I have commented on their post, “Keep going.” (many I don’t even know). Everyone is being challenged to adapt their ways in some form or another so when I see people in motion, it’s worth an applause. It’s not easy for any of us.
I too am affected significantly by this. Photography is non-essential and my daily job as a publisher requires me to meet in-person with business owners. Thankfully, I am backed by an amazing company (Best Version Media) and have been given some tools to stay present, to keep moving, no matter what the latest news update is. Now is the time to implement adaptations as limitations continue to try to hold us back. I am utilizing a remote phone approach to still get info in front of potential clients. And trust me, many think I’m crazy right now that I’m even calling about marketing opportunities during such troubling times....more on that later.
I have been watching what other business owners are doing, and I understand that there are some who are truly crippled by this and feel like their hands are tied. Remember your resilience. I have great compassion right now for everyone going through this, and I can’t help but want to be a life line even if the only thing I can do is put these words of encouragement out there for you to read. I encourage you, If you can find a way to be in motion somehow, do it. Put your logo in front of people. Let your voice be heard, somehow, some way.
Content marketing and educating your audience is more important than ever right now. Engage with your existing clients. Tell us something we don’t know about your industry. Be the expert at what you do and give us some insight. I heard the other day that now is a great time to have your air conditioning serviced instead of waiting until it’s hot and it breaks. Who would have thought?
Now is the time to build brand awareness.
Now is the time to build momentum.
Now is the time to show stability. (even if it means fake it til ya make it)
New industry leaders emerge after a crisis based on what they choose to do DURING a crisis.
Do you hunker down and hide? Or do you implement something so far out of the box that you never thought you would offer because it just didn’t fit in your business model before, but now it might? Maybe that one thing you do now just for survival ends up being a new niche for you that sends you to a whole new level when all of this blows over.
The reality is this moment in time is not going to last forever. As soon as we can resume normal activities, people are going to be in dire need of a haircut. Will they choose your salon?
People are going to be 'itchin’ to socialize and go out with friends. Where will they go?
People are going to travel. Where will they end up? Will they use your means of transportation to get to the airport? Are you the travel agent they will hire to help with plans? Where will they eat? What activities will they do?
Women are going to need their nails done. I probably picked the worst time ever to get fake nails on a week ago. What the heck am I supposed to do with these bad boys until then? And then, will I choose your salon to get them off or redone?
My back and neck are going to be out of whack from working off my couch instead of sitting in an ergonomically correct chair for work. Which chiropractor is going to adjust me?
The kids are going to have make-up birthday parties? Will we plan them at your facility?
People who had to cancel their weddings and anniversary parties and graduations and every other gathering of more than 10 people that got squashed...will they re-book with your location? Maybe they will choose somewhere else. Which photographer, caterer, DJ, band, etc. will they choose for their event?
People are going to get back to work and back to the hustle and bustle and have no choice but to go out to eat again because they are on the fly between point A and point B. Will they come to your restaurant? Will they drop their kids at your daycare or summer program? When the kids get back into sports will they play in your league? Where will they have their team parties? Where will they train?
People’s houses are going to be messy from being “lived-in” by stir crazy kiddos. Will they hire you to come clean the carpets? Or the whole house for that matter?
And what about a plumber to take care of all the that TP that is about to go through the pipes. Will they call you?
The stock market is going to bounce back, who should I trust with my money?
There are so many more examples but my long-winded point here is: now is NOT the time to hunker down and stay quiet and wait for it to blow over. Now is the time to double down on marketing. (Yep that’s right) Sure I’m in marketing, and you may think I’m just saying that because I want you to be my client, but hear me out. Mr. Rogers says, “when things get scary, look for the helpers, there are always helpers.” I am a helper. A business helper.
I do have a solution that will help boost businesses to the other side of this madness and I’m happy to talk more about that one-on-one. But right now, my main focus is on taking my expertise in the marketing industry (just like you are the insurance, real estate, landscape, roofing, plumbing, HVAC, etc etc etc, expert) and HELPING as many of you as I can with business advice, tips, and brainstorm ideas specific to your industry to help you stay present. I am here to be a true business partner with as many business owners in this community as I can and if that means you trust me enough to place an ad with me someday well, cool!
Those who take steps NOW, those who realize this is just a small blip in a much larger big picture, those who are present in front of their clients and potential new clients showing stability during a crisis will emerge victorious. You may even shake up your industry and emerge as the new leader.
We need leaders right now. Doers. People who are bending and morphing their original plan to make something, anything...work. We as a community of business owners need to keep things in motion and we as patrons of those businesses need to keep stimulating as best we can during hard times.
This, my friends, is a very important time for business owners. I am exploding with thoughts and ideas and just needed to get all that out so I could sleep better...because I literally lose sleep thinking about how much I want to help...because that’s just who I am.
Virtual hugs and prayers to all and know I’m here on the sidelines cheering you all on! Keep going!-Steph Mazanowski