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Navigating COVID-19 as a Small Business Owner: How to Grow During a Pandemic (with Bonus PDF Guide)

Times are tough. The economy is deeply impacted on a global scale, our workforce in nearly every industry has been sent home (to be slowly returning) and the world is temporarily shut down.

So what does that mean for us? For business owners, still required to operate a small business and earn an income so we can pay our bills?

That, my friend, is up to you. It can mean something very terrible for you or it can mean something wonderful if you seize the opportunities sitting before you.

I’m here to help you get through this period of waiting. Not only get through, but grow, flourish and thrive!

Because I don’t know about you, but personally, I want to come out the other side of this thing feeling accomplished, fulfilled and prepared for the busy season that’s sure to come after all this craziness is behind us.

Are you with me? Of course you are, because I know you want those same things.

Follow along with this guide to continue building your business with confidence while you wait for the world to press “play” again.

1. Look for Small Wins

First, let’s get one thing straight. This isn’t the season to get ahead in leaps and bounds. Not at all. It’s a time for gradual growth, change and (let’s be real, anxious) navigation through the unexpected obstacles.

With no real timeline or clear path ahead, and still lots of unknowns, the best thing you can do is focus on the little victories.

The small wins that will get you one step further every time.

The daily achievements that will add up to consistent growth, which before you know it, means a real change is happening in your business. A really GOOD change. One that you can carry forward even after the scary stuff has passed.

2. Get Your Products or Services Online NOW! (Here’s how you can do it even if you think it’s impossible)

If you haven’t already, get your products or services online. Get them up on your own website, come up with a way for people to pay you and get some money rolling in.

I’m going to hit you with a hard truth. Ready for it?…

Waiting it out is a BAD idea.

None of us have any idea how much longer this is going to last, and if you continue to wait, you’ll probably be waiting for a while.

It’s time to get the needle moving again.

Don’t complicate things. If you don’t want to create an entire website and payment structure, just accept payments through PayPal, or even easier, accept e-transfers.

If you’re already selling online, that’s fantastic! Read on for other ways you can grow.

If you’re not, it’s time.

No matter what you do, I’m here to tell you that it IS possible to make money online, even if it seems impossible due to your industry.

If you sell physical products in a storefront, start taking photos of your inventory, write a short description of each one (or maybe just your popular products or bestsellers if you have too many to get up at once) and upload them to a website.

I’ve even seen many companies taking pictures of their shelves, letting customers pick what they like through social media and offering curbside pick-up (if it’s legally allowed in your area).

As for creating a website, my platform of choice is Shopify.

They are a wonderful company that allows you to build your very own website with easy-to-use tools, even if you’re not super computer-literate. Plus they have a free trial, so you don’t have to start paying right away.

If you sell services that could be altered for the online world, do it!

Make a plan of how you’re going to move forward and just get it done.

Done is where you want to be. Perfection will get you nowhere, so don’t worry about the little details right now.

Maybe you can offer your services over Skype or a Zoom call, through digital downloads or a different form of technology. Instead of meeting with clients in person, meet with them virtually. There’s always a way.

Great, great, these are all good ideas… BUT what if you offer a product or service that is not translatable to the online world?

Maybe you’re a hairdresser, or a car salesman, or work in a profession you believe is just not possible to do through the internet.

Like I said, there’s always a way, friend. You’ve just got to get creative.

Maybe it calls for a lot of creativity, but whatever you have to do to come up with a way to start selling online, keep brainstorming until a workable idea comes to you.

Here are a few that I can think of just off the top of my head:

  • Offer 1 hour coaching, one on one, just you and the client. Use Skype, FaceTime or even just a simple phone call. Teach them what you know, how to do the thing you do so well (or at least a version of it that they can practice at home). Group coaching calls could work too.
  • Create a mini-course in your area of expertise. If you’re a car salesman, record yourself talking (either on video or just your voice) about selling cars. Teach others how to keep a customer interested, how to approach people browsing in the dealership, how to close a sale, and so on. That’s just one example, but you truly can create a course on ANYTHING. Cooking, hair styling, real estate, sanitation, construction, the list goes on. You’ll be able to sell this course as many times as you want, and you never even have to personally show up if it’s pre-recorded or pre-written. That means you no longer sell your time for money. It’s a win-win you can continue to benefit from after the pandemic has passed – congratulations!
  • Write an ebook on your journey, your skills and how others can get to where you are. Motivate, teach and encourage. Then market the heck out of it! Get on social media, run ads if you have the budget, talk about it till you’re blue in the face.
  • Create PDF files, routines, schedules, templates or checklists people can purchase, immediately download and follow. Do you currently use any templates in your daily or weekly business operations? Do you follow a procedure, list, schedule or routine that helps you move the needle in your business? Start by selling the templates that you believe others could benefit from as well.

You see, there’s always a way to sell something online.

No matter who you are, you have something that other people want. Whether that’s a product, service or a teachable skill.

I don’t care who you are, you have at least one skill or talent that you can profit from, so get on it!

(If you feel you need assistance in this area, I’ll teach you how to build your very own professionally branded Shopify website. You can have it up and running in just one day AND you can get access to the entire course today for under $100 with my payment plan. If this sounds like something you’d benefit from, click here to learn more.)

The BEST thing about selling online is that it doesn’t have to stop once this is all over.

Benefits include: Reaching a much larger audience rather than just local shoppers, selling 24/7 even while you’re sleeping, not having to show up at a physical location to make sales, AND enjoying an additional revenue stream even after you go back to work.

3. Offer Free Value (Tips, Blogs, Downloadables, Free Trials, etc)

Now more than ever is a time to serve, serve, serve.

Give as much as you can to your audience, flood them with high quality tips and guides, provide as much value as you can.

This could be in the form of downloadable PDF guides, blog posts filled with useful info, free samples or trials of your products or services and so on. Remember the templates we talked about earlier? You could even offer one of those for free, or a simplified version of it.

You’ll be helping others get through a tough time, while also growing your following and email list for future selling.

4. Start or Grow Your Email List

This goes hand in hand with offering free value, since you can use freebies as a way to collect new emails.

For each freebie you offer (such as a downloadable guide or free trial), get the user to enter their email address as the very first step.

Send those emails over to your email marketing platform of choice (I recommend MailChimp or MadMimi), and your list will grow!

What do you do with that list now that you have it?

That’s a whooole other topic, but you can start by setting up a thank you email to automatically send to new subscribers.

In it, thank them for joining you, recommend a few of your blog posts, YouTube videos or other content that may interest them, and let them know where they can find you on the web.

After that, set up a schedule you can commit to (maybe once a week, bi-weekly or once a month), and send an email with updates on your business, what you’re working on next, thoughtful tips and inspiration your audience would love!

5. Create a Special Sale or Discount Code

To help shoppers afford your products or services, host a sale and mark down your prices while everyone is still adjusting.

Another way to do this is by creating a coupon code and announcing it on your social media and to your email list. For example, you could say “Use the code COVIDRELIEF at checkout to get 15% off your order!

6. to 11.

Find #’s 6 to 11 in my FREE PDF GUIDE! Just click the link below to get the full guide. (I made it a handy document you can print out and easily refer to every day! Trust me, it’s packed FULL of value at 20-pages long. You’re not going to want to miss out on this.)

👉 Yes, please! Grab my free copy of the PDF guide now 👈

12. Get Sh*t Done!

Use this time to cross tons of items off your to-do list. Get all the backed-up tasks out of the way. Update your website and social media profiles. Get. Sh*t. DONE!

If you’re like me, you have a forever-existing to-do list (or as I like to call it, an immortal to-do list). That means no matter how many things you check off, there’s always more being added.

Let’s cross everything off! Sounds crazy, right? Why not!

Pick something, get it done, then move onto the next item.

Update your business, ensure you have solid processes in place and clear your plate for the busy season ahead so you can absolutely CRUSH it.

I CHALLENGE YOU to make the next few months a LIFE CHANGING period of transformation.

In the meantime, stay safe, healthy and positive!

Sending you lots of love and good vibes,

Samantha

To read the full version of my COVID-19 Small Business Guide for even more easy strategies and tips (it’s packed FULL of value at 20-pages long, with additional #’s 6 to 11), grab your copy right now at the link below! You can’t afford to miss out on this.

👉 Yes, please! Grab my free copy of the PDF guide now 👈

“Signs of New Life” photo taken by Samantha. Nature print available here.

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For more inspiration and business tips:

Samantha Eva

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