Crisis Strategies: How Service-based Entrepreneurs Can Protect Their Small Businesses During Uncertain Times
What a week this has been. 2020 looked like a year full of promises until COVID-19 came crashing and in a matter of days, things big and small changed around us.
Being a small business during this time is not easy, and a service-based business even less so! Imagine applying social distancing precautions to businesses that are all about the human touch.
It’s gut-wrenching and as a small business ourselves, we feel your pain.
One thing that this sudden virus outbreak has taught us is that small service-based businesses, like you, need to have a crisis strategy at hand to survive in a time when things are not in your control!
This year alone the world has witnessed hurricanes, pandemics, and wildfires. When something like this hits, you’re shaken to your core.
But it’s times like these that you need to stay strong and build a strategy/plan that will help navigate life forward, without you getting overwhelmed. Eliminating risk and losses is never an option in a business, but you do have an option to minimize them!
Let’s hop on to see the best ways to deal with such a situation and build a plan B to stay afloat in the time of crisis.
Dealing with a crisis- the first steps…
A crisis often comes unannounced and that’s why it’s crucial to plan ahead. Whatever be the situation, the most important bit is to keep your clients in the loop and share important information with them as soon as you have it.
A communication breakdown will further complicate the situation for your small business. That being said, you need to be mindful of the medium you choose—after all, you want the message to reach every client, given that you may not have the bandwidth to receive calls and chat with each one of them.
Here are a few ways in which you can use digital platforms to combat communication challenges during a crisis:
- Make an announcement on social media —use social media channels like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to let your clients know the times when your business is operational and when it’s not (Share the details of the crisis if you can—it only makes you human).
You can also keep them updated about the progress through a series of posts. The idea is to keep the conversation relevant to your clients so that when the tough time is over you can pick up from wherever you left! If you’re looking for some ready to use template this crisis communication pack created by us can come in handy.
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☀️ We continue to be open for those clients who pass our COVID-19 pre-appointment screening questions ⭐️ For us at Thrive each day brings new awareness to our current situation ☀️ We are certainly on our toes to make sure we are doing our best ⭐️ Because of the contagious nature of this virus and the close physical proximity of massage we are taking extra precautions ☀️ Thank you to everyone for understanding and letting us know in advance if you decide to cancel your session ⭐️ We are waiving our last minute cancel fees ☀️ #thrivemassageannarbor #thriveannarbor #thrivemassage #feelgoodlivewellthrive #open7daysaweek #easyonlinebooking #genbook #massageannarbor #annarbormassage #annarbormassagetherapy #therapeuticmassage #therapeuticmassageannarbor #relaxationmassage #relaxationmassageannarbor #deeptissuemassage #deeptissuemassageannarbor #myofascialmassage #myofascialmassageannarbor #prenatalmassage #prenatalmassageannarbor #sportmassage #sportmassageannarbor #stretch #stretchannarbor #facilitatedstretching #tmjmassage #tmjmassageannarbor #annarbor #annarbormichigan #annarborfitness
- Share the info on your website—if your small business has a website make sure that you’re sharing this information through it. There are plenty of clients who would look at the website for accurate information.
- Use the announcement feature on your booking site— If you use an online scheduling tool like Genbook, you can use our announcement feature to relay the information both from the website and the app. There are a few more ways in which you can get your Genbook account ready for a crisis—check out the step-by-step process on our helpcentre.
- Share details via email— Sharing details via email is an easy and effective way to keep your clients updated. If you’re hit by a crisis like COVID 19 and using all the measures to maintain a hygiene space, it’s best that you let your clients know.
You can reiterate this information by using the confirmation message and attachment feature so that they have this info when in their confirmation email as well.
Building a Plan B: 5 Revenue Generating Tips in The Time of Crisis
Whether it is a pandemic, a typhoon or a wildfire—if you’re a small business with a brick and mortar set up, you’re at the greatest risk of being uprooted. Unfortunately, only 43% of small businesses plan for a crisis situation, recent studies show.
But before you let that worry you, remember it is never too late.
In fast-moving and uncertain situations, you need to think outside the box and have a plan to ensure you’re setting yourself up in the best way possible.
Essentially, your need to plan for a secondary income.
So what can be the ways in which you can do so, especially in a time like this? If you’re a service-based business hit by COVID-19 and have to adhere to isolation, we’ve shared some quick strategies to make sure that you hit the crisis more than it hits you.
Let’s look at them:
Change the medium
Your clients are used to getting consultations in-person, but what if you offered them the same services…online? In a time when people can’t step out, yet need assistance, this can be a smart move on your side!
PwCBouder, a Genbook customer, for example, successfully used this tactic to get more bookings despite the situation at hand. This small business is dedicated to the emotional wellness of women and their families and decided to offer video chat as a solution when its clients booked online.
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This is a great example of adaptability in the time of crisis.
Set up an Online Pop-up Shop
Did you know that E-commerce will make up 22% of global retail sales by 2023? Yes, the same clients who won’t blink an eye to book an appointment at your salon, spa, barbershop or wellness center, think twice before going to a mall! They rather order the product online than visit a store.
For small business entrepreneurs like you, this presents a great untapped opportunity. Yes, you have an amazing salon retail display, filled with equally amazing products, but what if you add the inventory to your online web-shop?
There are plenty of small business entrepreneurs who’re using this tactic to generate revenue and you can too! Pittsburgh Upper Cervical Chiropractic offers a dedicated ‘shop’ section to its clients on its business website.
Painted and Polished Salon, run by Jeanita Spikes offers the same to its client.
Ecommerce solutions like Shopify offer a buy button that can be easily added to your website, blog or landing pages in no time. If that seems challenging, Genbook users can also add ‘products’ under the ‘service section’ in minutes.
Offer online workshops
Online workshops are yet another opportunity that can help you make some money, and simultaneously help your client learn something new. There are a number of ways to run a workshop.
You can create a course and build a payment landing page for it. Nicck Townsend, who’s a brow artist and a business coach used this opportunity to get additional revenue during this current crisis.
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Hey Browlings I have decided to do a Virtual Masterclass on Brow Shaping & Customized Brow Tinting/Dyeing. I will be doing live models on camera and discussing pricing. I also will be conducting a Q&A at the end of the session. THIS MASTERCLASS IS FOR LICENSED PROFESSIONALS ONLY! TAG 2 Cosmetologist, Estheticians and Barbers 👭👩🏻🤝👩🏿 Click the Link in my bio @academyofbrowsandlashes @niccktownsendsalon @everydayisbrowday
Beauty entrepreneurs can create consultation+ makeup tutorials specially designed for the client’s needs. How awesome is that?
You can use Facebook or Instagram to market these sessions and throw in a preview to make it more effective!
Live 1:1 Online Sessions
Another alternate to an online workshop is a 1:1 live session. This has a bespoke feel to it and can be a popular revenue-generating channel for your business.
Upsell Gift Certificates
The fastest way to get cash for your business is through gift certificates. Your clients can pay for them now and use them later. That being said, you’ve got to be smart about it—throw in a sweet deal to the mix so that it’s attractive for them. If you can afford it, add an early bird discount.
Genbook’s gift certificate feature can help you set this up, instantly.
The world is changing by the minute, and we’re experiencing things we haven’t before— it’s a virus this time and in the future, it may be something else. But the truth is that we know strong entrepreneurs like you will make a plan and will prevail!
There are tons of ways to build a passive income and stay profitable, but COVID-19 has thrown a curveball at us and it has forced us to rethink strategies that work in isolation.
All we want to say is, tough times don’t last, tough people, do…
We hope that these tips inspire you to take the next steps. And as always, we are here to help you along the way!
If you’re looking for effective ways of communicating with your clients, we’ve got your back. Download our crisis communication pack with ready to use social media and email templates that will help you communicate your availability to your clients.