How your small business can thrive in a changing world

I think it’s safe to say that the situation the world is currently in is quite challenging, to say the least.

…And I’ll be honest, the purpose of this article is not to simply join in on the chorus of many marketers, coaches and business owners that are writing motivational posts and emails about ‘how to survive’ and ‘keep your head up’.

Ugh, it’s not my intention at all to downplay what’s happening. Reading emails and watching videos over the past couple of weeks has been 1) kinda nice and helpful and 2) a little bit annoying at times.

However, I think it’s only once we identify and embrace the fact that things are changing, that we can actually refocus, regroup and re-strategize.

Here I am, re-entering the chorus gracefully, but it’s simply because I care and I know I can help.

Truth is, at some point along our journey, we accepted the ‘call to adventure’ to become entrepreneurs, business owners, leaders, risk-takers, and buck the 9-5 system to forge our own path… We know creating the life we want for ourselves takes hard work, and we’re not afraid to do it.

We’re used to challenges. We’re used to stressful situations, right?

We fricken didn’t see a pandemic coming that’s for sure and most of us feel like we’ve been hit by a Mack truck… but we’re used to dealing with crazy stuff that most will never face in their lifetime.

We’re used to taking risks, making mistakes, and having to pivot… and the world just gave us all one big mofo of a reason to need to level up and pivot.

Luckily for us, we’re used to needing to make smart, ninja moves and we’re better equipped than most to be agile compared to those who now find themselves a victim of their circumstances.

My goal for this article is to inspire you and show how small businesses are surviving in challenging times.
It’s not designed to be purely inspirational and it’s not a “she’ll be right mate” type of article…

However, it is an article that’s designed to show you that some businesses are thriving in this environment.

It’s an article that’s designed to help give you guidance, ideas, and some action steps you can take to move forward.

So I ask you to buckle up, see if you can harness that inner strength that made you an entrepreneur or business owner in the first place and start to think a little differently from normal.

If you need any help brainstorming on how to pivot or leverage what’s currently happening, then stick around, keep reading as I’ve got something for you that I know will help.

Oh and before you read on… Watch this 1-minute video to remind yourself why…

You’re a frick’n’awesome entrepreneur!!

It’s time to get back to focusing on the positives & solving problems.

Here’s why I love entrepreneurs like you…

  • Entrepreneurs see things differently from most people
  • Entrepreneurs can be rebellious to the status quo
  • Entrepreneurs build businesses based on solving problems
  • Entrepreneurs change things in this world in a positive way
  • Entrepreneurs make their own destiny

My first tip for you is to turn off the news and social media for the most part. Just consume a minimal amount to stay informed, then get back to focusing on your business.

Last week Kevin Rogers (CopyChief.com) interviewed Todd Herman (Author of The Alter Ego Effect). Todd personally spoke to over 70 CEOs, large & small since the pandemic started and it was fascinating to see the 3 different response groups – and the words they used…

1. Fear Focused Group

  • They all consumed a lot of media & news each day
  • They were most emotional, concerned & most overwhelmed
  • They used a lot of negative words like Struggle, Fear, Difficult, etc.

2. Unfocused Group

  • Denialists, Uncertain about the situation
  • Playing a ‘wait & see’ game
  • Not taking any action to change their business yet

3. Strategy Focused Group

  • They all consumed very little media and news
  • They are looking for opportunities to move forward
  • They are taking action and staying focused

(You can watch the full interview here with Kevin & Todd)

Here are some examples of businesses that are in the ‘Strategy Focused’ group that have contacted us in the last week, that are thinking differently and taking action to meet the shifting market:

  • A restaurant is going to offer to deliver a weekly meal service
  • A pilates instructor is going to offer videos training online
  • A fruit shop is going to offer to deliver fruit door to door
  • A photographer is now focusing on her personal branding offer
  • A Crossfit business is going to offer live classes on Zoom each day
  • A concreter is going to offer online coaching to trades-people
  • An accountant is offering advice on group calls to discuss how to financially prepare their businesses.

How your small business can thrive in a changing world

To really get your cogs turning about how you can adapt in a changing world, here are 20 of our clients that have already adapted to an online business model and have thriving businesses:

  • EffortlessSwimming.com – A competitive swimmer that now teaches others how to swim faster with online video swimming lessons.
  • MicroGreensFarmer.com – A farmer that now has an online course that teaches people how to start a profitable microgreens business.
  • PianoIn21Days.com – A Piano Teacher that now offers online courses for learning how to play the piano.
  • PersonalTrainerMentoring.com – A personal Trainer that now helps other fitness businesses with their digital marketing and business growth.
  • AaronChang.com – An amazing photographer that now sells high quality limited edition prints of his work.
  • AspectLegal.com.au – A Law firm that now has an online membership with training to help businesses with legal contracts.
  • JamesSchramko.com A former general manager of a $50 Million Dollar per year business that now offers an online Business Coaching membership.
  • TheBettyRocker.com – A fit and healthy person that now has online courses to help other people get fit and healthy.
  • WonderWords.com.au – A Primary School Teacher that now has an app to help children read.
  • McGillMusic.com – A saxophone player that now has courses to help people learn how to play the saxophone.
  • MantaSleep.com – A light sleeper that now offers sleep masks to help people sleep better.
  • Motiv8Training.com.au – A Fitness teacher that had children that did go-kart racing, that now has an online performance coaching program for other racing drivers to improve their fitness.
  • DownloadT-ShirtDesigns.com – A T-Shirt Designer that now offers an online t-shirt design library.
  • IntegrativePainScienceInstitute.com – A Doctor in Physical Therapy that now offers courses to help people reverse chronic pain and disease.
  • TheGivingTreeGallery.com – A Jeweller that now has an online store selling jewelry.
  • Cycling-Inform.com – A Cyclist that now has online programs that teach people how to have a major breakthrough with their cycling.
  • PathwayChurch.life – A Pastor that now has an online membership teaching people how to become a master of ministry.
  • SavvyDentist.com – A Dentist that now teaches other dentists how to grow their practice with his online academy membership.
  • BusyMumFitness.com – A fit single mum that realized other mothers are too busy to go to the gym so now offers online fitness videos.
  • YourRidingSuccess.com – A horse rider that now has an online membership full of videos teaching others how to transform their horse-riding skills.

Those examples show you that there is a range of online solutions for a range of niches, so hopefully, they trigger an idea for you.

If you’re a small business you’re in a much better position to get through this than a bigger business because you can be more agile and ready to adapt much faster than a bigger business can.

Here are some examples of how bigger businesses have adapted to survive recently:

  • Some ships and hotels are turning into temporary hospitals.
  • Some famous artists/performers are going to perform to millions of fans via online live videos.
  • Some manufacturing industries are pivoting to making medical supplies.
  • Some medical clinics are consulting via facetime.
  • Random, but I like this idea: A bottle shop has this offer: Buy Corona beer (my favorite beer) & get a free toilet roll =)

Here are some famous examples of large businesses that have pivoted or adapted over time to survive and thrive:

  • Hewlett-Packard – Launched as an engineering company in 1947, then in 1968 introduced the first large-scale personal computer. Now they mainly focus on computers and printing/scanning accessories.
  • Nintendo– They existed for several centuries and produced everything from playing cards to vacuum cleaners, instant rice, a taxi company, and even a short-stay hotel chain. It wasn’t until 1966 that they started producing electronic games and consoles.
  • Suzuki – From 1910 to 1935 Michio Suzuki made weaving loom machines that powered Japan’s silk industry. Then in 1955, they started making vehicles & more recently high-performance motorcycles.
  • Twitter – They started as Odeo which was a network where people could find and subscribe to podcasts. Then they pivoted to what it is today – a micro-messaging social platform.
  • Starbucks – They started off selling espresso makers and coffee beans in 1971 and now they sell take away coffee and food.

I have also had a major pivot in my business Studio1Design. Way back in the year 2000 we used to design t-shirt designs for Australian retailers. In 2012-2013 the clothing industry had a major shift when retailers started going vertical. They cut out external suppliers, which meant we weren’t getting much business and the projected trend looked quite bleak for my business. I had a young family at the time and 6 full-time designers so I had to change my entire business model to survive.

Here are the action steps I took to survive and then thrive…

  • I started looking for online opportunities
  • I designed a website to offer our t-shirt designs to the world.
  • It took about 3 months to get our first sale and I was so excited!
  • Over the next couple of years I tested many different website design ideas, price points, lead magnets, funnels & strategies until I worked out what our market wants.
  • (They wanted really cool new designs each month, so they didn’t have to hire and train designers.)
  • Then I discovered podcasts and when the hosts of this podcast mentioned that their logo SUCKED, so I designed a new logo for FREE
  • They loved it, so I repeated that and sent cool t-shirt designs to other podcast hosts and business community leaders.
  • Over time I built trust with those influencers and we designed some of their websites, then their client’s websites, and within a year our reputation for designing ‘stunning websites that get results’ grew rapidly!
  • Now we have designed over 1500 websites and landing pages for some of the world’s top online marketers and small business owners.

Your Action Steps to Survive and even Thrive:

  • It’s time to think differently about HOW your business can solve problems.
  • Be ‘strategy focused’ to prepare your business to be stronger.
  • Speak to people on your team and brainstorm ideas with them.
  • Contact your clients and prospects and just have a chat to see if they have any ideas that you could potentially help them with.
  • Write down a list of ways that you could adapt to use online better to grow your business.
  • Review your offers to make sure it meets the needs of your prospects.
  • Review your messaging on your website, especially the home page to make sure your copywriting reflects the current market conditions.
  • Review your marketing funnel to make sure you have a steady flow of new leads coming into your business.
  • Double down on markets that have served you well so far.
  • Shift your sales strategy to online. Zoom is great for conference calls.
  • Since you’re self-isolating, you may have more time on your hands to work on a new solution immediately.
  • If you work out a solution there’s a good chance that your business could thrive based on the new model. Who knows, you may even make it a long-term solution to replace your current business model

If you want to discuss your ideas, contact us here with a summary, then we will reply with a link to a call scheduler so we can jump on a 15-minute video call and brainstorm a solution with you.

The solution may be a new landing page to help promote your new offer, improve your messaging, rebrand to take your website to the next level, or it may even be to connect you with somebody in my network of smart business owners that could have a solution for you.

Here’s the link again if you want to have a call to discuss your ideas… https://studio1design.com/contact. It doesn’t matter if you are a client of ours or not. We want to help you.

Looking forward to speaking with you soon =)

Regards Greg Merrilees
(Director & Founder)
& the team at Studio1Design.com

PS. Here are a few more tips that you’re probably already doing…

  • Establish a remote work option if you haven’t already.
  • Communicate transparently with your customers.
  • Review your cash flow budgets.
  • Give employees flexibility.
  • Be obsessive about hygiene!!!

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