Throughout the past few weeks, we’ve all been immersed in navigating the pandemic, both personally and professionally. During this time, it's become pretty apparent to me that business owners are going to fall into one of three categories:
Category One: Those who do nothing. These businesses are going to wait it out and try to pick up where they left off before the pandemic. While I don't wish this on anyone, I'd tell you that I feel confident that 90% or more of those businesses will fail. Either they won't re-open at all or they will die a slow death over the next 12-18 months.
Category Two: Those who do something. This is the majority — businesses that piece some things together, band-aid solutions that get them through. Maybe it's delivering just enough workouts online to justify charging their clients. Perhaps it's securing a loan to stay afloat.
They're doing something, and that should be commended. But it's probably not going to be enough to allow them to maintain the level of business they had prior to the pandemic.
Category Three: Those who do the right things. From a pure tactical level, I hesitate to use those words, as I don't know the exact tactics that are right. No one does. But I feel pretty confident that there are ‘right’ strategies, and the people who employ them will be the ones who navigate current circumstances the best. Those same people are the ones who will also be prepared to thrive as we move forward over those next 12-18 months.
What are some examples of ‘right’ things? Here are the things I believe you should be focused on:
Finding ways to be just as valuable to your clients in spite of not being able to train them in person. Many of the things you learn in serving the market now will allow you to deliver a better experience in the future.
- Developing a strategic plan to blend offline and online into your service offerings to be a more complete solution moving forward.
- Dialing in your brand and your messaging to be perceived as more than just a workout as we move into the ‘new normal.’
- Proactively doing more to serve your local market right now to grow your reach and your audience.
- Managing your finances better so you operate a healthier business.
These business owners who are adapting and doing some version of those 'right’ things will come out the other side of this just fine. In fact, I’d expect many of them to be in a better place 18 months from now than they would have been without the forced evolution. So if you're not in Category Three yet, I'd start working to get there.