Last week I wrote about “Business as Unusual.”
We are in uncharted waters. More of us are now under self-quarantine or shelter-in-place rules. Those of you who aren’t, you likely will be at some point. This is serious times.
Artists tend to look for ways they can help. As a quilter, I’ve seen the masses of textile folks make masks for hospitals and healthcare workers. You can find numerous resources online, particularly on YouTube. One resource I’ve found a good place to start is the page put together by artist, photographer, and writer Gloria Hansen. In addition to Covid information, she has links to sewing masks.
A second resource is specifically geared to teaching artists. It came from a webinar put on by the Teaching Artists Guild. Here’s a link.
Yesterday I held a coaching call with my Members’ Studio tribe to talk about the Coronavirus and how it was impacting our businesses and what we could do about it. Here are some of the tips based on the call.
Acknowledge the reality
Yes, this is the current situation for you and your customers. Your business will be affected by the coronavirus. We don’t know the severity of the situation. We do know that our businesses will not be the same. How we react to this will make the difference.
Some of us now have “co-workers” we didn’t before. Our homes are filled with spouses, kids, and grandkids. You have to learn to work in a new environment, particularly if you were used to working alone.
Two ideas we shared were to communicate your needs as a business owner so others know what you need. The other is to have your kids create their own schedule so they are focused on something rather than spending time on the Internet.
Assess the potential downturn in your business
While I said you don’t know the severity of the situation business-wise, in all likelihood, you should prepare for a downturn. If it doesn’t happen, count your blessings.
Ask yourself some questions:
- What can you do now to prepare for things getting worse?
- What can you do to prevent further loss of business?
- How will your financials take a hit and can you stem the tide?
During our conversation, we brainstormed ideas for creatives to continue to provide value to their customers. We talked about the importance of cash flow and knowing we could pay the bills. One of our members mentioned the importance of implementing the Profit First strategy.
It’s important to keep marketing your business. You still have products to sell. More importantly, you have bills to pay if you want to stay in business.
And, your customers still have needs that you can meet.
What are you doing to market your business and meet your customer’s needs while remaining sensitive to their situation?
On our call we talked about using video marketing via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. We also talked about specials related to the virus.
Plan your future marketing strategy
While you continue to market today, take time to plan out your marketing strategy for when we all get back on our feet. You likely planned it back in the late fall. It may look differently. You want to be ready with a firm plan to keep moving forward.
Learn something new
We talked about now being the perfect time to learn more about technology and how to use it to promote our businesses. If you’ve put off learning about video or Facebook ads, now is the time to do that.
Clean your studio!
I added this one as a personal reminder to myself.
We did talk about taking time to go through your papers, toss the ones you don’t need, open up space to be ready for what’s to come.
Join the Members’ Studio
If you want more help strategizing what your business will look like and how to grow your business in the future, join us in the Members’ Studio. The doors are open. We plan to raise our rates in the next few months, so this is a great time to join us.
It’s your turn!
How are you changing your approach to your business because of the Coronavirus?