Today’s topic is this: what is your next move? What do you do next? 

So there’s been a lot of questions over the last week or two of as the economy starts to reopen, as businesses are starting to finally have a little bit of a green light to start to open, (which again varies state by state), the question still remains—so what’s next? “How do I kind of infuse some energy into the business? How do I infuse some cash in the business? How do I infuse something? What do I actually focus on? What do I actually do next?”

I did an episode about a week or so ago about how to stabilize and then thrive. My whole push at this very moment in time is that, for the lion’s share of local business owners, you got to get to a place where your mind is in a better state. You’re not having to be taking a loss and pulling money out of savings, 41K’s, retirement plans, or emergency money to keep your business afloat. 

Now, could you do that for a very short time? Sure. However, I would challenge you though. I mean, how long are you willing to operate a business at a loss? To be honest, I’m so baffled by some of these episodes of things. The profit, for example of people saying, “well, I’ve been losing money for five years. I don’t know where that money is just magically coming from and usually, it’s like they took out a second mortgage on their house or burned through everything that they had for retirement money or something like that.” 

The whole push that I’m trying to make to you for today is we’ve got to get it to the place where your customers are starting to return. And you start to have a reliable and systematic way to generate those customers—old and new—as well as some cash. We need to do that now more than ever because you don’t want to have to continue to sit on the sidelines and just hope that things are going to change. I’ve never been a fan of hope marketing—you put some things out there and hope that something is going to work. It’s the same thing with business. I don’t want you to then just open your doors and hope that you’re going to have a flood of customers that are returning. If you face the music and look at where things are today, it’s most likely not going to be back to normal for quite some time. 

If you know that, you want to start to look at what are the pivots you need to make in your business? What are some of the things that you can shift? More importantly, what I need you to do right now, like today, is I need you to start to get your message and your brand out there. I need you to start re-emailing your email lists or sending text messages if you have text broadcasts. I need you to start to get that stuff out because I’m finding that loyalty at this stage of the game is going to be a bit of a challenge. Like the days of loyalty, it’s like almost every man and woman for themself right now. There’s going to be some customers that they’re going to be at the front of the line, definitely. You’ll know who those people aren’t and you probably would have been seeing whom they weren’t getting emails, phone calls, and text messages from them anyways. I need you to almost treat this as if you’re opening up the doors for the first time. 

I’ve been talking about doing these grand re-opening celebrations and that is really the level that we’re seeing right now—really having to reintroduce your brand back to the community. And then in tandem, you’re having to reintroduce the changes and the things that you’ve done to improve the different areas. Listen to the episode about talking about how clean is your business, again, never in a million years that I think I’d be talking about that kind of topic, but that has to start to be in your messaging. 

What we’re finding right now that’s being really well received, and it’s been very successful are short one minute videos that are being done by the owner or the team. Kind of welcome back messages saying “We missed you”. You can be talking about these reopening celebrations, talking about the new protocols, but I need you to really start to get your message out there now. Because my worry is that if you wait too long, it may very well be too late. 

I firmly believe that the next six months are going to make or break for millions and millions of businesses. There’s going to be a lot of challenges and a lot of opportunities created at the exact same time. I believe that those businesses that get back into telling their story why you started the business in the first place, you talk about your roots in the community, you talk about the goodwill and all the good stuff that you’re doing and all that interesting things that you’re creating. I need you in front of your customers and your prospects as we speak. 

When someone’s saying, “Well, Michael, what do I do next?” I say you got to get to work by getting short videos done and then getting them out to the masses, getting them out through email, putting them up on YouTube, sponsoring a YouTube ad, and throwing $5 a day, for example. Getting up on Facebook throwing $5 a day or even $1 a day, for example, you’ve got to get that stuff out there. 

Now, the second thing that we’re seeing that’s being much more successful than it ever has been before, is starting to communicate via social media. Social media has always been powerful. It was one of those kinds of should-haves, but now it really is a must-have. That often is where people are going to get news about, are you open? What are your new operating hours? Are there any protocols that I need to be aware of? If you have anything to do with e-commerce or online ordering, Facebook is rolling out an interesting partnership with Shopify. 

Facebook, in particular, they have done the best job in my opinion of looking at how they can help capitalize on their business but also to help their readers followers and also the businesses that they follow as well, by continuing to make more tools more readily available. The businesses that don’t have an online presence are going to absolutely get slaughtered. 

I know that I’m being a little bit doom and gloom—that’s not what I’m intending to do here. If you’ve listened to any of the episodes in the past, my commitment is to make sure that you do not go out of business. I am so worried about you going out of business right now that I’m losing sleep at night thinking about all the local businesses that are just, they’re not going to be able to survive this. 

The crazy thing is, and the thing that’s so disappointing is that they didn’t ask for this. They didn’t cause this—they had nothing to do with this situation. It has been completely out of our control, almost like a hurricane that goes through. I would even categorize this at a much worse level because my concern is that things will never be normal again. 

What you can do right now that is within your control is to get your message out there, start shooting short videos. Get that content out there so that the community knows that you are still alive and well—and you are still here. 

Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow. 

Get out there, make a change, and take some action.