In a few short weeks the world has changed drastically. Businesses are facing unprecedented times, and there is no rule book for how to deal with a situation like this. I don’t know about you, but I have clients dropping like flies or putting projects on hold because they have no idea how much money they’ll be bringing in next month. And I completely relate.
While I like to diversify my marketing and consulting practice as much as possible (and do my best to make sure I always have a few freelance writing clients on hand to boost my personal income), as of late I’ve taken on a TON of travel clients. As you can imagine, this has not been great for me over the past few weeks as travel has come to a halt.
So here are a few steps I’ve taken to move forward:
Offer to Help
The first thing I do is offer to help my clients. Yes, I do care about my bottom line as I have bills to pay. But before I freak out about that I make sure that I’ve got everything lined up for them, that means:
- Taking inventory of the projects that are ongoing
- Reaching out to my clients and seeing where they want to proceed and what should be paused
- Figure out a reduced workload plan
I also offer other basic services to help them out. Sometimes that’s creating a simple social media plan that they can handle themselves. Other times it’s to write up a quick how-to guide for something they can take over for the time being.
Inventory My Work
Once I have everything sorted out for my clients, I take a minute to actually inventory the work I have. My goal is to answer two questions as accurately as possible:
- What do I have to do in the coming weeks?
- How much money do I have coming in?
That helps me figure out where the gaps in time and money are so I can figure out where to go from there. Note that if you want to properly assess a money gap, you’ll need to have a good idea of how much money you need to operate (and pay your personal bills!).
Find New Clients
As dire as the business world seems to be right now, the truth is that there are still people looking for help. If you’re like me and you provide a service like marketing to a client type, like new business owners, but the industry is open, then there is an opportunity to pivot.
If your business is not set up like mine, you might have to get a little creative. Is there a way you can pivot? Is there another service you can sell? Can you serve your customers some other way in the meantime?
Not everyone has the luxury of making big sweeping changes and for a lot of entrepreneurs out there, there is a lot to think about. But if our current situation has taught me anything, it’s that being a little flexible goes a long way.
Good luck out there everyone!
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