Less than 2 years ago, I was in a villa on a beach in Cancun. After a week there, I went back to Idaho for a week, then headed back to Cancun for another week off before school started for the kids. Looking back, it’s crazy how much change I’ve experienced since 2019. I feel like I’ve lived at least two lifetimes between that Cancun vacation and today. I’ve survived a pandemic (knock on wood); made radical changes to my company, Newsletter Pro; and stress-eaten more salty snacks than I care to admit.
The Upside Of Chaos
There have been almost zero perks to the last year of COVID-19. Unless you sell masks or PPE, you probably can’t wait for the whole thing to be over. But I do see one silver lining: Pandemic or not, there is opportunity in the market right now. In fact, I see opportunities everywhere around me. The real questions are these: “What is the best opportunity?” “What should an entrepreneur do to maximize profits?” and “What can I do to prepare for the worst?”
Our country’s economy is restarting in a big way, but it’s not the same economy that shut down a year ago. In a time of radical change, we have no crystal ball or magic answer. New COVID-19 variants are out there, and no one really knows what will happen if they become bigger threats. But, probable answers for these questions do exist, and I’m going to share them with you. Make sure your business is focused on these 12 foundational principles as we head into the second quarter. They’re your best bet to prepare for the future.
12 Principles For Crazy Times Of Change
- Make sure you’re capturing and nurturing your leads long-term — not just for days or weeks, but for months and even years. Follow up online and offline with direct mail, phone calls, and text messages.
- Make sure you have a system in place to retain existing customers. Right now, we have to keep everything we have and maximize those customers. Newsletters are a perfect system, and they help in many of the other areas on this list.
- Trim the fat in terms of employees. I know I’ve been guilty of keeping employees I simply don’t have the work for. It’s time to change it up and make those tough calls.
- Make sure you’re focused on your sales team and lead-to-sale conversion. You must have good numbers here, and if someone isn’t pulling their weight, unfortunately, you have to replace them.
- Work to upsell more and/or sell new products and services to existing customers. The easiest sale to make is to those who already know and trust you. So, if you have that new product ready but haven’t gotten it off the ground yet, now is the time to give it a push.
- Build relationships with customers and vendors; it is more important now than ever before. We have no idea if or when the new COVID-19 variants will become serious threats. There could be more change coming, maybe even lockdowns, and you will need those relationships to survive. You’ll also need as many customers as possible, which is why keeping them is so vital.
- Invest more in marketing and lead generation, not less. Some people have fled the media or feel fat and happy because they got stimulus money, but smart entrepreneurs are investing in growth, not pulling back. You should be adding new and profitable campaigns once you’ve crushed all the points on this list.
- Hire talent — it’s on sale right now. With so many people out of a job, you can get talent all over the country for a one-off project or even a full-time position for much less. Take advantage of this unique situation to hire some great people ready for a change.
- Set up deals with partners to create mutually beneficial relationships that grow both companies. People are willing to work together now more than ever before, so push those partnership relationships. Find ways to promote each other and help each other sell more.
- Take the content you’re already creating and reuse it. One of the biggest mistakes people make with their content marketing is not reusing enough of their best material. I know I’ve been guilty of this, as well. It’s not always about new, new, new.
- Kill all sacred cows. Just because you thought something was a bad idea or thought things could only be done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s still true. If 2020 showed us anything, it’s how fast things can change. Rethink some of your past ideas.
- Work, work, and when you’re done, work some more. You don’t have time for Netflix. You need to make sure you’re working on this list and working on your business as much as possible right now. Then, no matter what happens next, you’re prepared.
Work Now, Win Later
Ultimately, no one knows what the magic 8 ball of COVID-19 will spit out next. With any luck, the most dramatic change is behind us, but this is 2021. Who knows for sure? I’d rather be prepared for the worst, and if things go well the rest of the year, I’ll be so far ahead of my competition that they won’t even be able to see me. If things go badly, it’s likely I’ll be the last man standing. Either way, I win.
P.S. Like I said at the start of this article, I practice what I preach. Here at Newsletter Pro, we’ve embraced change in our entire product line so we can help more people. If you want to reduce churn, sell more, nurture your leads, and ultimately make more money, check out our brand-new newsletter packages, starting at just $599 per month. To get more info, book a call with a Pro.