Apparently, it is a myth that the Chinese character for “Crisis” is a combination of the characters for “Danger” and “Opportunity.”
But here’s the kernel of truth. What many see as a dangerous situation, some will see as an opportunity.
We are in such a time now.
I wrote about this two weeks ago, but I want to repeat the message. And repeat it.
I WANT EACH ONE OF YOU TO COME OUT OF THIS CRISIS BIGGER, FATTER AND STRONGER.
It takes guts plus thoughtful calculation. But what have you got to lose?
Some of your competitors are going to go out of business over the next few months.
Someone is going to get the customers they had or were going to get.
Others will slash their marketing budgets and drop outreach actions. They will hope for the best. Many will be disappointed.
Over the years we’ve gotten tons of projects because we are visible online, and we always answer the phone. I’ve literally had someone surprised by having a live person answer the phone. They had been dialing company after company, looking for a website designer, and leaving voicemail messages.
THE SHORT VIEW
A company I buy vitamins from can hardly keep up with the demand right now. But most companies, if they are able to operate, have a challenge.
I think you will see that meeting that challenge requires several actions:
- Certainly, cut down on expenses where possible.
- Take advantage of the CARES Act, if you can, which is offering small business loans to help you keep your doors open.
- Give your existing customers or clients GREAT service. Make sure they are happy. Find any way you can to help them out with what you do.
- MARKET, MARKET, MARKET.
If you are the only one still making yourself visible, who is going to get the call?
The pie may be smaller, but you can get a much bigger piece of that pie.
Here’s a real-life example. We just launched a new online store for a client. In the last 24 hours they’ve gotten more than 100 sales.
They offer a niche consumer product, well-suited to keep someone occupied and happy while stuck at home. Not everyone has that kind of situation, but many people do. That might include you, if you take the right viewpoint on it!
There are many pieces to the CARES Act, the more than 2 trillion-dollar stimulus package that was just passed. One part makes loans to small businesses to help them keep their employees on the payroll. These loans are substantial and most, if not all of the loaned sum will be forgiven – converted to grants that don’t have to be repaid.
Check it out. The ability to apply for these (it is all done over the internet) are just starting to come online. The process will be simple and fast. Almost anyone in business will qualify (including contractors and one-man-band home-based businesses).
What do you do with this money? Payroll, rent and utility payments, in the main, are what will be forgiven.
Assuming you still have revenue or other sources of funds, use this to as an opportunity to get some serious marketing done.
Consumer confidence is still high. The recovery is probably going to be relatively rapid.
Take advantage of it.
THE LONG VIEW
This is a rare opportunity. “Carpe Diem” (Seize the Day) the Romans said. It is a chance, possibly, to be much larger and more prosperous a year from now.
As Warren Buffet says, “Be greedy when others are fearful.”
Instead of worrying about being homeless or losing your retirement, let’s think about that yacht you always wanted.
SO what does it take?
A FEW GOOD “MENSCHEN”
There’s a Yiddish word “mensch” (plural “menschen”). It means, literally, man. But it has a powerful connotation of someone who steps up to the plate, takes real responsibility, neither shucking duty nor accountability. In other words, guts.
Of course, this is not, but should be a gender-neutral term. I’ve known many women who have earned the “mensch” label.
The Marines used to have a slogan, “The Few, The Proud, The Marines.” This was, really, immortalized by the Tom Cruise / Jack Nicholson movie “A Few Good Men,” which portrayed the attitude of the Marine, who does not shirk from charging into machine gun fire to do his duty.
What we are looking at here is of course not so dramatic, but as in the Marines, only a few will pick up the gauntlet I’ve thrown down.
I hope many of you are among them.