Editor’s Note: Today, Archery Wire editor Michelle Scheuermann shares her perspective on the uncertain times. All of us who have small businesses will “get” what she’s saying.
We are in odd times, my friends, and we are all in different stages of dealing with this pandemic – some are still in denial, some are in all out-prepper mode, while others are being “optimistically cautious.” I like to think of myself somewhere between prepper-mode and optimistic. Hubs and I tried to buy ammo over the weekend as we target shoot at the local gun club on the weekends. We like to call it “guns and coffee” as I always make him stop at a coffee shop on the way home. Luckily, I own mostly .380’s and that stock was fine. But 9mm? Nope, not around. How exactly is ammo going to help us against COVID-19? And I’m wondering if I stocked up on enough other supplies. Heck, I even ordered freeze dried foods from a company who can’t deliver it until mid-April, and I ordered it two weeks ago. But I refuse to buy more than what I need for toilet paper. I could regret that decision.
But really, this is all surface-level stuff. The real thing that is scaring me is the fact I am an entrepreneur – a small business owner – and I support other entrepreneurs/small business owners. And folks, times like this are where you really learn how financially stable you are. It is not easy to listen to my clients share their struggles of shows & events being cancelled and the ever-present anxiety of “will I get paid?” because frankly, I’m wondering, too…
If 2019 was a year of expansion for you and your business, 2020 might be a year of contraction, which is completely fine. Your business is cyclical. Life is cyclical. What sets strong and smart business owners apart from others is answering the question, “What are you going to do with this time of contraction?” I’ll give you a tip – Netflix is not the answer.
I’ve already seen a local wine club who normally makes their money via in-person classes, share the news they are debuting new online classes and workshops. They wrote the news as if it was something they’ve been dabbling in for a bit, but now have put 100% of their efforts behind rolling the product out. Going online – or expanding your current online offerings – might be what gets you though this period. What else could you do as a business owner during this time to help expand you, or your business?
Here are a few things either I am doing personally, or helping my clients get together:
- Creating a podcast (that’s me, actually, and my friend, Scott Leysath. It is called “Off the Record with Scott and Michelle,” not exactly sure when it will debut, but you’ll be the first to know!)
- Rolling out e-books, or writing a book. It isn’t that difficult to get an e-book on Amazon Kindle.
- Expanding your on-line offerings – maybe it’s a class or workshop series. There are plenty of online software platforms that make creating a class simple. Some are more expensive that others, but I’ve found they charge more for a reason. Consider https://www.thinkific.com
- Expand your podcast, blog, online offering for your super-fans using Patreon. If you have more content to share and have super-fans, consider starting a Patreon platform, which allows your fans to pay a monthly fee (as low as $1 if you wish) to gain more insider knowledge from you. My friend Mark Strand started his Patreon site just recently and is already seeing the benefits.
- Start a “Things to Read” folder in your inbox – I have this and every so often, I’ll dedicate the time (usually early mornings) to go in and actually READ those blogs, watch those webinars we all sign up for and don’t tune into, and listen to podcasts. Early mornings are best for me as it is when I am the sharpest and will more than likely pay the most attention to what I’m consuming.
- Read. More. Books. Honestly, you have no excuses now. What I am currently reading: Small Giants by Bo Burlingham – about companies that choose to be great, instead of big (I mean, can you get any more timely on reading this book?!); A Man and His Mountain – the everyman who created Kendall-Jackson and became America’s greatest wine entrepreneur – by Edward Humes. The House of Mondovi – the rise and fall of an American wine dynasty – by Julia Flynn Siler. This is actually the third book I have read on the Mondovi family and their businesses. I simply can’t get enough of trying to figure out if Robert Mondovi was a genius, or a self-centered brat. Probably both – as most geniuses are.
As always, thank you for reading and subscribing to the Archery Wire. If there is any way I can help your business during this time of contraction, don’t hesitate to reach out.