There is some really great advice out there right now about how to support your local small businesses and how to grow and thrive during this challenging and confusing time. But there is also a lot of not-so-great and potentially damaging advice out there too.
Some of you may not agree with the advice I am about to give, but I have to say it: STOP DISCOUNTING YOUR PRODUCTS & SERVICES BECAUSE OF COVID-19.
I think it is so important that all of us entrepreneurs and business owners leverage the leadership platform that we have to inspire others and to model the way. Whether you think of yourself as a leader or not (you should), people are watching what you do and what choices you make.
What you do and say has a ripple effect. So use that for good.
- Do you want them thinking it is okay to devalue what they offer?
- That they can only charge the price that they have when times are good?
- That it's okay to assume that their people can't afford what they have to offer or don't value it enough to invest in themselves?
- That it's smart to make business decisions from a fear-based and lack mindset?
I think my opinion on this is obvious - none of those things are okay.
We are in unprecedented times and hopefully we do not face another COVID-19 type of scenario again in our lifetimes. But here's the thing, no matter what is going on in the world, there will always be people who are struggling and people who are thriving.
There are always going to be people ready, willing, and able to invest in themselves and those who aren't - during the best of times and the worst of times. It is not your job to decide for them what they can afford and when.
It is up to you to provide as much value as you possibly can at a price point that you think is reflective of that value.
Let those who are ready to invest - invest, and those who aren't ready to not.
And by doing so, not only are you actually helping the economy recover, but you are showing what's possible and showing up as the thought leader that you are for your customers. You are doing the right thing instead of the easy thing. You are demonstrating what perseverance and success in difficult times looks like.
I know that we all want to help one another. We want to do anything we can for our community. So our natural instinct may be to discount our products/services, or even give away for free the things we usually charge for. If you feel like you really want to do something for your tribe, here is what I recommend you do instead of discounting:
- Make sure your primary offer(s) are so packed full of VALUE that investing in them is a no-brainer for those who are ready, willing, and able. Do not discount the price. Not only is that an insult to those who previously purchased at the full price, but discounting comes from a fear-based mindset and does not leverage the strategic long-term thinking business owners need to thrive.
- Make it easy for people who aren't ready to invest to get value from the free or lower cost information you ALREADY have available. Share a round up of your most valuable content that you have created, or even content from a variety of sources including some of your own. Anything that is relevant and helpful will be appreciated and establish you as their go-to person in your niche.
- Add something NEW that speaks to where your customers are right now - it could be a new low cost offer, a new free offer, or even a new FB/IG live series where you answer their questions and talk about something constructive like how to push through the fear and continue to thrive when faced with these challenging times.
I feel so passionate about this topic because I have made this mistake in the past and have helped many business owners try to recover and regain their positioning after making the same mistake. We all learned the hard way that discounting your existing core products and services does not have the effect you might think it will in the short term, and in the long term it can have really negative consequences. I don't want to see you make this same mistake.
While you are thinking of the best new ways to support your customers, here is a round up of some great examples of people innovating, sharing amazing and useful advice, and making us laugh even when times are stressful. Enjoy!
- When Michael Franti's concert tour was postponed, he created a "Stay At Home Concert World Tour". Brilliant.
- Check out the post "How to Support Small Businesses During Social Distancing" from Melissa Cassera (if you don't already follow her, you should. She helps you build an obsessed audience and has the BEST advice for business owners).
- Feeling Stuck in Your Business? Try These 5 Tips to Get Unblocked
Things to Make You Laugh:
- The Instagram post below is from one of my favorite Instagram accounts - definitely one to follow for some serious laugh-out-loud and laugh-so-hard-you-cry posts.
Have any questions on this topic? Post then below, then join me LIVE on Facebook every Thursday at 8pm Eastern for Lean Coffee where we do a mini-training followed by answering your questions.
And join me for a free 5 Part Mini-Series to help you Lean Out your business so you are ready to level up. We'll be talking about things you can do right now to clear out the chaos, create space, and pivot for sustainable success. XX
by Crista Grasso
Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through the noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact RIGHT NOW to grow and scale your business. As a lean business consultant, she specializes in helping businesses gain clarity and focus through strategy, planning, and lean practices. She is the creator of the Lean Out Method and the 90-Day Lean Out Planner, and is also the founder of the global accessories brand Criscara Jewelry.