I started my business in April of 2001, 5 months into my new business’ life the US economy froze completely, and my fledgling business shut down with it. I was lucky that one of my clients needed an interim VP, and I spent nine months working for them before restarting my business.
I spent the next six years building my business, so in 2008, we were going gangbusters! We kept right on going strong until March of 2009 when our income dropped by 50% and stayed there for a year.
So this is not my first rodeo.
Look for signs of life!
In each of those situations, I went looking for businesses that were showing signs of life, and in each case, I found them (eventually)!
I didn’t start calling on people who didn’t know me; everyone’s going to be risk-averse while in crisis. I went back to past clients, and prospects and got referrals from them. I went out to the watering holes I’d fished in the past — where I was a known quantity — and eventually found people who’s businesses were thriving.
So I stuck with the same target client group, but I didn’t just keep offering the same service.
It’s going to go slower than you want it to
When I found businesses with signs of life I took time to find out what they needed and what was valuable to them right then. It was a slow sales process — listening, making offers of help, and building trust — before making a paid proposal
In each of those crises, my business emerged a little different, but we survived!
If your team is settled, and you’ve touched base with all your current clients and everyone in your pipeline, then it’s time to start thinking about where there are opportunities. How can your company be of value to those folks now?
P.S. If you missed it from earlier in the week, I pulled together my best thinking about what strategies you should be focused on now, through the transition and into the “new normal.” Click here to download the PDF.