Stay the Course…
I am writing this newsletter on March 19, 2020. Today the Governor of CA just issued a mandatory ‘stay at home’ directive.
By the time you read this, everything may (and likely will) change; however today I want to encourage you to find the positivity in this unique and difficult situation.
It is going to be a challenge, but you can do this!
Do you know where the phrase ‘stay the course’ originated? Most agree it was either a sailing metaphor about holding your navigation course steady or a horse racing term about horses staying in their lanes.
However, the most accepted definition of “Stay the Course”, is to: Persist in an action or policy; remain with a plan despite criticism or setbacks.”
You, my dear readers, are in the middle of a major setback. The magnitude of this coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetime. There have been other pandemics in my 62 years but I do not ever recall the fear mongering or mass hysteria this pandemic has caused.
It is certainly scary. Even I have to fight the sense of panic that sometimes rises in the back of my throat. But my business has survived challenges before and it will this time too.
I started my lifestyle company Executive Errands® in 2006. Poor timing, I know.
By 2008 the housing market collapsed, the stock market was affected and people were bemoaning the serious lack of business everywhere we went. I could have thrown in the towel right off the bat and gone back to my secure six-figure job but I did not.
And you know what? My business grew 30% per year for the 5 years between 2006 and 2011. THIRTY PERCENT PER YEAR! That’s nearly unheard of in the best of times, but these were recession years. How did we do it?
First, I turned off the news and social media. Entirely. I refused to allow the negativity into my consciousness. If you don’t hear it, you can’t be afraid of it, right?
That’s a little more difficult to do in the current scenario but instead of listening to talking heads drone on and on in fear-based speculation or seeing scary social media posts; I have apps that I can scroll through to find out the most important things I need to know.
My current favorite is called ‘News Break’ and I like it because it is specific local news. I can scroll through it and only stop on a headline that might pertain to me or my company. I can skip the rest.
Second, I only spoke positively about my company. When I would go to Chamber mixers for example, everyone would be lamenting about how tough business was but when they asked me, I would say ‘it is FANTASTIC’.
I was so enthusiastic about it; even I believed it, ha! And you know what; I believe with all my heart, I ‘spoke’ our business into success during those years.
Third, I focused on our goals and the future of the company. I visualized my bank account growing and our phone ringing. I continued investing in my company for marketing collateral, software development and education. I didn’t give up.
I did all that because I believed we would be successful. I could ‘see’ it in my mind and I ‘knew’ it in my soul.
And finally, I only allowed myself to have one, single fear. And that was the fear of quitting too soon. I was terrified that I might quit only to find if I had continued one more day, success would be ours.
That ‘one more day’ has turned into nearly 15 years and we’re still going strong.
And you can be too.
You’ll need that level of commitment to weather this viral storm. Right now it is super challenging so we all must do our part to help where we can.
We are fortunate in that my company primarily takes care of homes when they are empty so we are an ‘essential’ service and don’t interact with very many people in person.
But no matter your business model, you too can get through this. Follow our tips above and here are answers to the three questions we’ve been receiving all week:
Q--Should I discount my services to help more people?
A—NO, it would be detrimental to your business because once we get on the other side of this virus, people will be asking why you can do it so much cheaper now but not later.
If you really want to do something to help your community, offer a reduced rate for a short period of time only or even offer to run errands for free – for a very brief amount of time. Say through April 15 th or 30th.
Not only will you be able to help others but you will be building your brand and that reduced rate or free services will be the cost of doing business just like any other marketing or advertising cost. Be sure to keep track of the lost revenue and let your accountant know so they can help you qualify for an extra business deduction.
Q—Am I going to look bad promoting my business when there is so much suffering?
A –NO, it is your company’s job to make life easier for people. If they can’t get out to shop or pick up prescriptions, that’s when others need you most. Don’t feel bad about it but please, do promote in a positive and uplifting way – try not to further add to the fear.
Q—What if I don’t want to go out at all? Will it hurt my business?
A—Then please, do not go out. As far as whether it will hurt your business or not; only time will tell but no one should blame you given the circumstances. Please do what you feel is best for yourself and your family. In the end, that’s what matters most!
When we were in the middle of the housing crisis and recession, all the companies who stayed the course came out on the other side bigger, better and well positioned to grow quicker than other similar companies.
You can do this! It may not be easy and it may be scary but I have faith in you and our industry.
Stay positive, speak positively, visualize success and do what is best for you and your family. And please know that Concierge Business Solutions® is here for you for emotional support, business advice or as a shoulder when you need it.
Call me today or email at email@example.com and together we’ll get through this.
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