If you are like me, your business has been scrambled and it literally happened over night. Service based businesses including martial arts schools, yoga, Pilates and dance studios just to name a few have had to think very quickly about just how they are going to deliver their product.
One option is to curl up into the foetal position on the floor, go into complete denial, put it all into the too hard basket, close your doors and let the years of dedicated effort to build your critical mass fall through your fingers. Then there is a good chance once we come out of this, that your business will not have the resources to start up again.
Or, we could take this hardship like all the trials and ups and downs that as small business heroes, we just dig deeper than we ever have before and we just have to make it work.
What to do? First and foremost, you need to communicate very clearly with your student and clientele base what your intentions are. Now, from here on in, your business requires your complete attention. I know that many of you have fulltime jobs and kids at home that you are juggling and hopefully your income can prop up your business but you too risk not seeing what really needs to be done.
The cold sweat and rotating thoughts keeping you awake at night when your sole source of income has almost completely gone, to rise up out of this and to take the first step takes courage. I have lost everything a few times now. This is just another version. When I was 18 and a 4th year apprentice, I was fired with no notice. I had to give back my work ute and had to call my brother to come and pick me up. I curled up in a ball on the floor and felt really sorry for myself for a week or so. Then I realised that I could now do anything I wanted. I was free to run my life the way I wanted to.
Nobody wanted a 4th year apprentice plumber. So, I took a $500 cash advance on an already maxed master card and bought on old HQ Holden Ute and hand wrote some posters and set out to do peoples gardens. Weeding, mowing their lawns and any maintenance. I charged $8 per hour. There is always work out there for the ones that are not afraid to try something new that you may not have considered before.
But you may still have a fully functional business that is just waiting for a re think about how you can turn this situation around. You may not need to do gardens. Now is the time to dig deep. It is just so important that you do not lose your critical mass.
Enter Zoom. A ready-made online streaming portal. Thank heavens for Zoom. This is your old white HQ ute, getting ready to take you on a total rehash of how you present your product. Your product. It does not matter how famous you are, how many books you have written or how may Instagram followers you have, unless your product is first class you will not reach your business potential ever. So, first things first, simple, ensure your product is the best it can be.
You want to appear to have a seamless uninterrupted continuation of your timetable. You do not want your valued members finding another activity in the regular time slot that they have been attending with you. This is a fast track to lose your most valued members. As soon as their attention is elsewhere, they will be very difficult to get back. Start with a basic timetable, then quickly expand. Most will not have the luxury of being able to teach from a studio, but we can teach from our homes. This is very cost effective, no rent, no expensive trainers’ wages, just the $20 per month Zoom subscription.
Make sure that you are teaching the best possible class. Download my free eBook; Making a good class great. All the lessons still apply to live streaming classes. No mater how big or small your new streaming classes are, you can still and must give positive feedback to all students.
Make empowering others your highest priority. Put interesting, quality photos that tell a story on social media. Write informative and interesting blog posts. Follow up each class with a summary of what was taught and provide homework to do before the next class.
I teach just one live streaming class per week. It is such a pleasure. Before the class I sit in nervous anticipation. Will my teaching be sabotaged by the Parkinson’s or will I get a reprieve and be saved from the tremors, slowness and stiffness. I run the gauntlet, I take the risk, but I need to do this. When who you are aligns with what you do, you will understand this.
As soon as I knew that that things were going to drastically change, I added 24 short courses on my website. They are very cheap and are another service for the students. I am organising over 100 photos and putting together a book on Ju Jitsu. Over the last couple of weeks, I have gone and edited 30 blog posts on the https://andydickinson.com.au/ website.
I tinker away on my novel and poetry and I am doing a drawing course so I can draw the Northstar techniques. I am committed.
What is your excuse.