Stevemills

Business Advice

Coronavirus pandemic and the impact on business

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Today I am looking at our plans right now and how they will need to change. 

All the plans I had will need to change; spending patterns, buying needs and customer behaviour will all change and we all need a plan.

This 10 point plan is for us all to use and should help us navigate the tough times ahead.  It is clear there is a bell curve through which the virus will go and therefore your business.  The fear factor will definitely kick in when it comes to doing business and I hope to tackle the main issues here today.

Communication:

When a crisis happens people become negative and fearful.  It is therefore essential to build relationships with all your stakeholders at this difficult time.  It will pay real dividends. 

Your Team – You need to communicate with your team on a daily basis. Tell them what you are doing.

Your Customers – Use technology, what are you doing immediately to navigate this crisis.

Your Networks, Suppliers and Stakeholders – Communicate through all of your social media, what are you doing because of this crisis.

Community – Press Releases are really important at this time.  Get a message out to the market place and let people know what is going on.

Positive Thinking and Positive Approach:

In any time of crisis and change you should be looking for the opportunities that arise.  Where are the chances for your business to do better and create more success at this time and add value to your business?  

You need to be the most positive member of your team and lead from the front – how do you win through this economic impact, stay focused on the positives and think about what you can do and not on what can’t be done.

Know economic cycles: 

Usually, there is a 7 – 10-year cycle.  We have been in the boom, Brexit and Trump were settling down and then suddenly crisis.  After a boom, there is always a downturn and you need to understand the impact that the virus will have on the global economy and your business within that.   Already some countries are coming out the other side and your business will also go through this cycle too. You will come through this but remember your business focus, be prepared to act and think differently, and don’t give up.

Understand Change: 

You can’t wait for these economic crises to happen, you need to get ahead and take action now.  Have a 90-day plan and do not think that this will blow over before then. If however you have used this time to become a leaner, faster and smarter business and it blows over before 90 days then you have still made positive changes that will have a longer-lasting impact on your business.  The only constant in life is change.  Look at your products, services, pricing, delivery and staffing.  Use this time to do some serious analysis and strategic thinking.

Cut back: 

This is going to be a time of real economic challenge for your business.  Cash will be king and you’ll need to stop spending on certain things. Don’t stop spending on areas that will help you grow, like sales and marketing.  But can you reduce your outgoings, renegotiate your fees and not do that upgrade you were planning?

Extend your credit:  

Get it now while they are still lending.  Get credit cards and extensions on the credit.  It gives you the opportunity to extend the survival of your business.  It might be that you don’t need it in 6 months’ time but at least you have it there now.  Try and re-negotiate your rates and refinance if you can.  

Staffing cuts and changes: 

This might be the hardest decision you need to make.  If you can not lay people off it is much better for moral.  You could have your staff do less hours and you could consider letting people take holidays.  You might need to do pay cuts and suspend any bonus programme you might have.

Plan to work from home: 

This is going to be the reality now for many of you.  The Government is encouraging us to do this and the technology is there to help you.  What technology do you need to enable your staff to work from home? How will you do meetings and how will you get reports through.  What processes and systems will you have in place?  Do you have a customer service issue and simple things like collecting mail from the office?  You need to be thinking all this through now.

Online and Deliveries: 

Can you deliver your product or service virtually or physically?  If you are in a restaurant how can you get deliveries into your customer’s homes?  If customers aren’t coming to you how are you going to keep everything moving and get to them?  Do you need to train staff? Key here is communication with customers and understanding what you can deliver.

Marketing and Selling: 

I can’t stress enough that in times of economic crisis you should not stop your marketing.  You must keep it going but your marketing is going to have to change. You can’t just think that your old marketing is going to work in this crisis situation as people are thinking about different things and are worried and fearful.  Remember to be positive in all your communications. Create new offers and rates and know your numbers in terms of leads and conversions. In this market can you get cash upfront?

In conclusion: 

At this time it is vital that you keep and look after your existing customer base.  Keep working with your customer base. Communicate with them and make sure you are reaching out all the time through deals and offers.  Make sure your existing customers feel valued. You need to over-deliver on customer service right now and it will set you apart. Use the above points to help you make a plan now.

What The Red Lion Pub in Portsmouth are doing…

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The Red Lion Pub in Portsmouth was in dire straits

No one was visiting the pub and no sales were being made.  So the owner of the pub had a great idea.  ‘If people won’t come to us, then we’ll go to the people.

They are currently offering to cook and deliver a meal to houses (within their catchment area) 7 days per week for £36.00.  What a fantastic idea and Red Lion owners I salute you and wish you every success with your fabulous idea.

What’s your idea?  How can you think outside the box?

Steve Mills, Marketing CONSULTANT

Steve

STEVE MILLS – PRESS RELEASE  – Small Business’s and Coronavirus – What will you do?

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Firstly DON’T PANIC

Many small businesses, including myself, are worried about how we can navigate the disruption to business that the Coronavirus is causing and will cause over the next few months.  The Government has laid out plans to help us and we need to wait to see what that practically and financially will look like.

In the meantime, we can make some real changes to how we work and try and mitigate our losses.  Many businesses can carry on in a virtual environment and we can use this valuable time, afforded to us by social distancing and self-isolation to do some much-needed housekeeping, the stuff you’ve been putting off!

  • Clean up your database.
  • Plan your marketing for the next 6 months and don’t stop marketing. 
  • Work on developing and improving your website.
  • Increase the number of connections on Linkedin and network.
  • Continue to advertise.
  • Increase your Social Media output.
  • Get involved with On-line training programmes.

Work remotely with your team and stay positive.  I’m a great believer in carrying on and have found Zoom to be brilliant in keeping in contact with my clients.  It’s easy to use and free at the first point of contact and I’d really encourage you to communicate with your clients and staff in this way.

FOCUS on your business, push your sales and marketing as hard as you can in order to survive and thrive.

We all need to think differently and we’re going to get through this.  Stay focussed and stay Safe.

Steve

P.S  I am just launching a FREE online training programme this week.  This is a GREAT TIME TO LEARN ONLINE!

Take a look here: Steve Mills  

 

My take on the current financial situation we all find ourselves in…

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What are you going to do about this current financial situation?

I fully understand the need to cut back, but cutting back on marketing when times get tough is the opposite of what you should be doing. 
In my opinion, businesses in the helping industry should be marketing an online seminar for your clients in order to help them to survive in these tough times.  Or, adding a blog post to your new website with 10 ways to survive this crisis and then using social media to drive traffic to the blog.  Or perhaps, doing a video and adding it to the blog and then using email and send it out to all your clients providing them with 7 ways to reduce costs.  Or at least writing a checklist of the actions your clients and prospects need to take in order to survive.

We are now in a current financial situation where businesses need to market to survive, not thrive!

I am going to double my marketing just to survive this current financial situation and then when this ends and it will, I will be in a far stronger position in my market.
In the next few months people are going to be at home.  They are going to be board.  They are going to do 3 things:
  1. Watch more TV
  2. Search and use social media far more
  3. Spend far more time online
Now is the time to provide them with good quality content so that when the end of this current financial situation is in sight, we are all in a better position.
That is my take on it.
Steve

How will the Coronavirus effect your business?

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Yet another blog post and video about the Coronavirus.  But this one’s different.

Let’s get to work…

1. What is going to happen?

  • Things are going to get worse.
  • The Coronavirus will make people really sick.
  • A small percentage of those people die.
  • Some businesses will close, cease trading, or go bust!
  • It will become harder for some industries than others
  • Lot’s of businesses with reduce, or stop marketing
  • And all that is really bad.

2. What is “everyone” is going to do?

  • People are going to continue to panic
  • Most are going to think there is no point in marketing their business
  • They’re going to panic for two reasons.
  • First, because this is a new virus and it’s pretty nasty.
  • Second, because of the media and social media.

In my opinion, World Health Organisation, or NHS is probably the best place to get your info about this situation.

3. What this means for your business?

I don’t know, but the best answer I can give you is – IT DEPENDS.

1. Are you going to spend your time browsing social media, watching the news all day, and talking back and forth with people about this situation?

2. Or are you going to push your sales and marketing as hard as you can in order to survive and thrive.  Are you going to FOCUS on business?

  • I’d suggest you focus on business, avoid crowds, and wash your hands lots
  • Most of your competition will be following the herd and living in FEAR, while  watching the news for updates on the Coronavirus”.
  • That means they’re NOT promoting. They’re NOT in front of the market. They’re NOT in the game.
  • They are net developing their website, or increasing the number of connections they have on LinkedIn
  • Many of them will stop advertising (or at least slow down).  If this happens on a big scale, the cost of advertising will reduce.

In my opinion now is the time to step up and LEAD.  To do whatever it takes in a legal and ethical way to ensure you survive.

What I’m doing personally:

  • Avoiding large crowds
  • Washing my hands lots
  • Work remotely with my team
  • Keeping my immune system strong and keep fit
  • Push my sales and marketing even more, in order to survive
  • Not go out to networking events
  • Train myself and my team online to constantly improve our sales and marketing knowledge
  • Network online using LinkedIn even more
  • Not attending meetings, other than online meetings
  • Cancel my workshops, but focus on promoting my online training programmes
  • Work on improving my website, and developing a new one
  • Improve the effectiveness of my digital marketing and learn some new skills in terms of video development and editing
  • Pay attention expert health organisations, not the media. 
  • Stay positive.
  • Be determined that my business is going to survive (after all it’s come through a lot of challenges in the past 25 years). 
  • Remembering my No.1 quote – “There’s always a way, if you are committed”
  • Come back from this stronger than when I/we went into it.

You and I can’t do anything about the Coronavirus other than follow the instructions that actual doctors are giving us all.

But I/we CAN do everything that I mentioned above.

The fact is that…

  • Most people aren’t promoting their businesses right now
  • Most people are not aren’t running ads ​
  • Most people are going to run their business into the ground.

I understand if you run a restaurant and if the government closes you down, then there is little you can do, but perhaps you can start a delivery service for the elderly, or perhaps you can start providing food for hospitals.  My point is – you may have to think differently.

My final thought!  We’re going to get through this.  Obsessing over it, worrying about it, and panicking is all OPTIONAL.

I suggest you opt out of that, keep focused and stay safe.​

Steve

P.S. I am just launching a free online training programme this week.  This is a GREAT TIME TO LEARN ONLINE!  Take a look here.

Online courses are set to become the go-to way to learn in the next few years and the industry is already worth $355 million each day!

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The business world is changing…

…Online courses are set to become the go-to way to learn in the next few years.

Already the industry is worth $355 million each day! Incredible I know. 

If you are an expert entrepreneur, perhaps a coach, a trainer, a consultant, a speaker or a therapist; then creating an online course out of your experience and expertise can create scale in your business that you could not achieve any other way.  This is because by creating online digital courses and using them as assets to reach a global market…

you can truly scale your business rapidly.

Creating digital assets like this means you can have that work from anywhere lifestyle.  

In this short video I explain the importance of getting clarity on what your online course will look like and how to map it out.

https://youtu.be/iNSVR8Vy9xM

I take you step-by-step through the process and show you how using a whiteboard and marker pen.

I show you my escape and arrival strategy, how to use modules to get your audience from where they are now to where they want to be, and the importance of structure, sequencing and systematisation.

You will be able to map out your own online course after watching this video.

Watch here https://youtu.be/iNSVR8Vy9xM

If you’d like to learn more why not come along to Michael Brooks free training – www.myexpertiseonline.uk/webinar

Or get in touch with Michael at…

Michael Brook

My Expertise OnLine
Mob: 07977 493 774
Office: 01328 738 333

‘FREE LIVE ONLINE RESULTS TRAINING SESSION’

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Are you serious about growing your SME?  Then take the first step and book your seat on my next ‘FREE LIVE ONLINE RESULTS TRAINING SESSION’ on Thursday at 12.30pm to 1.30pm

We are experts in helping business owners to improve their Sales & Marketing RESULTS and in doing so, improving their return on investment (ROI).

Take your first step to growing your business and sign up to our FREE no obligation RESULTS training session.  During this live online training session I will discuss how to create more leads in your business so that you can create more sales, profit and cash.

I will discuss:

  1. What I think is the No.1 mistake that I see 99% of small businesses making and one which is costing them a small fortune
  2. How to improve the performance, effectiveness and results from your current marketing achieves at no additional cost
  3. A system for improving your lead conversion rate, so that instead of closing 4 out of 10 leads, you close 6 out of 10 and grow your business by 50%
  4. The importance of becoming really good at one thing, whilst still maintaining multiple streams of income approach
  5. Commitment – How can you make growing your business a key part of what you do?
  6.  The key to growing your business is increasing sales, but how can you do this without wasting a load of cash on marketing that does not work?
  7. How you can overcome your biggest problem – OBSCURITY
  8. Being first and embracing technology.  It is no longer acceptable to say – “I am not very technical and I don’t know what re-marketing is, or I don’t know how to use LinkedIn”.  That statement is costing you money every day
  9. Maximising the performance of your most important marketing asset.

Please feel free to share the details about this event on your social media, via email, or with others who you know who would benefit.

 

BOOK YOUR SEAT ON THE RESULTS TRAINING SESSION HERE

 

The more marketing you do, the more money you make – Strange isn’t it?

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And yet most businesses don’t do anywhere near enough marketing.

They tell me things like…

  1. I am on LinkedIn, but I don’t do very much
  2. I use social media.  I post on there once per week
  3. I send out a quarterly email newsletter
  4. I speak to our clients when I can
  5. I am often slow at following up on enquiries
  6. When I do networking I don’t ever really follow people up afterwards
If you want to put a STOP to the statements above once and for all, then take the first step and sign up to our online training here.