1. Mindset & Motivation:
“How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.” – Lou Houltz
“When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.” – Terry Bradshaw
COVID19 presents many challenges to our state, our community, our families, our teams, and our business. Specifically, we have likely all been presented with physical, mental, and economic anxieties and obstacles.
In spite of these challenges, I wanted to share some motivation and practical tips to continue pushing your team and business forward during this trying time.
#1. Keep Calm
Calm is contagious. This phrase was popularized by former Navy SEAL Rorke Denver. Rorke shares that the best piece of advice received during his training was simple: calm is contagious.Be calm, and encourage your team (and those around you) to follow suit.
#2. Focus On What You Can Control
Having played and coached sports for most of my life, I’ve seen first hand how often players, coaches, fans and parents are tempted to focus on and criticize all the things they CANNOT control. They focus on how “cheap” the other team was or how “bad” the referees were. However, these are elements which you cannot control and are therefore a waste of time and energy.Instead, focus on the things which you CAN control. Focus on fostering a positive mindset through all of this and helping your team to do so. Focus on how you can continue to generate leads, make sales, and continue to grow (or, at the very least, maintain the status quo) your business.
#3. Have A “Zipper Merge” Mindset
Most drivers are extremely frustrated by those drivers who continue to the very end of the lane before having to merge. However, numerous studies have shown that this form of merging known as “zipper merging” is actually a more efficient way to increase traffic flow.During this trying time, the temptation is to cut all expenses, step off the gas, block others from making sales, but this mindset only leads to economic “stop-and-go” slowed-down financial flow.
The zipper merge mindset, on the other hand, is one that sees you continue to invest in your business and have faith that customers and other vendors will invest in your business, keeping the economic flow at a steady, efficient pace.
Normal, Inefficient Traffic Flow
Efficient, Zipper Merge Traffic Flow
2. Communicate with New and Current Customers:
Staying in touch with your current and potential customers is critical during this time of uncertainty. Here are several suggestions for how to keep your network informed and keep business moving forward:
1. Virtual Meetings, Consultations, and Estimates
- Meeting Tools: Facetime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, others?
- Estimate & Quote Tools: there are many digital, automation-driven tools that can help you prepare and produce quotes for your customers.
These vary by industry but a simple search on Google like: “best estimate tools for [name of industry]” should produce a list of results.
2. Website Banner:
Having a banner on your website that keeps customers informed about whether or not you’re open, or outlines how you’re responding to COVID19 is a great way to give clarity and make sure there are no obstacles for a customer looking to contact you.
3. Email Newsletter Updates:
Keep your past customers and database informed of updates about your business and how you’re responding to COVID19.
4. Social Media Updates:
With so many quarantined or suggested to stay home, your customers will be on social media more than ever. Keep your past and potential customers informed of updates about your business and how you’re responding to COVID19.
3. Sales & Lead Generation Strategies:
Maximize Profit On Your Existing Opportunities
Referrals / Leverage Your Existing Network of Customers
- Current Customers: ask them for referrals!
- Past Customers: reach back out, see how they’re doing during this trying time, and ask for referrals.
- “Dead” Leads & Follow Ups: follow up with that “colder” list of leads who may have passed through your pipeline in the last several months but never heard from.
Facebook Ads & Digital Door-Knocking
This script is specific to the Roofing Industry but the structure and principles could be applied to any Home Service industry:
- Insurance-Roofing Script: “Hey everybody, my name’s [Insert First Name] – I’m with [Insert Your Roofing Company’s Name]. I’m out here in [Insert City Name] by [Insert Name of Road or Landmark], and I just finished up an insurance adjuster’s meeting where the insurance company decided to pay to replace the entire roof, the siding, the gutters, the window screens, and the downspouts. Now the reason they’re doing this is because this home was damaged in a storm which came through here last year. So if you live in or near this area, put in your information below, and we can see if you qualify. Thanks.”
- COVID19 Script: “Hey everybody, my name’s [Insert First Name] – I’m with [Insert Your Roofing Company’s Name]. I know there’s a lot of uncertainty going on with everything related to COVID19, but while you have a little more time at home and to try and help out during this time of financial uncertainty, I’d love to stop by to see if you qualify for a no-cost replacement of your roof, siding, gutters, windows and other elements outside your home. …I’m out here in [Insert City Name] by [Insert Name of Road or Landmark], and I just finished up an insurance adjuster’s meeting where the insurance company decided to pay to replace the entire roof, the siding, the gutters, the window screens, and the downspouts. Now the reason they’re doing this is because this home was damaged in a storm which came through here last year. So if you live in or near this area, put in your information below, and we can see if you qualify. Thanks.”
Direct Mail & Targeted Telemarketing Campaigns
4. Cash Flow & Cost-Saving Strategies:
Hopefully you won’t need these, but it’s important to know what your options are.
- Due to COVID-19, small business owners in every U.S. state and territory are eligible to apply for a low interest Economic Injury Disaster Loan, from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
- Currently, these loans have an interest rate of 3.75%. Repayment times vary, but can be as high as 30 years.
- Here’s a link to a PDF that explains the process and what documentation you’ll need.
- Here’s a link to the application page.
- To talk to the Small Business Administration in your area, follow this link.
- If you have a business insurance policy that covers business interruption, you should contact your insurance company to understand how that policy applies to the COVID-19 situation.
- Many states have also set up loans or grants to help small businesses in this time. To check if your state has, visit the governor’s website. You can find a list of governor’s websites here.
You should also check your county and city website to see what resources they are providing.
- Many banks are also providing COVID-19 relief of one sort or another. Forbes has put together a list here. Visit the page, and then search for your bank’s name to see what their response has been.
- Facebook has committed to giving $100 million in cash grants to small businesses. More information on this program is coming soon; you can sign up for updates here.
- If you need cash quickly, you might consider signing up for this service through Kabbage. Through this site, any business can sign up to sell gift certificates online, and anyone can purchase them to support that business.
5. Improve Business Operations
Improve Systems & Operations
If you’re still using physical files, spreadsheets or some sort of makeshift customer database management system, this could be a great time to switch to a CRM solution that will help you store customer data and enable your business, sales, marketing, and development efforts in the long run.These vary by industry but a simple search on Google like: “best CRM tools for [name of industry]” should produce a list of results.
Key Business Data & Analytics
Do you know your close rate percentage? Do you know what your cost per customer acquisition is? Do you know your average profit margin per job / per service?If the answer is no or fuzzy, then use this time and opportunity to find out the exact answers to these kinds of key data points which are necessary the bigger you grow your business.
6. Help Your Community:
The more we can actively participate in helping our customers, our teams, our industry, and our community, the faster we’ll all recover from the mental and economic bumpiness of COVID19.
COVID19 Charity & Discounts: if you’re able to give customers or vendors a discount, do so and encourage others to do the same so that finances keep flowing at a moderate pace, rather than be shut off like a dried up well.
Share Motivation & Practical Tips: keep fellow business owners, team members, family members, friends, and customers focused on a positive mindset and be solution-driven rather than problem-obsessed.
If you have practical suggestions for how to continue to generate business, maintain cash flow, improve systems, and the like then share that with those in your network around you.
- Be calm.
- Focus on what you CAN control.
- Have a “zipper merge” mindset.