In case you missed it, in the spirit of serving you better, yesterday I posed the question:
What is your biggest need right now during the corona crisis?
Here’s a not so quick snapshot of some of the biggest needs and my answers (There were multiple variations of the same response so I’ve paraphrased and lumped them together.)
- There are A LOT of resources packed in here. So if you know someone who can benefit from my answers and the resources I’ve listed, please feel free to forward this to them and encourage them to subscribe to my newsletter for more resources and solutions moving forward.
After you read this hit reply if you’re interested in my coaching to help you and your business navigate the new normal and we’ll find a time to talk to see if it’s a good fit.
- Income: (This came from a number of people in the hospitality industry.)
Couple important options I want to make sure you’re not leaving on the table.
a. Since you can’t host guests, offer delivery service along with pickup of pre-packaged meals or a limited menu of items that are the most popular and the highest profit margin.
b. Become a swinger: Not that kind… A list swinger, share your customer list with craft breweries you do business with and have them share theirs with you. Combine forces to offer their beer delivery services with your food.
c. There’s a subsidiary of Citizens Bank called Shift 4 that has set up a website called Shift 4 Cares which enables people anywhere in the country to buy gift cards to their favorite restaurants and Shift 4 contributes an additional 5% to the restaurant. There appears to be no catch, Citizens doesn’t get a kickback or take a percentage at all.
d. Restaurants have the ability to sell “dining bonds”. For example a gift certificate the customer buys for $75. becomes worth $100. when they dine at the restaurant when it reopens. That’s just an example, you can set the discount type and rate to whatever you want. Here’s the website: https://diningbond.com/
- Note: If you live in a seasonal, tourist community you should already be collecting names, addresses and emails of your visitors so you can stay in touch with them year round. Precisely for situations like this. If they love you, they’ll want to help you by purchasing a gift card or dinner bond for when they visit your area next. Hell, it’s a perfect reason for them to WANT to come visit you when the travel ban is lifted. (See #2 for additional tips)
Also, Here’s the most comprehensive resource complete with links to the Cares Act:
- We do events. They ain’t allowed. Our biggest need is cash to get through the next three months.
a. See the CARE Act link above.
b. Beyond that, do virtual events to continue to be of value to clients and stay top of mind for when the quarantine and travel ban are lifted. Post recordings that showcase your talents at audio and video editing as well as lighting and live streaming. And of course reach out to past clients for referrals while you have a captive audience of people at home with their smart phones in hand 24-7.
- Residual income and/or a “side hustle”:
Create a continuity product (subscription service), build an email list, mail the list consistently. If you’re reading this it’s because you subscribe to my list. And I’ve built my business primarily by building an engaged list of subscribers to this newsletter. Ex. This email list has largely been responsible for: multiple best-selling books, coaching clients, membership community subscribers, speaking engagements and a host of other revenue producing opportunities. I don’t share any of that to impress you, I share it to impress upon you the importance of building a list and delivering valuable information and entertainment to it (not necessarily in that order).
Other means of curating subscribers and customers: Start a podcast, your product is the sponsor of your podcast so run a commercial for it. Promote signing up for your newsletter in the podcast. Be a guest blogger, podcast guest and guest speak at events or virtual events. Host your own events, sponsor other people’s events (can been done via trade w/ zero cost). Social media should be the last strategy you employ not the first (it’s ROI is far lower and you don’t own the platform).
Cue up the folks whining they “don’t have time”. Same folks also don’t want it bad enough or they’d make time.
** And for the love of all things holy DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT join a multi-level marketing “business opportunity” also known as a “direct sales company” also know as a freaking pyramid scheme. 73 Percent of People who Participate in Network Marketing Opportunities Lose Money or Make No Money.
- I know no one knows exactly, but what’s going to happen when this dissipates?
I did a deep dive addressing this exact issue as well as the ones below Sunday night on my monthly video conference with the members of my membership community. You can join here before the price jumps from $49 a month to $99. on May 1.
The short answer for you is this, some industries will flat out die. The movie theater business immediately comes to mind. Many theaters have closed permanently in the U.S. already. And a YUGE number of small private colleges are on their death bed bleeding out.
Other industries will experience a partial rebound. Citizens will be a bit gun shy and won’t be so quick to assemble en masse. Many people (my germ phobic self included) won’t be too keen on sitting in a crowded bar next to a stranger who is sneezing. So expect to see places like restaurants, theaters, concert venues, festivals/conferences at maybe 60-70% capacity for a while.
Will it be a land grab crazy rush with everyone just sprinting away from the finish line? Or will it be people taking very slow steps to test the ice?
Yes and yes. Recent history and our stupid 24 hour news cycle have demonstrated Americans and our politicians have VERY short memories. Lots will rush right back into the fray and others (the smart ones) will proceed with a bit more caution.
Am I stupid if I don’t take the government small business loans? What if I think I can make it and don’t want it?
No you’re not stupid, to the contrary not going into unnecessary debt is smart. If you don’t need a loan, it makes sense not to take one. That being said this is what I advise my coaching clients to do… If you’re a business owner, the smart thing is to have an already established line of credit (before all this) and be drawing from it from time to time. Why? Because the best time to get a line of credit or loan is when you don’t need one and when everyone else isn’t beating down the door to try and get one.
What if I need it 12 months from now, and it’s insolvent because the economy is still slipping its tires and has little traction?
Hindsight is always 2020. 12 months from now feels like an eternity yet will be here before we know it. Many pundits are saying the graph of our economy will be shaped like a letter V, the first half of that has already happened and it’s practically a vertical downward stroke of the pen not an angular one. Others say it will be shaped like a capital L and we are in for a long ugly recession bordering on the next Great Depression.
I think when we look back on 2020 the graph will look more like the letter W. but the center point will be about 50% to 60% of the way up to the two outside lines. Meaning, when the quarantine is lifted and non-essentials go back to work the economy and jobs will spike back up… not quite all the way pre-corona but it will spike. Experts predict the virus will rear it’s head again in late fall early winter, hence perhaps another quarantine and another downward dip in the economy but once that is behind us, and hopefully there’s an accurate test and a vaccine we will rebound.
I firmly believe this whole event has the ability to positively shape this country’s future much like post 9-11.
All the sudden you don’t see the left and right arguing with each other nearly as much. People are kinder, sharing resources, buying local and made in the USA products. This has exposed how fragile our supply chain is due to international dependence and especially the allure of cheap slave labor and low prices in communist China.
Manufacturing will return to the states, even if it’s only pharmaceuticals and medical devices/supplies and “adjacent” industries. Our Esprit de Corp is already stronger and I for one have already been buying everything humanly possible that is Made in the U.S. even if it costs more. (I’ll be compiling a list of recommended brands and products in the future.)
And if we all do this, the economy can’t slip and will gain much needed long term traction.
- FOCUS!!! I was doing great at first, getting tons of stuff done, but the longer this goes on (we have been working remotely for three weeks) the less focused I become.
Work-life balance became an endangered species the day personal computers became common place in homes in the late 80’s. It became extinct the day high-speed internet became the norm in homes in the 2000’s.
Since then what we’ve needed and need NOW more than ever are work-life boundaries. Here are my best tips:
a. Wake up at the same time and go to bed at the same time you did before all this.
b. Create a designated work station in your home if you don’t have an actual home office set up. Do not use your couch, recliner, bed or anywhere else where there’s a television in plain sight.
c. Dress up. Get out of your PJ’s, sweat pants or casual around the house clothes. Dress just like you were headed to the office. That includes hair, make up, shaving your face, shoes, etc..
d. Start and end your work day as close to normal as possible. (I understand kids doing their school via distance learning can throw a wrench in that.)
e. Take breaks… lunch NOT at your desk. Get out of the designated “office area”.
f. Work smarter not harder: Set a timer, work for 50 minutes and take a 10 minute walk. Repeat hourly.
g. Begin your day with gratitude and end it by documenting 3 successes you had no matter how small. Keep this in a journal, I recommend this one. And when you close that journal leave your work and your work problems mentally close the book on work for the day. (Think boundaries here)
- Ideas on how to honor our senior students who will be missing their senior spring sport season, their prom, and very likely, their graduation. Also needing some strategies to lead a group of passionate coaches through losing a season.
(Non-Academics, for this one you can substitute student with employee and coach with boss.)
a. Stay top of mind. Honor them daily: Post photos of each player on their birthday and tag all their teammates and coaches in the photo on social media. Send virtual high fives. Start a group text. Post and replay past games on Facebook and YouTube. Make a watch party out of it.
b. Does your state association allow for virtual workouts? My personal trainer has his clients in groups of four video conference for our normal workout at the normal time. You could do that. (Make it fun.)
c. Hold a virtual awards ceremony using Zoom video conferencing. By now, students are experts on that platform. Invite the parents, have a virtual master of ceremonies, a guest speakers (I’m happy to donate my services to that), coaches speeches, and mail them their varsity letters and awards. Alternately, plan on holding it in person in the summer. Or do both!
d. Remind them best case scenario is that they miss their graduation (ceremony) otherwise that means they failed their classes and will be back on campus repeating this year NEXT year.
e. Zoom team meetings to celebrate successes and personal achievements in and outside of school/classroom.
Note: Provide Proper Perspective for them because they lack context and any sense of historical perspective.
Does it suck for these kids, yes sure. Is it tragic? No!
I’ve been hearing student-athletes refer to cancellation of their season as an “extreme loss”. I’m sorry but there’s nothing extreme about it. It’s a loss, nothing more!
Extreme loss: Death of a parent, child or other loved one. The inability to be with them in their last moments.
Yes, you lost your graduation ceremony, prom and senior trip. To quote reader Gadi Adelman:
“Thousands of high school seniors had their senior summer ruined between the years of 1964 and 1975 when they were sent to a country called Vietnam and never returned.”
For your coaches, start with raising a glass in a virtual happy hour. I am doing that every Thursday at 5 pm with the members of my membership community. You can also host a virtual book club utilizing books that help them become better leaders (I can recommend a few of those). Virtual staff meetings with guest speakers. Record all these so anyone who misses it live can watch the replay.
- Levity !
This is an EXTREMELY important need for EVERYONE. We all need some positive distractions from the day to day monotony of self-quarantine and the constant fearmongering in the mainstream media.
Music, comedy shows, fiction books, entertainment, hobbies, recreation, watching your children or grandchildren play (assuming they’re in your household).
Here are some of my recommendations:
a. For music: My Spotify playlist consisting of the artists featured in my new book Beyond Stadium Status. Yep, SURPRISE… I’ve got a sequel to Stadium Status available for pre-order now. And when you pre-order here makes you instantly eligible for 3 amazing one of a kind collectible prizes.
b. Comedy Shows: There are some great new comedy specials available for free on YouTube. Personal favorites are Blowing The Light by Yannis Pappis and I Got This by Sam Morrill. Plus there are a million on Netflix.
c. And if you’re on social media, following my alter ego Coach Morgan Randall is usually good for a laugh or two a day.
- I’m job hunting, any suggestions?
I feel for you, it’s a tough time to be in the job market in certain industries and may get tougher. There are opportunities in businesses and industries deemed “essential”.
a. Look at industrial cleaning companies, they are thriving. Every college campus and corporate building will need to be deep cleaned before they are re-inhabited. (These companies need sales, customer service people and boots on the ground workers.)
b. For quick cash, sign up to be an Uber Eats, Whole Foods, Instacart or Door Dash food delivery driver. Instacart is currently hiring 300,000 new workers to fill their massive need for drivers.
c. Sell items you already own and no longer use or need. Ebay, Facebook marketplace and Craigslist are free platforms you can use. Another option is to buy things second hand, clean them up and sell them for a profit. Kind of like flipping a house.
d. Here’s a zero cost, immediate business you can start up. Up here in Northern New England, the ground is finally thawing as are the “landmines” people’s dogs have left in their yards all winter long.
e. Start a business scooping poop from people’s yards, $20 per yard (or more depending on yard size & number of dogs), put them on a regular schedule like every week or two. Yes, the first appointment will be more work and take a little longer but they will be so appreciative of not having to scoop poop, they’ll sign up for a continuity program. If you got 5 yards a day at $20 a day that’s $500 bucks a week, $2000 a month, $12k a year. And if you did the work before 9am or after 5 pm you could also work another job.
But is there a market for it?
Uh yeah… There are 73 million dogs in the U.S. and the average dog produces 275 lbs. of poop a year. That’s a total of more than 20 billion pounds. That’s a shit load of poop!
What do you do with all the poop?
How about power your household appliances with it… https://www.fastcompany.com/3045245/dont-throw-out-your-dogs-poop-its-now-a-valuable-natural-resource
P.S. Bonus points if you name your business Call of Doody. Slogan “We’re #1 in the #2 business”.
f. Don’t want to touch that? You can get paid to donate plasma, eggs and sperm. So there’s that too.
- I want to be a company that does something extra and unexpected for my customers during this crisis. Something that no one else will. But I’m also still living paycheck to paycheck at work too and there isn’t a lot of extra cash. Something that we can do to propel us forward that the big companies wouldn’t dare.
I’d need to know some of the nuances of your industry and competitors to really be able to dial this in for you. But a couple things come to mind…
a. Partnerships aka Fusion Marketing. Can you create a synergy with other vendors your customers use? You can ALL offer your customers a special deal and wouldn’t be stepping on each others toes or be a conflict of interest. Plus you can help one another get in the door of prospective clients you aren’t doing business with yet. At a minimum, you can include special discounts as inserts in each others product shipments. DETAIL: You want to spearhead this, so you own the network so to speak and can hand pick who becomes a strategic partner and who doesn’t.
b. Waive shipping or at least offer it to them at your cost. Pass some savings on to the customer.
c. Discount for pre-payment in full on orders.
d. Discount for long term contracts.
e. During the recession of 2008 the owner of a large commercial real estate hired a certain business coach to offer consulting to each tenant’s business. This was pure genius because by having the coach help each business grow during a time of recession, the property owner was able to not have tenants default on full rent payment and not ask for deferment or try to renegotiate terms to a discounted rate.
Perhaps there’s a variation of this which you can employ?
[Whispers… I’m available for consulting.]
- I’m a nurse not a marketing expert. My biggest need is to have everyone understand they need to be responsible for their own medical information.
There is a HUGE need for people proactively being responsible for their health information. Not just now but always. That being said what’s happening now with patients not being able to be accompanied into the hospital by a healthy family member shines a spotlight on its importance. This is a link to a workbook that is a one stop, go to document to keep all your medical information to share during medical appointments. (I’m not an affiliate and don’t receive a penny for any purchases of this. Just sharing to help you or a loved one.)
- People are looking for reasons to be hopeful and the strength to persevere. How ’bout pulling up some of your Coach Bru underdog stories and sharing one each day to infuse some positivity into your fans/followers. We all need our B-12 shot now and again.
In 2019 I wrote a daily email until late in the year when I had a neck injury. I will post more frequently but not daily, simply not enough time or return on my time quite frankly. I’ve also got a podcast that shares plenty of stories of hope, positivity and lessons giving you that strength to persevere. In fact I founded a lifestyle apparel brand that speaks to this very subject. More on that later this month.
- Getting the market/economy back up and running.
This response was from a realtor but my answer applies to everyone. Some markets/industries are running just fine, others are booming. But most (like real estate) are in a holding pattern.
Here’s my best advice. I can’t get the market/economy back up and running for you, neither can any politicians, a guy in a White House or the fed printing more money. But YOU can get YOUR market back up and running. Here’s what I mean…
Repair your roof while the sun is shining. In other words, you have the benefit of free time right now AND SO DO YOUR PAST CLIENTS. A realtor’s average take home on a single transaction is $8,678. But the average lifetime value of a real estate client is $45,052.68 (based on their referrals and being a repeat client)
Many people are so busy finding new clients that they don’t think about the value of their existing client base. So it behooves you to…
a. Stay top of mind with them, because after this is all said and done some people will need to downsize homes, others will have to sell and others still who are making money hand over fist right now (and some folks are) will want investment properties and a second home on the water. Also, expect to see an influx of people fleeing major cities to live in a more rural area.
b. Update your website, especially your photo. If it’s from a decade ago, or your hair is a different color or you’ve lost your hair or gained weight, people’s impression of you will be that you’re deceitful because your professional picture is completely incongruent with your actual appearance. Plus they’ll view you as lazy and hypocritical because you couldn’t be bothered to practice the “curb appeal” you preach.
c. Also feature testimonials preferably video testimonials (names and faces are important) rather than a static image and initials or just text. Anyone can manufacture bullshit printed endorsements and sadly many do.
d. Create some fusion marketing. Who are strategic partners you can feature in your marketing, inserts, endorsed letters and referrals. In real estate this is easy: Create a collective where you host an event each month with one person from each of the following: mortgage, insurance/title, builder, developer, home staging company and interior decorator.
Thanks to everyone for your questions. As always, please feel free to reply with more at any time. Lastly, I’ll leave you with this. Know the difference between forgiveness and forebearance.
Mortgage forbearance math…
A Mom and Dad have a mortgage.
It’s currently $1,500 per month.
Dad gets laid off, calls the servicer, and asks for forbearance.
In one phone call, he gets 6 months “off” from paying.
Seven months later, Dad is finally back to work, and hasn’t been able to save any money during the forbearance.
Forbearance is lifted and servicer says,
“That will be $9,000 + $1,500, which is now due”. ($10,500)
Dad almost passes out and says, “WHY??”
Servicer: “That’s the 6 months of forbearance plus the current month.”
Dad: “I can’t do that, can we work something out?”
Servicer: “Sure, we will spread out the $9,000 over 12 months.”
Dad: “Phew….ok, good. What will that look like?”
Servicer: That will be $2250 a month for the next 12 months.”
Dad: ” OMG!!! I can’t afford that.”
Dad: “Can I refinance?”
Servicer: “No because the loan went into forebearance.”
Dad: “What can I do?”
In a nutshell, this is forbearance friends. Forbearance is not forgiveness.
I hope this has been helpful, and again ask you to share with anyone you think can benefit from it.