When Time Gets Tough, Just Show Up

May 03 2020


“80 percent of success is showing up.” - Woody Allen

That’s right, success starts with the simple act of just showing up. And if there is one thing that all entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators have in common, it’s persistence. But how do we “show up” in a time of social distancing? How do we persist when we’ve sent our employees home, our partners have temporarily closed their doors and our customers are struggling to make ends meet?

We show up. We ideate, we create new paths to show up for the people who matter. We make it personal. What do your employees need from you right now? How can you lift up your partners and support the very customers who have supported you throughout the life of your company? Get focused on their needs, get creative in delivering services and communicate, communicate, communicate. Unsure of where to start? Here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing.

Take a Customer-Centric Approach - Reach out to your customers and find out what they need. What problem are they currently experiencing that you are or could be in a position to help with? This is customer discovery – and this is not just an exercise for early stage entrepreneurs. It’s an ongoing process for any healthy organization and now is the perfect time to refocus and re-engage with your customers.

Promote Special Offers that Matter - This is not just a discount or an opportunity for lead generation. Companies that will come out of this time stronger will create opportunities for deep, meaningful engagements. Take a leaf out of Passageways playbook and offer your product for free or at a steep discount to not-for-profits who may be struggling right now. Or,

find a community effort to help support those in need and deploy your products or services. Engage your employees in planning and donating a meal to first responders. Companies that do something meaningful for their partners, customers and the community will be in a far better position when the economy opens back up.

Show Up Online - Now is the time to invest in search engine optimization (SEO). People are spending more time online, you want your brand to show up where your customers ae when they are surfing.

Enhance Your Social Media - Content is king – that statement has never been more true. With nowhere to go except to our various screens right now, social media is an important part of maintaining and strengthening your customer relationships. Spend some time fine tuning your content strategy and then publish on the channels that your customers use. They out there looking so be sure that they find you and not your competition.

Offer Remote Services – Take a critical look at your business model and determine how you can offer remote services. COVID-19 will have lasting effects and it’s likely that we will require more remote services in the future. Consider how your business can adapt to this “new normal” and start making adjustments now.

Create or Strengthen Community - Now is the time to really connect with your partners, employees, customers and community. While offering a special promotion or discounted product or service is a great first step, think about how the steps you take now and evolve into a long-term social responsibility strategy. Look at how you can do well by doing good.

Seek New Opportunities - You’re an entrepreneur so you’re a creative thinker. While the major changes in our economy can be frightening, this upheaval also brings about opportunities. Look at what is happening in your industry and in adjacent industries. How will your industry change and what has to happen in your ecosystem to adapt to these changes? Do you anticipate emerging problems? Likely so – which means you have a new opportunity to innovate and create that solution.

We may have a few more weeks of social distancing, but you still need to show up – now is the time to prepare for your next big success.

Writer: Ashley Bryan

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