“More than ever, people are turning to the internet for commerce and information. This provides both challenges and opportunities for business owners who are trying to navigate the new normal. The challenge is standing out in an oversaturated market,” said — Heather Poduska of Clear Voice Branding LLC headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Poduska asks, “How do you grab the attention of your buyers with so many players in the field?”
During the pandemic, Poduska said one answer is foundational.
“The opportunity is for entrepreneurs to clearly define a unique brand presence, so they can rise above the noise. A vanilla brand presence will get you nowhere,” she said.
“It's the entrepreneurs who take the time to clarify a potent brand voice and learn how to position themselves as specific problem solvers, who will draw ideal clients to their business even in challenging times.”
COVID-19 is Opportunity to Reflect on Personal Stories and Legacies
Anita Sechesky of Living Without Limitations Inc. and LWL Publishing House headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, sees COVID-19 as a time for people to shift both personally and professionally.
“As a Registered Nurse, ICF-Certified Professional Coach, and the Publisher of LWL Publishing House, I have worked with hundreds of individuals from all walks of life and believe that the current crisis in the world will shift people into opportunities of personal and professional growth, utilizing platforms like my boutique publishing company which specializes in books geared around equality and emotional healing,”
Sechesky works with novice writers who want to share their stories.
“We help to establish novice writers sharing their stories of overcoming life’s traumas and tragedies into sought-after publications. People want to hear from real people, not just the public figures who are already household names,” Sechesky said.
“This present moment in history is pivotal in identifying one’s strengths and weaknesses, leading to a greater awareness of the true characteristics of each individual. Those who have allowed the busyness of life to mismanage their direction will awaken to new opportunities and those who are already open-minded will stretch themselves in directions they never envisioned,” she said.
Pivot is Key for Survival for Small Businesses
Dr. Shellie Hipsky of Inspiring Lives International in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has embraced the COVID-19 pandemic and saved her motivational media company with insight and ingenuity. “Covid-19 shifted small business owners and CEOs like myself in to pandemic “pivot mode.”
“I had to switch from my Inspiring Lives Magazine being distributed in stores to 100%online and free of cost to readers,” Dr. Hipsky said. “With this move, the magazine is no longer reliant on advertisers and people shopping in the retail locations.”
Not only did Dr. Hipsky change her monetization. model, she changed her mission “This pivot allowed me to be totally mission-driven based on my nonprofit the Global Sisterhood 501(c)(3) providing resources and reader-written content to inspire and empower the women of the world,” she said.
“My award-winning 13th book Ball Gowns to Yoga Pants: Entrepreneurial Secrets for Creating Your Dream Business and Brand became very timely; because, so many people left behind the formal dress of their pre-Covid life to launch/run their businesses
from home in yoga pants.
Not only has Dr. Hipsky changed her business model, she is embracing a “stay-at-home” model to care for her family. “During this stay at home time, often entrepreneur’s children have been quarantined and homeschooled and personally this was an opportunity for me to dive into parenting as a “mompreneur” while teaching and bonding with my children.”
The ‘Virtual Stage’ is the New Normal and Key During this COVID-19
Angelica Underwood, Global Leader and Founder of Empresarios LatinX Media from Arlington, Texas, agrees with Heather Poduska that now is the time to get into the spotlight.
“During uncertain times of COVID-19, it is time for entrepreneurs to dominate the "virtual stage" and deliver their message on different platforms,” Underwood said.
“Every business and organization needs to learn how to serve in a hybrid business model. Nothing will ever be the same anymore that is face-to-face events, eating at restaurants, speaking on stages, the traditional school system — COVID-19 has changed how we serve people across all disciplines and businesses. We must learn to step into the "virtual stage" to succeed and serve millions across the world.”
Customer Service Experience (CX) Opportunities Expanded During Pandemic
While many businesses are pivoting, customer service is key since many people now working from home. Lauren Faby, CCXP, of Faby Consulting in Naples, Florida, sees customer service as more key to success than ever.
“Businesses that see a slowdown in day-to-day operations resulting in additional employee availability have an opportunity to use this time to create a solid Customer Experience Program (CX),” said Faby. "CX programs unite organizations by aligning all departments toward common goals of the business.”
Faby outlines steps business leaders can take to make customer service foundational. “Use this time to engage employees by involving them in defining what the customer journey looks like and how each part of the business can affect the customer experience. Second, set CX goals and communication schedules. Time can be a gift if you use it to launch a program that makes your employees feel like they are an integral part of the company’s success. Your customers will thank you, too.”
Business is Expanding Rapidly During Pandemic
While some people are concerned about the economy, some businesses are experiencing rapid growth and expansion. Diane Chasick of Chasick LifeSmile in Merritt Island, Florida, is amazed at the growth of business during this time.
‘I just found out our company did $12M in sales last week!” Chasick wondered if it is because of COVID-19? “We are only two and half years old. It was a historic event. Very few Direct Sales companies have ever achieved this incredible level of sales.”
Chasick wondered if the influx of people being at home helped the increase, or if people are realizing that they can stay home and still make a living while caring for their family. “Yes, the opportunities for home or 'phone' based sales have soared. Why not?” Chasick said.
Now Is the Time to Show Up
As Heather Poduska said, “With so many eyes on so many screens right now, the savvy entrepreneur can not only survive in this economy, they can establish themselves as industry leaders and come out ahead financially. The key is knowing how to effectively communicate your value in a way that also expresses your point of view. Without a stake in the ground, your profits will get blown away by the competition.”
Name: Tamara Patzer
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