How to Not Let a "Snow Day" Rob Your Profits
We're in the middle of a winter storm in Virginia as I write this post. It's rare for us to get snow in Virginia Beach. Even rarer for accumulation. We're expected to get anywhere from 5-10 inches before it ends. And this is exactly a week from a smaller storm we had that dumped about 3 inches on us with frigid temperatures that messed up roads, created days of black ice, and shut down a lot of businesses.
Although you can't do anything about the weather, as a business owner, you CAN (and should) do something to minimize or eliminate the monetary impact inclement weather has on your bottom line. One way is to find ways to take your business "virtual."
When the storm hit last week, many businesses had to close down for a day or two because their employees or their customers couldn't travel to their offices. Mine did not.
As a hypnotherapist and coach, I can work with people in person or virtually. This not only expands my ability to work with more people because we're not bound by location and their ability to come to me for sessions, but also because even those clients who are local have the option (for time, convenience, and flexibility) to do the work over the phone/Skype instead of in my office.
So when the roads became snow-covered, I was able to do all my sessions via my phone conference line or Skype. That is what I am planning for the next day or two, as well. I can even conduct my consultations or business strategy sessions by phone, which I did last evening.
Finding ways to take your business on line will help you, too, expand your client base (because you're not bound by proximity) and your ability to keep your clients' scheduled appointments (and expected payments).
Now, before you go dismissing this business tip because you don't think it fits into your business model, begin to think outside the box. If you do "hands on" work, you can do a phone or video skype session sharing and demonstrating some self-therapy techniques with them.
You could also create passive income (that can come in "magically") through products that you sell online. This might include recorded "how-to" audios or videos that share your expertise or techniques with them. I have a couple of clients who do reflexology and/or energy medicine, who are planning to create a series of free videos for marketing and/or for their client resource library.
If you're a massage therapist, chiropractor, dentist, etc. (who people really need/want to experience the hands-on work with) or if you're a brick and mortar retail shop, the opportunities for virtual assistance to clients/potential customers is more limited. But, it's not impossible.
In these situations, creating continutity or "make-up" incentives is the key. Here are just a few ideas:
- Open the office on a day you are normally closed (as soon after the "snow day" as possible once travel is safe again) to allow those people to get in their session in a quick manner so you–and they–can get back to your normal schedule more easily.
- Offer an incentive (a free product or free/discounted service) to reschedule their missed session within a short time period (ideally no longer than a week) or to come into the business.
- Take advantage of the likelihood of people being home-bound and make phone calls to leads who never followed through or past clients who might appreciate a prompting to come in for some more time with you–even offering a "storm in" or "state of emergency" special.
- Prepare for emergencies with a "disaster recovery plan" that fits your small business.
- Get creative, think outside the box, and make sure Mother Nature doesn't diminish your ability to keep your business running smoothly and in the black.
Have other ideas that you've effectively implemented, or that were spurred as a result of reading this post? Share them with the rest of our readers in the comments section below.
Do you need help figuring out how to create virtual services for your business to increase your income or maintain profits when clients can't come to you in person? Schedule a complimentary MMM Strategy Session with me to identify what short- and long-term solutions you can create to serve your clients online as well as off–so you can keep them AND you in growth mode!
Your partner in success,
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach