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5 Tips for Moving Your Business Online
The new coronavirus is on everyone’s minds right now, and alongside the important health conversations is another thought for people who are their own boss – what do I do when I can’t see people in person anymore?
If this is you, here are some tips based on my experience of running a fully online business for almost a decade (and helping many others create their own!)
1. Get Creative. My favourite training spot in LA launched online classes as a result of mandated city-wide gym closures last week. This involves both videos on demand, and also some ‘live’ classes where you can see your trainer and they can see you. Not only do their loyal clients get a way to work out at home, but old clients (like me!) who aren’t in the city right now are signing back up from around the world! I say this because going online means that while you might not attract 100% of your current customers, you may well find others coming out of the woodwork once they hear they can do it from home.
2. Make the most of the technology that’s already available. For example, you can use Zoom, my recommended video conferencing system, to transition to online sessions, webinars or classes. Easy to use, you set up, decide if you’re doing video or just audio and send clients the link. Use this for pro-level individual conversations, small groups or even large. If you run groups, sessions, individual consulting or anything face to face this is a great solution to do it from home.
3. Think outside the box. If you have a physical offering (like food), think of other ways to deliver that to cater to people who are staying home right now. For example, if you can’t open your café, can you instead create pre-prepared meals from your customers’ ‘favorites’ list? In a time when freezer aisles are selling out, this would be a popular option!
4. Keep it simple. If you don’t have the support or time to create a full offering like the above, keep it as simple as possible by asking “what do my people most want right now?” It might be “weekly sessions” or “group support”. Now find the simplest way to deliver that. For both of the above, all you need is:
- A way to take payment (use PayPal or whatever you already use!)
- A way to welcome them in and communicate from here on in (I recommend Convert Kit for this – this is how I manage both my email list and how we email course members! You can set up an automated ‘welcome’ message within this so you don’t have to send the same thing out to each person, and importantly you can automate reminders so people show up!
- Then you need a way to deliver it such as Zoom for video conferences if that’s the way you’re going.
Working with lower numbers of clients? You can keep this even more simple by just taking payment, having a ‘thank you’ page saying you’ve got your place and will hear from me within 24 hours, and manually emailing each person the info and link to join the sessions!. That’s more time-intensive – but it’s better to start something than stay frozen because of technology-overwhelm! You can always ‘upgrade’ after the first round.
5. Remember that people need you as much as you need them. Many of us are missing our usual places – so what can you do to bring a piece of that over to your people?
There is so much possibility online – your market expands and it can get you thinking more creatively as well. So while you can use the above to start to cover your income while this pandemic is going on… it’s also possible you’ll want to stick with some of it to supplement what you do or give you more flexibility moving forward! If you would like to make your business go online even more and wonder what tools to use, see my resources here.
But whatever you do remember the Free Range Humans approach is to start simple, start with what’s in front of you but above all – to start. You don’t need a huge social media following to do this – you just need what you have now.
So what can you do from this, starting this week?