Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Ideas for Entrepreneurs
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind so I'm going to jump right in. A great casualty of Covid-19 will be the death of small businesses, and the economy as we know it. It will kill us before we die from the Corona Virus. With more and more people practicing Social Distancing for the next several weeks, and huge events being canceled, we have to look at this situation from a different perspective than just the fear of becoming ill. More and more social distancing measures, like schools taking upwards of a month off leaving minimum wage parents scrambling to find child care, the President recently limiting gatherings to 10 people, and bars and restaurants under a mandatory 2 week shut down in a lot of areas - we are going to have to find ways to keep everything moving. Don’t get me wrong - these are all valid measures - but it is impossible to ignore that this will have a lasting effect on the back bone of our economy - small businesses.
So. What can we do to help curb this? How can we, as entrepreneurs, protect everything we've been building? While you’re practicing safe social distancing - here are 5 things you can do to stay productive and set yourself up to come out of this in a better place than you started.
1. Work on the things you haven't had time for
If you have an idea that has been percolating around in your head and you need more time to flesh out the ideas, why not now. There has never been a time like we are living in now. People make hundreds of thousands of dollars from their phone and a ton of them offer "lessons" for free on youtube. Why not learn how to do some basic coding so you can get a head start on your app, why not jump into WIX, shopify, or wordpress using bluehost. You can get free trials for mostly everything online. While you're at it, start a work board on Asana or Trello to organize your ideas and if you click the links above, you can get started and it helps out the site.
2. Learn a new skill
If you're like me, you are always looking for a new skill to add to your bag of tricks. Along with finding free corses on youtube, you can start a free trial of Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes in design, business, tech, and more. Anyone can join the millions of members in our community to learn cutting-edge skills, network with peers, and discover new opportunities. I use Skillshare all the time. I just finished a course about how to present to a camera. If you want to try Skillshare out, I will give you a free TWO month trial.
3. Write more blogs
We all get emails from lists we subscribe to highlighting articles, blogs, and other content every day. If you have wanted to start building a catalog of blogs, now is your time. Starting a blog is also a great way to gain confidence. If you are too shy to get on camera ( I have been putting it off for over a year ) a blog is the best way to get your knowledge out there. You never know what information you can empower other people with that they don't already know. You also have the freedom to make your blog your own. You get to decide the tone, look, feel, and subject matter. Writing down your thoughts helps you organize them, gives you clarity so you can move forward, and could be the mental block buster you've been looking for. One of the last benefits is financial gain. Inside blogs, you have the opportunity to create "evergreen income". What does that mean? Evergreen income is simple revenue streams that sell your services all the time. I write guest blogs on some other sites and I always try to include Ebay affiliate links, Amazon affiliate Links, and other programs like my Wix affiliate or Shopify affiliate. These links pay you a percentage of sales based off your readers clicking through and making a purchase. If you are a bar or other retail store, having a link to you products (or a gift card option) is also a way to generate some evergreen income. You do not have to manage the links or check on them. They whole system is automatic once you set it up and connect it to your preferred payment system. This doesn't cost your readers anything extra and is a great way to infuse some much needed revenue with out having to actively monitor it. I hope these quick ideas opened up your eyes to skills you are able to share with others, now start writing!
4. Plan all your social post for the rest of the year
If you are like me, figuring out social post for your own brand is stressful. I have unlimited ideas for my clients ironically. Now is the perfect time to plan out your social post. A GREAT way to do that is incorporating your blog. Inside every blog, you can break that pillar content into no joke, like 20 pieces of content. You can do a post introducing the topic. Then, several posts with snippets to the blog bringing inbound traffic to your site where you can convert some of those affiliate links I mentioned above. You then have the option to do some quick videos on facebook and instagram going into more detail about a specific piece of the original post. A way to bring your audience in is to then ask your friends and fans if they have any questions and have them submit them generating more content. There are a lot of options based off that one topic. You can set up some themes like "What I wish I knew", "tips and tricks", "News updates", and you can pre-plan all of that now. I am working on releasing a new program/ebook called "Unlimited Social Post Ideas" I will be releasing in the next six weeks that is designed to help entrepreneurs change their mindset about social post and unlock an unlimited gameplay for posting on your social media. Over the last 15 years, a constant with my clients has been coming up with content to post. This is going to be their best friend. Sign up for my newsletter to get notified first about the pre-release and discounted price before I open the system up to the public!
5. Continue to support your local small businesses
Please, Please, Please do not stop supporting your local businesses. Do not hold on to your money at this time. Our local businesses will starve if we don't continue to shop with them. Here in Chicago, IL and in Michigan and Ohio our bars and restaurants have been temporarily shut down to the public but they can still do delivery. Order dinner or lunch from them more than you have in the past to help them through this tough time. If you are a bar or restaurant, push your gift cards and gift certificates on your social media. ( If you need help with that, I have a solution that can be up in less than 24 hours with no extra charges from me ). Instead of going out to get groceries, use an app like Shipt to have your groceries delivered and use this link, http://share.shipt.com/mGPF2 to get $50 off the year membership! If you love a restaurant and order a special dinner on Friday nights for example ( my family has a favorite Chinese restaurant ) keep ordering from them because if they are a small business, these next two weeks could put them under and then you have lost the opportunity to order there forever. If you have a favorite small business brand or even Etsy Shop, log onto their site and make an order to help them through this time. If you’re a bar and Worried about your staff, set up a GoFundMe to help with their expenses. Even the larger brands need our continued support. Something I didn't think about until recently is the warehouse fulfillment staff of these national brands. Unlike their corporate co-workers, a lot of these workers do not have the same PTO and vacation time forcing them to work, and if the parent companies need to make cuts, their jobs could be in jeopardy. This is the time to support each other and our local economies.
Lastly, Here are some figures from last week about the outbreak to get some perspecive. The best two things we can do now is practice social distancing and continue supporting our local small businesses.
Stay safe and stay vigilant. We will get through this and if we all keep our heads, we can use this period as a jumping off point for a new era of entrepreneurship.
If this is your first time reading the NateMadeIt blog, welcome! After building brands for various clients and agencies over the last 15 years, I decided that the best use of my skills and talent, the way I can do the most good, is teaching entreprenuers and small business owners how to shift their mindset and understand how to build their brands bigger than they ever dreamed. My name is Nate, I am a full stack brand expert and I know how to cultivate a consistent image across social media, web, print, and change they way your customers view you. My work centered around setting you up to win and solve your business and marketing problems with quality and consistent design, strategy, and branding. Contact Me today if you want to start a project.