This is not an easy time to be a small business, is it? As if it isn’t always hard enough, day in and day out. I want my studio leader friends to know I am here for you and with you in all the ways I can be. You can and will survive this and it is my true hope for you that you find a way to grow and expand from this challenge. Maybe not today, but eventually. Here are three ways I suggest you can try to make the most of a forced studio closure, downtime that is more than you’ve dealt with before, unplanned, but CAN be utilized to help your business long term.
If you want to chat about this more, just let me know. You can also book a FREE “Discovery Call” (basically a 20 minute call) on my website using promo code FREEDC for the forseeable future. Happy to chat about any business challenges: metrics, ideas for future, dealing with current challenges.
Ok, so if you are closing for a period of time, at least one of your biggest expenses, payroll, will be decreased. Your employees have lots of resources regarding unemployment and family leave right now, perhaps send them links to resources from your local state / governments. Here is a pretty good article for those based in California. Where else can you minimize expenses? Turn off the heat, cancel any upcoming purchase orders that you can, check on insurance discounts, etc. I would go through my entire list of regular expenses and see where I can defer, minimize, cancel for at least a month. You can and should ask for breaks on rent as well. This is a legal thing apparently, called “Force Majeure” defined here, and it doesn’t have to be written into your lease for you to have a basis with it. I have heard of several business owners in the MINDBODY One Community who have successfully gotten landlords to give them a break on rent for a month.
Can you find ways to still make money during this time? Could you offer your studio for rent to teachers to create online content or others still in business right now? Can you offer a few online classes / resources for free / different price point? How about 1:1 sessions or classes online using zoom (it’s so awesome and super easy to use)? What if you offered members some kind of perks for staying on membership, i.e. give them a private session via zoom, 5 video classes only available to them, and some kind of long term perks for staying dedicated. If they must cancel, we could offer gift cards, or perhaps some different levels of membership hold fees with “in-kind” donation options. Think outside the box here. I have loved seeing the restaurant industry offering pick up orders delivered to cars. If you are a spa or salon, you could offer product memberships, with delivery.
Work On Something New
This is a great time to spend some time and energy on something completely new, that could bring in new revenue for you and your business down the road; something that might be too time consuming or intimidating for you normally. For example, my first yoga teacher training program offered was a completely new revenue stream at my studio, brought in an additional $40k in revenue the first time I offered it. It took me a couple months of writing descriptions, submitting to Yoga Alliance, getting the website updated, planning schedules, getting teachers aligned to teach it, creating good content and notes, setting it up to market and sell online. That is all work I had to make time for during normal business life. I did most of the work in the summer, when it was a little less busy, and I even had to give up some regular teaching engagements to ensure I had enough time to work on the project. What kind of project have you been thinking might be a new, maybe even a “blue ocean strategy” for you, that you haven’t been making the time for? Now might be the time. I am working on my own online course. Perhaps you can take the time for your own continuing education & marketing planning for when you can reopen. I love hiking and listening to business books. This could also be a good time to spend time on the important, but not urgent tasks you might normally avoid. I know a lot of studio owners avoid the Numbers…I know, spreadsheets and numbers can be extra scary at a time like this. Yet, you have time, why not get the real story of your last year of reality, make realistic projections as to what might be your reality for the next few months and how you can make it work. Use this time to make a plan to RISE UP like the phoenix you are in the coming years!
Alright my friends, I am going to post this before my daughter wakes up as I too am in the chaos of trying to juggle adjusted schedules and life 🙂 Sending hugs and high fives. You know where to find me if I can help more.
We made the most of our first day of quarantine by playing in the rain, and now I’m working like a maniac while she naps! Ah, the ever elusive work-life balance.