Updated: Apr 2
Since COVID-19 hit, I've seen stress and fear intimidate local business owners. So I'm writing this letter to encourage you that it is possible for your business to actually THRIVE in this season if you combine your Montana grit with innovative business and marketing strategy during this economic downturn.
Two weeks ago, I met with the owners of one of the local businesses we do marketing for. They were understandably stressed out because their gross revenue was cut by 56%, their workers were maxed out because most of their staff was let go, their own workload increased, and they were uncertain of the future of their business.
During this productive meeting, I helped them restructure their current service, making it more essential during this pandemic, and also identified 3 brand new revenue streams, thus, diversifying their income stream, and taking their brand national with low, realistic overhead costs. Since they are a local service provider, this was something they had never previously considered.
After mapping out a logical, plausible and realistic path to be able to THRIVE beyond the revenue earned before the pandemic, stress and tension were no longer felt in the room. Our client went from feeling fear of the uncertainty to reassurance, and finally to excitement of reaching new customer demographics.
I don't tell our clients "this virus is only temporary, it will blow over soon" because speculative reassurance is false hope. False hope leads to a false sense of security, which leads to lack of planning and innovation. Without a plan for success in an economic crisis, business failure is imminent.
Think of a recession as a sharp curve on an auto racetrack-- the best place to pass competitors, but requiring more skill than straightaways. The best drivers apply the brakes just ahead of the curve (they take out excess costs), turn hard toward the apex of the curve (identify the short list of projects that will form the next business model), and accelerate hard out of the curve (spend and hire before markets have rebounded).
Examples of companies that were born out of the 2008 recession are Pinterest, Square, Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Pinterest, WhatsApp and Venmo. They are still thriving today in 2020. If these companies can survive and even THRIVE during uncertain times, so can your business!
Bitterroot Valley Business Owners, I want to remind you that you are an impressive group of men and women. You are diligent and hard-working. You excel at friendly customer service and order fulfillment, and you've shown your grit by running a business in a state within the bottom 25th percentile of average median income. No amount of training or money can buy these attributes. If you have the will to survive and THRIVE, then take this time to get creative and re-strategize so your business will have a higher chance of survival not only in this season but also in the next.
I'm very fond of this Valley and would like to see it as well as the entire state of Montana economically THRIVE regardless of the season we're in. My name is Lisa, and I've generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for my marketing clients over the past decade.
If you're a business owner in Ravalli or Missoula County, or even in the state of Montana who is in need of strategic help, I’d like to offer you a free marketing consultation.
Figure Out How to:
•Alleviate buyer anxiety
•Find new customer markets to sell to and expand your service region
•Identify your ideal customer’s wants and needs and test everything
•Maximize your marketing to generate traffic and sales
Schedule your free 15 minute marketing consultation HERE. I WILL NOT sell you on our marketing services during your consultation. If your business is not in direct categorical or regional competition with any current clients, then I will do my best to help your business re-emerge stronger and more profitable in this season so that it may THRIVE!
CEO of Bitterroot Valley Marketing