For any service business, the recent quarantines and social distancing measures put in place during the COVID-19 outbreak can be terrifying. For those who rely on face-to-face interactions, there may not seem to be an option to just work from home. Here are some options to continue making money, even when you can't keep your doors open.
Online Meetings & Sessions
I just met with a client who owns an insurance agency. While his office is shut down during the outbreak, his employees are working from home. He was able to reroute his calls to his home office and to company cellphones. Before the outbreak, we had begun implementing strategies for virtual meetings to enable more flexibility for clients. This has proven to be invaluable during the shutdown. With resources like Zoom and Google Meet, he's able to meet face-to-face with clients and prospects without risking infection.
To fully digitize the experience, we have created a Calendly account for his agency where he sets his availability for the week. Clients and prospects are then able to schedule a 30 minute meeting.
Calendly integration with MailChimp then sends a confirmation email to the meeting attendee that contains a link to their Zoom meeting. We have shared the Calendly link to his social media pages and distributed through his agency newsletter. This allows him to continue having meetings, participating in sales calls, and continue to onboard clients.
For personal training businesses, Zoom can be extremely beneficial during this time. Trainers can video conference with their clients and walk them through at home exercises in the comfort of their own homes, using the equipment they already had. Resources like Google Sheets and Docs can help chart progress, and MyFitnessPal can be an excellent way to share meal plans and stay on track.
For businesses that can't continue to operate during the COVID-19 outbreak, such as hair salons, nail salons, exercise studios, and more, online gift cards are a great way for your existing customer base to continue to support you while you remain temporarily closed.
A great way to set up e-gift cards is through Square. You don't need to be using Square are your payment processor to utilize this service. To set it up, sign up for a Square account and follow all steps for set-up; click on Gift Cards on the left menu bar, and follow the steps to set up your gift card.
You can then copy the link to the e-gift card and use it as a menu item on your website, send it out through email, or share it to social media. Click here for your free e-mail template for e-gift card promotions.
New Business Segment
The social distancing measures may seem overwhelming, but it opens the door to start that project you haven't had time for. Now is the perfect time to launch an online store through Shopify or develop an online course on Skillshare or Kajabi.
While we wait to see how the coronavirus will impact us in the months to come, it's important to remember that you're likely as lost as everyone else. Take the time to reach out to your existing customers and clients and inform them of any changes to your business in this time, or just check in to see how they're doing. Staying in touch with the people you serve is especially important now, and can make all the difference in how your business recovers when the time comes to reopen.