With the mandate for all non-essential businesses to shut their doors, no group gatherings or close interactions with people – service business owners were blindsided. They were challenged to come up with ways to overcome the natural response of fear and panic during this crisis.
Businesses who relied on face-to-face learning, group meetings, travel or physical interaction with their customers, are no longer able to operate as ‘normal’. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused impact to one’s brand, human resources, methods of delivery and cash flow.
The entrepreneurs and leaders who stay stuck as ‘poor me’ with emotions of worry and panic are blocked from creativity problem-solving. Every problem has a solution, even in a global pandemic.
If you want to change your situation, change the way you look at it. Formulate fresh ideas and ways to deliver your services to honour health and the spread of a virus causing a Pandemic. Find creative ways to stay CONNECTED to your customers. Offer them support and motivation while in isolation. Take the time to embrace technology and find alternative ways to keep your business ready for the new normal. This will not last forever!
I feel compelled to share a personal story of a heroic entrepreneur and leader who stepped up and rose above all odds. She went outside the comfort zone of her business model with the COURAGE to find another way. She wanted to operate and keep her service business thriving in the most challenging times in history.
The Entrepreneur and hero of this story is dance studio owner Stacey Carrigan, DMA, CDMA along with her team at Dancers Burlington.
My daughter Zoe is a highly intense competitive dancer at Dancers Burlington for many years. She is on-site an average of 18-20 hours of dance instruction a week, spanning ten genres. Like all other non-essential businesses, her dance studio was forced to close their doors and mandated not have any group sessions on-site that service 500 dancers ages 2 and up.
This could have been a catastrophic event for the studio owner and her teachers. However, she was determined not to let this pandemic kill her business or ruin all of the hard work her dancers have put in. Regardless of competitions being postponed, she made a CHOICE. She wanted to find a solution for her students, who have been conditioned to attend the studio many hours a week. Stacey found an alternative method to deliver her service to her students – who were dormant, bored and lost without structure. She redesigned her entire curriculum and maximized her highly influential impact as a role model.
She duplicated their normal class days and times and redesigned her entire team to be able to work on live stream to conduct dance classes using Zoom.
She has set up over 200 hours of live Zoom dance classes with a regular 20 hours per week schedule for over 100 competitive dancers and 400 recreational dancers. The dancers will be able to practice all of their routines and classes from anywhere they can access the Internet. This could be done in their backyard, home studio, or garage. All of the hard work the dancers have put in will not be lost! They will be in top form when classes begin again, giving them the edge over the competition. This studio owner depicts the passion needed to succeed, even in times of doubt.
We can all follow this studio owner’s lead. Dental practices are still available for emergencies, but many of you may be worried about the reliable check-up income. Instead of closing yourself off from your patients, let them know you are available. Set up virtual office hours, where they can make appointments for any unexpected concerns that are not emergencies. Keep in contact with patients through e-mails and newsletters. Offer other services that can be done virtually too!
Patients, just like many dental practices, are full of uncertainty about the current world climate. Take this opportunity, not only to let your clients know you are there for them but make some additional income on the side! There is opportunity everywhere if you aren’t afraid to try new things. I hope you have found this story as inspiring as I have.
Until next time, stay safe, healthy, and radiant.