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In talking with dozens of business owners over the last few weeks, the idea that “Everything has Changed” came up multiple times, so I spent some time talking with a group of my business coaching clients about what has really changed and what has not. We were not addressing the government mandated closures/limits on some industries, which are having profound impacts on some industries. We focused our discussions on what has changed for businesses that are open and operating at a reasonable capacity at this time.
On the surface, it may seem like a lot has changed, but the deeper we dug into the topic, the more we realized that in a sense, the changes in many industries were nothing new to the challenge of growing our businesses. To figure it out, at least for the group I met with, we asked ourselves two questions. The first was “How have your audience’s needs changed?” and the second was “How have you changed your message?”
I was surprised how many business owners hadn’t thought about their audience – their prospects, referral partners, former clients and for many, current clients. Most could not easily come up with an answer to this question, and it took quite a bit of prompting just to get the conversation started. This is crucial, because even when everything in the world is going full speed ahead and things are “normal”, this is a question we should constantly be asking. Customer needs change over time, with or without a world-wide crisis, and we need to be on top of this.
On the second question, there were still too many business owners that hadn’t thought about their message. They had changed their operations to match the current regulatory and safety needs, but they had failed to communicate this widely (to their audience), and most had not changed how they were marketing their products/services. For some of them, I pointed out how tone deaf their messages seemed, as they had been developed pre-COVID.
The lesson for business owners has nothing to do with the current crisis, it is more universal to the growth of any business. Your audience’s needs are always changing, with or without a crisis, and can change slowly or rapidly. This means that you need to be constantly taking your audience’s “temperature” and adjusting your offerings and your message about how your offerings meet their needs right now. This crisis threw some new wrinkles at us for sure, but there is nothing new to changing needs in the marketplace.
If you’d like to review your client’s needs and the effectiveness of your message to reach them, contact us to schedule your FREE 30 Minute Strategy session with one of our coaches.