It has been a tough time. Me and my organization, we had our revenue kind of rewind four or five years back. It’s still more than when it started 10 years ago, but it’s tough as the founder and CEO, I see my bottom line and think: Hey, you know, all that hard work just wiped out. Four to five years. I’m wondering, how is this time treating you? What are you doing to get out of it and just improve everything?
We have been lucky in the US. Some people say we’re lucky. Some people say we’re not, but there were a lot of resources directed towards small businesses. That’s been helpful for my clients as well as for myself.
When they shut things down, there was a period of time in that March and April when I wasn’t closing any clients. Also with my existing clients, a lot of them were on a monthly program with people. I do a six-month program upfront. And then we often do monthly work and a couple of the businesses went to zero and they came up to me and were like, I’ll take a pause. I just can’t keep going forward. I went back and I was like, No. You are going to be infinitely more likely to be paying me full price in six months if we keep working together.
So I did work with people on price. I started going out into the community and being more upfront about doing demo sessions. I was like if you bring me small problems, we’ll work on it. Let me give you some tools. Going out to people that I knew and offering them that because I knew that that would just be enough to kind of get them up, get them moving and taking action.
I do think that that attitude that you’re expressing, which is that feeling, which is very intense that, oh my God, I’ve rolled back to where I was. You have to imagine the area under the curve.
You still accumulated all of that money that you’ve spent on things and whatever, and then have the life that you want, and you also accumulated all of that knowledge, all of those contacts, all of that experience. So you’re not back where you were. Four years ago, right? Your business has evolved quite a bit and you have evolved as a leader and as a business owner.
What I am seeing is that for some people it’s, Hey, you know, this business isn’t really what I wanted to do. I started to get more clients after the first drop. People started coming in because they’re realizing that the reason their business is suffering so much now is because they didn’t plan for X or they didn’t know why, or they’re not very good.
Like I said, my clients, we could negotiate and they’re still paying me now. Some of those clients are paying me less. New clients are generally paying me full price, but like, I did have some negotiations, but they didn’t leave me. They didn’t fire me. We were able to work with that. I’ve seen that with the clients I’ve worked with for a longer time is often they were able to use this time to reset relationships.
Go out if you’re really looking at your business. Let’s say, for example, you were a retail business and you had no eCommerce presence. You have had 20 years of Amazon coming at you. So you’ve been in denial about the fact that it works. I’m not saying your retail business can’t survive, but what is the value to you? Why do I come to your store? It’s because I like you as the shop owner and you’re friendly and you help me. If that’s what it is, then you need to start selling that virtually. But you can still keep me as a client or a customer if you know what you’re providing me.
There’s a lot of stuff that is going on where people will be able to push through to the other side once they really understand what is the value they provide. I’m happy to talk offline about this because I know you’ve got a bunch of businesses. You’re definitely not back four years, as much as it feels like that.