COVID-19 has the business community on edge, there’s no doubt about it. Closures of non-essential businesses may have you really concerned about what the future holds.
Trust us: you’re not alone.
We surveyed our members to find out how they’re feeling, what’s impacting them the most. Most importantly, we asked what resources they need right now to help.
In response, we’ve introduced the Survive & Thrive series! 🎉
This weekly FB Live series is aimed at providing business advice and resources to get you through COVID – 19 and beyond!
Tailwind has this higher mission in the near term. We need to help people stay in business, navigate this situation and take care of their families. That’s a bigger social calling right now.”
Tailwind CEO Danny Maloney and Alisa Meredith kicked off the first episode in the series: “How Your Business Can Survive COVID -19 (And Thrive After!)“
Catch up on the full replay below, and scroll down for show notes, tips and worksheets!
We’ve also created a quick summary with this infographic:
Watch the Full FB Live Replay
Meet Daniel Maloney, CEO of Tailwind!
You may be wondering exactly who Danny Maloney is and how he’s qualified to help! As Danny says, he’s not a financial advisor or a certified accountant.
This is more coming from the angle of someone who’s worked in different industries, businesses of different sizes, who’s built companies and is a small business owner and leader.”
Danny Maloney, Tailwind CEO
Danny’s personal experience uniquely positions him to offer tips, perspective, and resources to business owners who are struggling! Here are some career highlights:
- Started his first company in college (while studying business and engineering!)
- Worked for Boston Consulting Group helping companies dealing with difficult situations ‘work the problem’ and succeed
- Oversaw new product development and creating new business models at Google, Youtube, and AOL
At AOL we had to do a lot of problem-solving and restrategizing. We had to figure out “okay, how do we take this great name in the tech space and chart a new course and direction so it can ultimately be stronger than it was [at the time].”
And of course, Danny is the co-founder and CEO of Tailwind App! He deals with decisions about business growth and problem-solving on a day to day basis, including COVID-19 response!
Ready to hear his insights? Let’s dive in!
COVID-19 & the Economy: What You Should Know
Here are some fast facts about what Danny is currently seeing in the economy – and what it means for you.
The Stock Market Is Dropping Substantially
However, this doesn’t automatically mean we’re headed for a painful recession (like 2008). The stock market usually doesn’t dictate trends in consumer spending or drive US retail sales.
After all, people will continually buy things. They have to keep living life!
In the 2008 recession, the stock market and consumer spending took a significant dip.
E-Commerce Sales Are Trending Up
E-commerce spending is currently up 27%. According to Attentive, e-commerce spending is up, particularly in food, general purchases, health, outdoor and pet industries!
However, auto, sports, and some apparel sales are trending down in general. This makes sense if you think about it. As Alisa says, “who needs a new outfit when you’re working from home in your sweatpants?”
Speaking of sweatpants, comfort clothing, workout, fitness-related and wardrobe basics apparel spending is up. However, festival, event-driven clothing, vacation, bridal and outdoor/ swimsuit focused retail sales are down.
Also trending up are electronic sales for home electronics, home office, and internet. Portable accessories sales are trending down.
This sales pattern makes sense as people adjust to being productive from home during COVID-19.
If you offer products in these categories, you may be doing comfortably now, and that’s great! But it might be time to look ahead and prepare yourself.
If you are doing well now, is this going to be sustainable? The answer in most cases is probably not.
There will be a natural decline in these categories after people have stocked up, especially as quarantine periods wear on. So, it’s a good time to think about what happens when that decline begins.
Don’t Underreact, But Don’t Overreact
The truth is, right now we don’t know when we’ll see the bottom of the economic impact. Most banks and economists are predicting that Q2 will be pretty rough on the economy (April – June), but that things will begin to rebound in the latter half of the year.
However, these are predictions – we won’t know until we’re there.
A good strategy is to plan for the worst, and hope for the best. This is especially true if you’re in a consumer-focused market!
The first step? Assess where you’re at right now with your business: In Crisis, Tough Times or Good Times.
How to Assess Your Current Situation
The best way forward for you depends on where you’re at right now! Take stock and rank yourself as one of these three:
- Good Times – Your business has not been negatively impacted 😁
- Tough times – your business is seeing mild to moderate impact 😐
- In crisis – your business is impacted severely, and/ or your ability to operate is in immediate danger 😱
If You’re In Good Times
Yay! We’re glad to hear it. If you find yourself in good times right now, stay focused!
If you’re in a period of good times, stay focused. Execute, fulfill those orders, take care of your customers and keep growing.
If You’re In Tough Times
This is the bucket where most people fall. The good news is, you have some time to make plans and carefully consider what you need to do to move forward.
Right now, you want to protect the assets you have. These can include:
- Traffic funnels
- Knowledge and skills
Protect the assets you have. Don’t give up on them, and don’t let them decay to the point where when we come out of this, your business is not in as strong of a position to participate.
Right now is also the time to consider pivoting, restructuring and/ or retooling a part of your business or offerings.
Work like this right now will lead you to being more efficient and stronger, major pluses for weathering the current economic landscape!
If You’re in Tough Times
For solopreneurs, there’s no such thing as a business crisis and a personal crisis. It’s all personal.
If you’re going through tough times, the important thing to know is you’re not alone.
When you’re in this spot, chances are you need to make some quick decisions about resources and potential relief. You can find links to all the information Danny covers in the Live and a few more in our COVID resources list.
This includes helpful information about government packages, SBA loans, healthcare coverage options, and debt relief help!
Right now, you should try to protect those assets we mentioned as much as possible. But it’s okay if you don’t. In a crisis, family and survival should always come first.
Business Assets Planning Worksheet
It’s common in a recession to see immediate revenue drop. But even when that happens you can still protect and grow your assets to be positioned for a strong rebound as the economy recovers.
Here’s what to do with your Business Assets Planning Worksheet:
1. Define Your Assets
List one asset in each box. Then, put a star next to the three most valuable assets.
Think broadly: Beyond cash, receivables, and inventory – your team, clients, audience, communities, brand, content, products, traffic funnels, knowledge and skills are assets.
2. Brainstorm How You Can Protect And Grow Your Assets
3. Prioritize your Resources
You may have less cash, time or mental and emotional energy now than you did a month ago. With limited time, what are the top things you will focus on today, this week, next week and in the next month to protect and grow your assets?
4. Share Your Plan With an Accountability Partner
Next, you want to share your plan with an accountability partner. This could be anyone – a friend, a spouse, your mastermind group – anyone who can help you reach your goals and offer feedback.
It’s important for them to know your plans for this time so that they can provide encouragement, help free up focused work time for you and share your wins with you.
Two Common Pitfalls to Avoid
There are two common pitfalls that businesses fall into when making survival strategies that Danny warns against.
The first is stopping entirely. People stop when they’re tired, overwhelmed, and feel like they can’t do anymore. It’s important to pull yourself back, center yourself, and figure out how to get yourself back into a productive mindset.
Even if you’re only doing a third of what you were doing before, that’s better than nothing. Keep going!
The second is cutting too deep into resources. As you’re evaluating expenses, you really want to reduce things that are true excess, luxuries or just nice to have. When you cut into resources or even your assets, you risk injuring your ability to thrive long-term.
A Parting Pick-Me-Up 🎉
There’s a little bit of soul searching you want to do right now. Picture a world where this crisis is over.
Do people still need and want what I’m offering? Is this still valuable to the world, and do I still want to be doing this?
If the answers are yes, then take that reaffirmation of what you’re doing to heart, and say “okay, now I know that this is just a problem of navigating the short term – even if that’s tough.”
There’s something really critical to having that fundamental belief that what you’re doing matters, and that you will ultimately survive and come through it.
Have questions, need advice or want to request a topic to be covered in the Survive and Thrive Series? Leave a comment below – we read every one!
Kristen Dahlin is the Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind — your new Marketing team, helping you create social media designs, schedule posts, and optimize across Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with one easy-to-use social media management tool. Kristen lives in rural Oklahoma with her husband Kyle, daughter Sophie, boxer Lila, and a very temperamental flower garden.