The Only Tip You Need

Boutique Bootcamp....Lesson 1

Perhaps the most frequent question I've been receiving lately is, "how can I help my business survive the Covid-19 crisis?"  It is of course the most important question that should be on your mind.  We want nothing more than to have our businesses that we worked so hard to build be able to open back up when this is all said and done.  So just how do we do that?  There are government assistance options that I encourage everyone to check out to see if they apply to them, including the PPP loan, the EIDL loan and unemployment.  But beyond that, just what can you do to save your business? There's really only one answer....

Love on your people

Small businesses are built on relationships.  Your customers can shop for your items anywhere.  Heck, they can probably get similar things cheaper elsewhere.  But they shop with you because of YOU.  They trust you.  They respect you.  They know they can count on you.  While you may not be able to provide them with products right now, or, maybe they just don't have money to buy anything right now, that doesn't mean business stops.  In fact, your business is alive, you know why?  BECAUSE BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IS YOUR BUSINESS.  You are not in the clothing business.  You are in the relationship business.  Let that sink in for a minute.  I guarantee you that the most successful home based businesses get this.  If you want to be that business, you need to shift your mindset away from your product and onto building a relationship with your customers.  They are not going anywhere during this crisis.  So it's the perfect time to work on this new way of thinking and pivot away from needing to sell products and towards taking care of your people.

Action Step #1: Gather Your Data

Ok, so just how are we going to do this.  First thing's first, you have to identify your people.  If you don't already have a database of your customers, now is the time to build one.  You need their names, their email addresses and their cell phone numbers.  A simple Google Sheet is perfect for keeping track of this information if you don't have a fancy program.  More than likely, you also have a decent social media following.  But do you have all of their contact information?  Probably not.  So, now's the time to try to capture that with a giveaway.  Offer a $25 gift card to a local grocery store to entice people to give you their email and phone numbers as a method of entry.  Promote it across all of your social media channels.  You'll capture more personal information than you had already and this information is pretty much gold.

Action Step #2: Contact Everyone

Yes, everyone.  Have a group with a couple thousand people?  Sounds like you'll just be a busy bee.  But I'm telling you, reaching out personally to each and every one of them is truly going to save your business.  First, shoot them all an email.  Remind them you're here for them and ask if there is anything they need help with during this challenging time.  Then, a day or two later, follow up with a call or text.  You never know what someone is going through.  Maybe their husband is a doctor and she has no time to go to the grocery store without her kids.  Maybe she's pregnant and has a craving for pickles and ice cream.  Maybe she ran out of crayons for her children to color with.  Maybe she's just so lonely and needs someone to talk to. Dig deep.  Everyone has needs.  Find out what those needs are.

Action Step #3:  Meet Their Needs

If your customer needs groceries, offer to get them for her.  If she needs some adult interaction, offer to Facetime her over a glass of wine.  Now I know what you're thinking.  You didn't sign up to be a personal shopper or errand runner.  But you know what, you are now.  Because you are in the relationship business, not the clothing business. The bottom line is no one NEEDS clothing right now.  But they do have other actual needs that you can help with.  And the best part is meeting these needs won't cost you a thing.  Just your time, which I'd venture to guess we all have a lot of right now.  The best part is these small acts of kindness will not go unnoticed.  When she's ready to buy something again, you will be the first person she goes to.  And you can guarantee she will tell all her friends and post about it on social media, giving you free promotion and likely new customers.

Action Step #4: Taking It Further

Having a one on one approach should be where you spend the majority of your time.  But, there's also value in applying this approach to a group setting.  Now more than ever, moms are missing their tribe.  They're loving on their families, but they're missing out on the bonding that comes along with communicating with other ladies going through what they're going through.  That's where you can help.  Bring your customers together by being the middle man.  There are some fun things you can do in this virtual world we all live in to bring everyone together, all while keeping you and your business at the forefront of their mind, including Zoom Coffee Clubs, Virtual Book Clubs, Mommy & Me Workouts, Virtual Garage Sales/Swaps and Zoom Wine Down Wednesdays.

Action Step #5: Love Your Community

Look beyond your current customers and out into your own community.  Find ways you can contribute on behalf of your business.  There are people that need you out there.  You can especially find power in numbers by connecting with other small businesses.  Team up for fundraising, swap social media mentions, offer discounts to their customers.  You guys are all in this together, so anything you can do to love on one another is only going to help you all!

Let this all sink in for a while and work on adjusting your mindset.  You are in the relationship business.  Get to work on loving your people now and we guarantee you you'l see big rewards later!  Please head over to our Facebook Page and let us know how you plan to use this time to pivot and take care of your people!  Remember, we're all in this together and sharing ideas and success stories is how we can love on each other right now!


About the Author...Morgan is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of several successful children's clothing lines including Ooh La Llama and Pete + Lucy.  Her passion in life is helping other moms achieve their dreams of building their own thriving business.  She's living the dream herself in North Carolina with her 3 kids, 1 husband, 2 goldendoodles, 2 cats, 1 hamster and 1 bearded dragon.  In her free time (yes, there is some), she's obsessed with Disney World and travels there for her Mickey Bar and Dole Whip as often as she can.