If 2020 was the worst year of your entrepreneurial life — you’re not alone. Small business owners took the brunt of the pandemic because we generally don’t have the capacity to go months at a time with zero revenue.
But that’s exactly the position a lot of consultants, trainers and especially professional speakers found themselves in.
But if you’ve managed to make it this far — and can make it just a little further — 2021 might actually be the start of the biggest boom your business is ever likely to experience.
The economic clouds are lifting a little bit more with every shot that makes it into an arm. And the problems you solved for businesses over a year ago are still problems today.
How has Covid 19 Changed the Economy?
First you have less competition. A Yelp study found that 800 small businesses are closing everyday. And according to Fortune Magazine over 100,000 businesses that shut down temporarily aren’t coming back. As long as your business isn’t one of them, the potential upside for you is limitless when things come back online.
But it’s not enough simply to wait it out. You need to start working on your world dominating strategy now. And it begins with a serious re-think of who your customers are going forward.
Some sectors are going to take a lot longer to recover than others. If you hitch your wagon to one of the slow movers, you’re not going to experience the quick recovery that others — with your exact same knowledge and expertise- have over the next 12 to 18 months.
If you want to profit from what comes next you need to re-define who your ideal clients are. Will the type of client you had 18 months still have the budget to pay you 18 months from now?
If the answer is no then you need to redefine your client avatar and adapt your genius and expertise to focus on markets that are both rebounding fast and will need your services.
The second thing you need to realize is that the world has shrunk. With so many organizations moving to remote work, many have finally realized that their pool of potential workers doesn’t have to be within commuting distance of an office. So it’s just as easy to work for a client in Austin as it is to work with a client in Australia. Your skills travel — virtually.
Business Lessons for Thought Leaders
At the beginning of the pandemic the big push was to pivot your business. For many that just meant doing the same thing — only online. But really successful small businesses went further and adapted. And those adaptations are not going away once things settle into whatever the new post-pandemic idea of normal turns out to be.
One of the biggest areas for growth is online learning. Whether it’s webinars, online courses or virtual presentations, organizations still need to engage their workforces. And with the realization that a lot of office space isn’t really needed — they need to be able to deliver that engagement remotely.
Speakers and Trainers who have learned how to properly deliver their live programs remotely via Zoom or other platforms are positioned to make bank over the next couple of years. The pandemic forced a lot of speakers and trainers out of the industry — especially those who buried their heads in the sand and gambled that everything would be back to normal in a few weeks.
But for those knowledge experts who invested in adapting their training to an online delivery model there is not only less competition — but also more opportunity.
Let’s say you deliver a live training session to a client with remote workers across the planet, you can also have an automated course based on that live program that you can then license for new hires as an onboarding program.
These types of “courseware” programs can become an amazing source of passive, recurring revenue for years to come.
Automated marketing such as webinar and social media posts are also going to simplify your marketing and push more clients into your funnel.
One of the most successful marketing programs I run are automated webinars. They run 24/7 and demonstrate my expertise — even when I’m sleeping. I have clients that use them to build lists or upsell products such as online courses.
Adaptability is the the great differentiator between experts. Now is the time to adapt your business for what’s coming next. The opportunities are coming. You just need to be prepared when they appear.
Aidan Crawford is president of Short Circuit Media. His main job is helping consultants, trainers and professional speakers get their marketing in order by creating and implementing strategies to help them reach their target audiences.