In 2020, the world was knocked off its feet by a pandemic. This was wholeheartedly unexpected and really threw many businesses off course. In the UK, the first lockdown meant many service businesses struggled, even with government support. This extreme situation leaves us with two options: suffer the loss of finances and try to scrape by or work like heck to build a business that works online as well as in person and if you’re reading this, that hopefully means that you’ve chosen the latter!
I’m sharing ideas on what you can do to make your business virtual, no matter what it is. I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy but ultimately, starting your own business was no picnic, so I have no doubt that you have the ability to do this!
Create a Live Online Virtual Class or Course
Yes, even service based businesses! This is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to bring your business online. You will likely have a set of skills (much like Liam Neeson, in Taken) and they will be teachable. Here are some ideas for virtual classes to bring any business online:
If you are a cleaner: Teach people how to clean and organise: seriously! People love watching videos on YouTube on how to best clean and organise their home and if your clients like your work, they will likely pay for a class!
If you are a beauty therapist: Teach people how to pamper themselves: e.g. Do Your Own Facial, Nail Painting Techniques and Eyebrow Grooming could all be good classes.
If you are a personal trainer: Teach people virtually - this works well with 1-2-1s and group classes, run virtual courses with weekly virtual check ins and email support in the week, run virtual motivational sessions to talk about mindset.
If you run a cafe/food based business: Teach your recipes! I guarantee that people would love to learn how to cook as well as you and don’t worry about losing them as customers - most of us still would come back to our most loved coffee shop/caterer etc. even if we learnt how they did it because it’s much nicer for someone else to make food for us!
If you’re a childminder: Create live classes on ways to entertain kids or to entertain the kids themselves, I have no doubt that many parents will be most grateful!
Create an Ebook and Sell Online
Even if you’re not the most creative of writers, you still probably know so much about your subject matter that it will pour out of you easily. Simply open up a Word Document and see what comes out when you think about giving someone advice on what you do. If you habitually use social media for your business, look at the posts that you put on there and try to get ideas from them as to what you can write about. This also helps you to see what subjects might be really popular, as those will have the most likes on your Instagram/Facebook. Using Canva (really simple online graphic design software), you can then easily put together a pretty ebook and sell it on your website or Amazon. Ideas on what to write about:
Give people tips on what you do.
Expand tips into How-To’s.
Write a complete beginners E-book.
Write hacks on what you do.
It is a lot easier than you think to create an Ebook and most websites (including yours) will probably have an option to sell items, so speak to your website provider or simply Google it if you are using something like Wix. It isn’t too challenging. That being said, if you’re struggling, this virtual assistant can certainly offer you some support!
Consider Putting Together a Letterbox Version of Your Business
Stay with me on this! Many businesses now offer monthly subscription boxes, where you sign up and get a themed box each month. It’s fun and as we all know, subscription services are a great way to make money! It’s also something that you don’t need to have too much in the way of technical skills to do. Simply figure out what you want to send and how, then put these boxes on to your website and all over your social media!
A cleaning business could send cleaning materials and tips for a certain problem area each month.
A food based business could send food! It is possible. There are some great brownie companies, cheese makers and other food makers who do this already and it’s very popular!
A beauty therapist could send beauty products plus a user guide for those products.
Have a Google around and look at different subscription boxes already out there. You can get boxes that are letterbox sized, so with some creativity, you could create a box that easily fits through someone’s door (less stress for them!) and is still fun to receive. A lot of business arenas have small versions of their full sizes.
Marketing is half the battle but if you have a business already, you already have a client base, which is a great starting point! CAPITALISE on your email lists/followers/Facebook groups and anything you have already at your fingertips! As much as it may be challenging to go in a different route with your business, it will also be incredibly rewarding to take your business online and still make money. Change is hard but you can absolutely embrace it and do your best to roll with it. It doesn’t even have to cost much money: a Zoom subscription is less than £15 a month and there are alternatives like recording and posting privately accessible YouTube videos, which are free.
If you find yourself completely stumped with how to take your specific business online, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I offer an Ideas Call and follow up email (take a look at my Packages) to give you ideas on how to get your business online.