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Ep. 36 Future Proof Your Business
Future Proof Your Business
In the aftermath of 2020 and seeing thousands of businesses close their doors, we need a plan to move on. We all need to future proof our business.
Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean discuss how local businesses all across the country can be more prepared for the future by taking some smart future proof strategies to heart. Don’t put this off.
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Listen or watch the full episode below:
EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION –
(transcription is auto-generated)
[00:00:00] Torie: There’s all these opportunities that you have. And I want everybody to take advantage of this time to be prepared for whatever happens. And it’s kind of a future-proofing of your business. If you think about it.
Hey, Hey, welcome to Smart AF on your host Torie Mathis. We have got a great show for you today. So let’s get started. I’m not going to lie. I am a little bit nervous that businesses are going to have to shut down. After this last week seeing what the possible new administration has said about wanting to shut things down on a national level for four to six weeks it makes me super nervous.
I can understand that people want to be safe and that, you know, we need to do things for everybody’s safety. Like, I don’t want anybody to die, obviously. But I think if in areas that it’s okay for businesses to remain open, like, I’m really nervous about what’s going to happen with a lot of these business owners driving around. Like there’s so many businesses already that are closed. Like, I don’t think they’re coming back.
[00:01:24] Sean: No, they’re done.
[00:01:28] Torie: Like, I don’t know how a lot of these people are surviving. Through this, that are business owners. And I know that like people are talking about like, they can do some type of stimulus or whatever, but like, if your business is gone like your business has gone sometimes. So I’m worried, I’m worried for business owners, we, during all of this lost some.
And there’s probably some clients that are going to come back and some that have come back different. And some that, I mean.
[00:02:02] Sean: That’s where the stimulus doesn’t do us a whole lot of good, like it, you know, give us a little bit of money now. Doesn’t does it replace all the money that we no longer are going to be able to collect?
And it’s, it goes, you know, because of the business that we’re in, it helps other businesses that, that means it’s. It’s hurting multiple levels, not just, you know, one business, you know, it, it, it’s hurting multiple just in our line, you know? And then if you multiply that across the entire country, That’s brutal.
[00:02:39] Torie: Well, we, we have, we have customers all over the world really. So we’ve had our customers impacted in all different ways. And it’s kind of come in waves of like this state or that state, or we, it’s just been kind of like all around on what people are doing. But it makes me nervous for a lot of people for, for what might happen.
And so, I don’t know, there are a few things like that you could do just in case. And this is a really good time to start to do things a little bit different because we don’t know what’s going to happen. And sometimes you need this kind of wake up call to make some changes in your business and in your market.
And I’m not going to lie like the, and I’m gonna probably say this over and over and over and over, and people are gonna get tired of me saying it. But the best thing that any of us could do right now is get the contact information of your customers and start contacting them.
Right now, I think businesses are a lot more willing or businesses, customers are a lot more willing to give you their contact information just to get their email address so that you can update them. On your services in case things change before you, a lot of times had to give them some type of freebie, some type of like a guide or a coupon or something.
And I think right now people are a little bit more willing. And so I would take advantage of this time as any type of business owner.
[00:04:06] Sean: From an inconvenience standpoint, like, let me get your email address so I can let you know if we’re open or close. So you don’t waste your time.
[00:04:14] Torie: If you’re a restaurant, like every single person walking in your door right now, you should be getting their email address. And that way, you know, you could tell them we have some specials coming up that we’d like to email out to you. And just in case there are any changes or we, we ended up having delivery at another time. We’d like to let you know, and we’ll keep, you know, keep you updated. Not me. I’m not emailing you too much, but let you know. And, and let you know of any specials that we have or changes that we have. So that we can still do business together. You, this is a, an unprecedented time, like this stuff kind of hasn’t happened when we’ve had the internet. And so being able to have technology help you out during this time is super important.
And I think a lot of businesses, if you took like the first time things shut down. Like there was so little emails from businesses that were local businesses. Like if you’re a local business, like this is the time, like you should have been doing this already. And you didn’t like, what did you learn? Like you need to now start to turn your marketing model around a little bit.
And get a little bit better at using technology in order to stay in touch with your customers. And I think that social media is a really great time to do this, but everybody’s on social media. All their friends are on social media. All their, you know, news is on social media. There’s so much going on.
That when you’re just trying to talk to your customers on social media, you get drowned out by a lot of other things, but when you email people, it’s a lot more direct and you have a better chance of actually getting to talk to them. So I don’t want anybody to say, well, I don’t email my customers because I contact them on social media.
I don’t know if you saw some of this like there’s some people that got shut down social media and that just proves it. Social media can shut you down at any time. Your email list, can’t really get shut down. It’s yours. You can take those emails anywhere and, and use them to email people. That is a direct contact.
That is a direct asset that you own, no matter what happens. And you need to make sure that you’re growing that especially, especially if you’re a local. I think miles through time, you know, Sean is a great example. He has done a fantastic job of collecting email lists and growing his list and has been able to reach out and contact people.
And people want to hear from you. They want to know if you’re open, they want to know what you’re doing. They want to support you. They want to come out and do business with you when they’re able to, you know, and some people, they might not feel safe to do it right now. Others do. And so people are able to do, to do business with you when they’re ready to, but if you’re not giving them that opportunity by letting them know what’s up, then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities and maybe that’s what your business needs in order to, you know, ride over these humps.
You know, how has your, your list helped you in the last, you know, what, what is it eight months now?
[00:07:21] Sean: It helps a lot. It’s helped to get cars. It’s helped to get donations. It’s helped to ensure that people know for a fact that we’re either open or not open. Yeah, it’s been a huge asset and I mean, really the amount of information I can put into an email doesn’t even make sense. In a blog post or not a blog post, but a Facebook post or social posts or something like, it’s just, I can, I can give them so much more information in an email multiple links back to website pages or whatever the case may be.
It’s been huge and I don’t email them all the time. Like I don’t do it so much that they start to ignore me or spam it or completely remove it or any of that kind of stuff. It’s there when something’s relevant, that needs to be there. And then I am, because I keep it that way. It makes it so that when they do see that email pop up from me, you know, they’re more likely to open it because there’s something new that, you know, if they care at all about the museum, I’m telling them right now that, in that email that that’s, you know, what’s new.
So if you create your list and every time you email your list out or email out to your list, and it’s, you know, you’re telling ’em what’s going on with your business, you’re telling them what the specials are. You’re telling them, you know whatever the case may be. They know that when they see that email from you, they’re getting some sort of information that could be beneficial for.
And it’s not happening so often that they’re ignoring you. But without that, like you’re, you’re shooting in the dark. If, if all you’re doing is posting the social media the odds of them actually seeing that kind of stuff. I mean, yeah, people will, but not all of them. So if you’re forced to have to shut down for something, let’s say you’re a restaurant.
You have to shut down. But you can provide delivery a quick shoot, a quick email out to your list and let them know that all they have to do is open your email because they know you and they can see that. And then they can continue to buy from you. You owe say, all you do is share that on your Facebook page.
I think they’re not going to, like, they may not even be following you or ever see that unless they go to your page and then scroll through your posts and go, oh look, we could have been getting delivery for the last couple of right.
[00:09:51] Torie: Well, okay. So Riley’s birthday is coming up very soon and we’re trying to figure out something that we can do because where we’re at, there’s a lot of stuff that’s open. There are some things that aren’t, but, but there’s a lot of stuff and things are still opening up even more. And so he wanted to go go-kart racing. This is what we did last year for his birthday. And I know those people have our email address if places like that, once they do start to have some type of availability the trampoline park, like all of these things that require people to actually like come in, if all of these places were letting us know.
Because they had our email, like what’s going on? You know, we’re, we’re open for X amount of people or we’re doing this, or we can’t do this yet. Just to let people know, like I said, another video videos, like people want to go out and spend money. People want to go out and do things. People have to eat. They want to go eat at the pizza place or the Chinese, or like, they want to do that. But you have to be able to reach out and let them know, like, this is the opportunity that you didn’t have. Eight months ago that just in case something comes up or something happens now, like you need to take advantage of this time.
Could you imagine if you didn’t, if you hadn’t been building your list?
[00:11:07] Sean: Yeah. Especially with this last occurrence, with the power going out, I would’ve had all kinds of upset.
[00:11:14] Torie: So Sean, we had a hurricane come through and then we didn’t get like full, you know, full on hurricane the winds and the tropical storm that did come through was big enough that it knocked down a lot of trees and the power was knocked out to the museum for over a week. And Sean was able to email everybody and let them know that it was shut, that things had to be changed. And then you were able to email them and let them know you were opened up. And like the day you opened, you had a huge rush of people than to yeah. And so that would not have happened if you didn’t have that email list.
Like just posting that on your Google listing or just saying on Facebook, Hey, we’re open. I don’t think would have gotten.
[00:11:57] Sean: Even, even with completing all the stuff that I could do. I, I still couldn’t. I couldn’t reach them all. So I mean, all you’re doing is you’re, you’re, you’re either minimizing the negative reactions or you’re maximizing your potential.
[00:12:15] Torie: So when I say build your list, like you don’t just, and, and I know some of these, some of you, like, it might be like obvious, you know, captain obvious with this kind of stuff. But I think that there’s a lot of people that really don’t know, like you have some type of sign up usually on your website, that would be like a little form where somebody could put in their name and email that goes to an email service provider.
It’s not like it goes to your Gmail or like your Hotmail account or something like that. It’s an actual service that allows you to legally email people. Cause it’s actually illegal to mass email people, people have to be able to unsubscribe like you see the unsubscribe link on the bottom of emails.
Like legally, you have to allow people to get off your list. So there are providers that provide this that also provide the little sign up that allow you to mail people. And then when you can do this, you can also see analytics, which is super important. For every email that you send out, you can actually see who’s opening the emails.
Who’s not getting the emails. There’s a lot of information that you have from this. You would be able to even segment your email, which is kind of cool for some businesses that if you had different interests and like you didn’t want to send everybody, you know, one email about something they’re not interested in, you could actually segment it into.
Parts so that you’re only emailing people that are interested in, can you think of an example of like, my mind is blank on that kind of thing. But it’s like.
[00:13:36] Sean: I’m a sports facility, right? So say they offer baseball and softball. They offer pitching and fielding and catching. You could segment all those different aspects of the based off of who actually is in those positions and wants those trainings.
[00:13:58] Torie: So you’re not sending the baseball people, softball stuff.
[00:14:00] Sean: Cause obviously right. Or if you’ve got somebody that is like a catcher, like they don’t need to be doing pitcher, stuff like that, doesn’t pertain to them. So when you have a catching event, Right.
Or some sort of special training or something you’re, you’re emailing that list at their, they’re just.
[00:14:18] Torie: That’s a good example. Thank you. So the email service providers actually allow you to segment that with like little tags and stuff like that. And once you get that set up, everything is very automatic.
Again, like, I always say like, it’s a little bit of planning and a little bit of forethought, man. It goes so, so, so far so that you are prepared just in case anything happens. And you’ll find that just, you know, like Shauna said, like your business just is able to run different because you have control over the flow of customers and the flow of information and getting information more directly out to people.
And when there are changes. And whether that’s the power goes out or there’s a damn pandemic, you can let people know what’s going on with your business, because they still want to do business with you. And why that damn carwash never emailed us and got us to sign back up. I don’t know. Like, like don’t miss out on these opportunities that you have.
Don’t be the dog groomer that I took the dog to that never got my email address and invited me to come back in. You know, there’s all these opportunities that you have and I want everybody to take advantage of this time to be prepared for whatever happens. And it’s kind of a future proofing of your business.
If you think about it, future proof, your business so that you don’t have to be one of those ones that are closed down, because if you can’t contact your customers, if you can’t let them know. If you can’t pivot, if you can’t be more flexible, if you can’t do some of these things right now, like your business might be one of these ones that doesn’t open back up, that scares the shit out of me for you guys.
Like I’m nervous. I don’t normally get nervous, but like this whole thing for people, I’m a little bit nervous for these business owners.
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.
Hi! I'm Torie!
I help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + to make more money. And I make it easy!
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