Seven months later, we are seeing small business owners shift or pivot for an unforeseeable market. Diverse revenue streams have never been more important than they are right now. Those who are determined and relentless are figuring out how to survive these unprecedented times…. ultimately resulting in hard-core creativity and innovation.
It is no secret that COVID-19 impacted the small business world. Many business owners had to close their doors, let go of their staff, and liquidate their inventory just to survive the last seven months of 2020. However, many small owners are now considering these drastic changes to be positive. Hope is on the rise!
Positive Changes resulting from COVID in 2020
We hear from women owned entrepreneurs every week and the overall consensus is that most are on the uphill of the COVID journey. The dark valley caused by the pandemic was rough, but it has resulted in positive change and self-awareness. Below are some overarching themes that we’ve recognized from our community.
Diverse Revenue Streams
Whether you had multiple streams of revenue from various sources pre-COVID or you are now recognizing the importance of it, the community of small business owners can agree that diverse revenue streams are helpful and necessary, especially in an unpredictable economy. Diverse revenue streams have never been more important than they are right now.
A great example of someone who prepared for such a disaster is my friend, Dana Maize. She owns two companies: One Wild Flower Design and Clean Bee Cleaning Company. Her design company focuses on wedding florals… which was greatly impacted by COVID in 2020. Many brides had to reschedule their wedding during the pandemic… ultimately resulting in a hard hit for the event industry. Thankfully, Dana had a second stream of income through her cleaning company. In fact, her cleaning company took off during the pandemic due to the high demand of sanitization. If it were not for her second company, Dana may have struggled to provide as a single mother of four children… three of which still live at home. Though her multi-business strategy may have been more subconscious years ago, Dana found herself grateful for having established diverse earning options.
Dana Maize is just one out of many entrepreneurs we know who are focusing on diverse revenue streams. Those who had not previously established various sources of income are now figuring out exactly what and how to accomplish it. Keep reading to see strategies that we recommend to finding your diverse options.
What new products or services have you seen pop-up over the last several months? Face masks, face shields, sanitizing products, on-demand-shopping & delivery services, virtual events, arrow and social distancing signage, curb-side pick-up for ALL THINGS, delivery apps for anything you can think of, and the list goes on.
In addition to COVID, we’re seeing innovative products stemming from the presidential election. Just like any election year, you can find supportive products like t-shirts, flags, and yard signs. However, 2020 has brought forth some very creative products to showcase American pride such as hysterical dog toys that showcase the rivalry of the election season.
We are in a very sensitive time in America. Between Black Lives Matter, Gay Pride, and Feminist movements, the passion for innovation is rapidly increasing. Many entrepreneurs are creating online courses to educate on Anti-Racism, Black History, Gay rights, and Sexism. Innovative products and services that are contributing to these movements are showing up in our feed everyday and this is what makes being an American so wonderful.
Let’s take innovation down to a real-life example from another fellow SOWBO member. Nathaly Tanner has been a lash artist in Nashville for many years. The governor shut-down all salons at the start of the pandemic. Nathaly immediately lost her income and her clients immediately lost their ability to keep their lash routine going.
Thankfully, Nathaly had already been working on a product solution for women who could not participate in lash extensions (those with oily skin, thin or curled lashes, or who couldn’t sustain the fill-in cost). Of course, the temporary COVID shut down of her salon resulted in full-focus on her product development. Within a few weeks… Nathaly launched custom hand-made, magnetic lash strips that mirrored her lash extension designs. As you can imagine, Nathaly’s clients ate them up. BOOM! Just like that… Nathaly created a second income source from an innovative product. The salon has opened back up and Nathaly is enjoying revenue from both extensions and retail lash-strip sales. I would identify this as another COVID win!
Expansion & Entering New Markets
How many of you jumped on the creative mask train? Most creatives I know who are swimming in mask distribution right now had no idea that creative masks would be the bulk of their income in 2020. One thing that we all admire about entrepreneurship is that though it is uncomfortable, continual pivots to meet market demands is necessary to achieve financial success. Entrepreneurs and retailers have embraced this more than ever over the last year.
Between COVID and the interesting election year, many women are expanding into markets that they never saw themselves entering before. My personal brand photographer and fellow SOWBO member, Mandy Walz, recently expanded into brand consulting. Though she had explored this idea in conversation and thought in prior years, it wasn’t until the lock-down of COVID that she put it into action.
Within just a few months of the pandemic, Mandy launched her brand marketing podcast where she quickly charted on iTunes among well-known marketers such as Jena Kutcher and Amy Porterfield. The podcast brought her even more credibility in the business arena and now Mandy is bringing in consulting income as a supplement to her photography income (hello diverse revenue!). Considering that Mandy is loving her new marketing and consulting services, I would say that COVID brought her a positive win.
With all the personal growth stories from fellow SOWBO members, I would say that COVID has proven that small business owners are over-comers. We can master world-wide pandemics and civil wars. It may be tough and uncomfortable… the waters may be scary and difficult to navigate… but… as Marie Forleo says… It is figureoutable!
The greatest hardship with COVID has been the loss. I am one who can relate to loss on many levels. Even after massive loss, I assure you that we can figure out how to earn income for our families, find new ways to passionately serve our audience, and live the entrepreneur life that we desire. 2020 made us all stronger and better.
Do you know someone whose life was lost from COVID? Honor them by overcoming the challenges of this year and proving that even a pandemic won’t stop you.
15 Strategies that Will Help Shift Your Mindset & Get Unstuck from COVID Set-Backs
- Collaborate with those from other industries
- Brainstorm solutions with trusted, fellow business owners & be open minded
- Join a mastermind group or attend a hyper-focused mastermind retreat
- Ask your current or established audience what they need right now
- Map out all of your talents, abilities, and passions – this changes over time so new ideas may spark!
- Listen to podcasts both inside and outside of your industry
- Read a few memoirs from people you admire (their life journey may spark hope)
- Hire a business coach to strategize with
- Sign up for regular therapy sessions so that you can work through mine blocks that you may not see.
- Take time off – go have fun! Your brain needs flexibility in order to be creative!
- Binge watch a tv series or read a book series that tells a story (stories often showcase problems & solutions)
- Do something unrelated to business for a few days… such as wallpaper a room or plant a garden… the distraction will actually help your brain to subconsciously work on a solution while you focus on the details in front of you.
- Participate in activities that increase endorphins
- Do something adventures outside of your comfort zone such as ziplining, hiking, skydiving… this will not only prove that you can conquer fears, but also take on challenges outside of your normal zone
- Volunteer at a non-profit organization
SOWBO Mastermind Weekend
Maybe you’re already running a business, but you’re not sure what your next steps are, how to increase profits, or how to diversify revenue streams. Or you’re ready to figure out how to work less while making more. Our application only, hyper-focused SOWBO Mastermind getaway is probably the right fit for you. This intensive, working weekend at the beach is a chance to brainstorm and collaborate with other high achieving CEOs on business!
Soar in 90 Days Mastermind
Are you launching a business this year or currently working a side hustle? Soar in 90 Days is perfect for you! This group mastermind experience was created to help you build your side hustle or new business to a profitable business in just 90 days! A SOWBO certified coach walks you through how to get clear on the heartbeat of your business, leverage your gifts and talents to create a profitable business, and design an intentional plan to turn prospects into paying clients.