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[00:00:34] Hey there and welcome to the ninth episode of the Productpreneur podcast. I’m your host, Nicole de Larzac, Product development and Marketing coach and we’re going to have a great episode today. We’re recording this at the time of the Covid-19 global pandemic, which has not only turned our lives upside down, but has also turned the economy and our businesses upside down. So today we are going to talk about ways to use this time that is suddenly so plentiful and get your business set up for success.
[00:01:05] So pivoting has become the new buzzword. We’re hearing it all the time. Businesses are pivoting. They’re changing their ways of operating and their business models and their products and their services because it is such a time of crisis and we need to change our ways. So I know this is a tough time for some businesses and for us in general. And I am not going to downplay that. And this is stretching our mindset and also our abilities to be adaptable. But I’m also going to suggest taking a different perspective on this. What if this was a blessing for your business? What if this led to an opportunity that you may not have otherwise considered?
[00:01:47] And let me remind you, not all businesses are suffering. Some are actually flourishing and booming. Most people are looking for ways to shop online. They’re searching for those products that they would normally have bought in stores and now they’re buying them online. So this is an amazing time for those online businesses out there. For example, a client of mine who does handmade products related to self-care is busier than ever, as people are looking for ways to feel better about themselves and give themselves self-care. So this is definitely not a bad time for all businesses. And if you’re one of those businesses that are suffering or are seeing a slow time right now, now might be a time to pivot and look at different ways of operating or different products and services, and definitely bringing your business online.
[00:02:41] But I also want to remind you that some of the best inventions and businesses are launched during a recession, and especially when there’s a massive shift in behaviour. It forces us to become more creative and more resilient, but also look for different changes in behaviour that might bring around opportunities.
[00:02:59] Let’s look at what this crisis has given us the most, and that is the valuable gift of time. I’ve always said, “Oh, I need more time for this and for that” and now I’m actually finding the time. I can sit down and create more content or I can actually build the programs that I wanted to build in the past and I thought I didn’t have time for.
[00:03:20] So now we have so much time. What can you do in your business and use this time so that you can come out stronger than ever before? I think there’s many different ways to use this time.
[00:03:32] Now, the first is if you don’t already have a product and you don’t sell a product, well, maybe this is a time to launch a product. And if you want to go back to Episode Five where I talk about key steps to launching a product. I also have a free resource on my website nicoledelarzac.com. Or feel free to reach out as I offer a program that walks you through this step by step called the Product Launch Lab.
[00:03:56] The second would be time to organize. This is a low period for many businesses. So a lot of businesses are using this as a time to organize their systems, their office and work on their comeback strategy. Maybe you need to revamp your bookkeeping. Maybe you need to revamp the ways that you collect leads. Whatever it is, it’s a great time to figure out all of your systems and even the small things like, do you have UPC codes? Do you have all the labels that you want in both languages if you’re in Canada? You might have French in English labels and you need to revamp your packaging. Is your product optimal as you’re packaging optimal? There are many different things that you want to look at right now during the slow time that we just don’t usually have the time for.
[00:04:43] And next is time for building awareness of your product or brand. People might not be buying as much right now, but you want to keep your business top of mind and have some level awareness and engagement with your brand so that when you it is time to reopen that people are reminded of your brand and aware of your brand. And this could be through content development. It doesn’t have to be paid. It could be content development like blogs, videos, for example. Gyms are doing a lot of live classes right now and keeps their members occupied and keeps them top of mind, as well as social media, which can be free. And you’re posting to your audience and to new audiences. It can also be through PR opportunities and pitching them to the media, a story that’s relevant for your product right now. And lastly, you want to keep engaged with your current customers, and email is the best way to do this. Do you have an email strategy and plan? And what happens when people subscribe? Do they get into the black hole and they never hear from you or do you actually email them on a regular basis? So think about your email strategy. You want to keep those people within your community and you want to be able to build that know, like, trust factor so that they are reminded of you, they are familiar with you, they love you, and they want to hear from you all the time. And this is true for services or products.
[00:06:04] OK. Now, another way to use this time is time for learning. Really, there is so much free content out there to learn from. It’s actually mind boggling. I can’t even learn it all. I’ve signed up for so many free webinars, free courses. And I think that everyone is just taking the opportunity to offer free things because of this crisis and and because people want to help. Organizations want to give it this time. There’s even universities offering free courses and certifications and things like that. And so I would take this time to learn about topics that could improve you and could improve your business. For example, Google Analytics has free certifications and now could be a great time to get familiar with Google Analytics. I also love the Digital Marketer for all things digital marketing. They have great courses and certifications and there are so many others. So whatever you want to learn, now is the time you can take it – the world is your oyster.
[00:07:05] And another thing to do right now is to strategize. This could be a good time to rewrite your business plan. Now, actually, do you even have a business plan? Some people are so busy operating their business that they never have time to plan and they don’t do an annual business plan. But business planning is critical to success and it forces you to make some decisions about where to put your resources. So think about your next quarter, your next year, your next three years. Start with your vision and then move backwards into planning your goals and your action plans. This includes everything, including your marketing or promotions, emails, distribution, new product innovation, customers that you want to target and so on. And I know this can be daunting. So I’m going to suggest a great resource called the Business Model Canvas. If you search for it online, you will definitely find it. I’ll put it in the show notes as well. This is a one page planner where you can put your whole business plan on one page. It’s not super detailed. So I would definitely kind of roll it out a bit further than that. But it’s a great starting point and it’s a great overview so that you don’t get bogged down in all the details.
[00:08:19] All right. Next, I would take time to audit your situation and make improvements. Now, one way to do this is to start gathering feedback and testimonials from your customers. Ask them where you can improve and also ask for reviews while you’re at it so that you can use this on your site, your website and your marketing. Then look at your Google Analytics. Do you ever do a deep dive into Google Analytics and also your Shopify analytics on a frequent basis? If you have a Shopify store, it’s so important to understand the data so you can make some improvements. Now, where I would start is looking at your traffic and conversion rate. Is your traffic and conversion increasing or decreasing? These are two key variables that you want to look at. Now, traffic is the number of people visiting your store and then conversion is a percentage of those people that actually purchase. So those are probably the two most important statistics on your site and you want to make sure you’re monitoring them carefully. Conversion rate is super important because if people are coming your site and you’re spending all this time bringing people to your site and they’re not buying, then you’ve definitely got an issue with either your site or the broad products that you’re offering. The average conversion rate on Shopify is one point seventy five percent. So where do you sit in relation to that number and what could you improve? Also, where’s your traffic coming from so that you could focus more on those sources? Shopify and Google Analytics will say where your traffic’s coming from. For example, social or paid advertising, etc.. So, for example, if it’s Instagram, then maybe you could be advertising there as well. And once someone buys from you, the other things to note are the average order value, which is your basket size. How much are they buying at one time? And obviously we want to increase the basket size so that they they buy more as well. Are they ordering again and frequently? So look at the order frequency and also the percentage of people that are coming back to your site and ordering again.
[00:10:35] You might also want to audit your website. There are different things you can improve on in your website and definitely things to do to improve conversion like adding descriptions and really good high quality photos, product reviews, and Press – if you’ve ever been on the press or have ever been in any kind of articles. And also look at how is your SEO – how well do you rank in Google rankings which is called Search Engine Optimization. So if people were to search you on Google, where would you rank? Would you be in the 20th position or would you be in the first position? And it wouldn’t just be if they would search for your brand name. But think about if they were to search for your category of products, where would you rank? And obviously you want to rank higher up and there are different ways to do that and to optimize your website to make you rank higher. And it’s a good time to get the help of a professional now to ensure that your website is SEO optimized. And there’s definitely different ways to do that, including keywords and different content marketing that you can ensure that you do on your website.
[00:11:44] And lastly, you can audit your financials. So what can you do to improve your costs? Are there any costs right now that are too high? And you can take the opportunity to opportunity to look at different suppliers for for certain things. This would be anything to do with your product costs, your packaging, any kind of back end costs that you have. And then is your pricing strategy right? So you want to ensure that you have cash flow at this time to stay afloat. So all of this is super important.
[00:12:14] Now, these are just some ways to use this time to focus on your business. I’d love to hear about how you’ve changed or pivoted and what you’re focussing on right now. Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you’ve changed in your business as a result of this. And also tell me how you’re using this time. And for anybody who sends me an email, I’ll be sure to feature your answers in another episode. We’ve got some exciting episodes coming up to rev up your business, so stay tuned. Thank you again.
[00:12:47] And until next time, keep focussed and make the most of this time.