Adjusting to doing business in the wake of COVID-19

The last 2 weeks has changed our world and the business landscape will be impacted forever. Trends and changes in the global marketplace are being accelerated beyond anyone’s predictions.

We are all navigating the unknown.  

The single biggest fear I’m hearing out there from small business owners (besides the immediate concerns of health and safety of course) is financial and all related considerations.  

1. How are we going to keep afloat financially?

2. What does this mean for our collective financial futures?

As a small business owner myself, one of my biggest concerns for myself and clients has been around what is appropriate in terms of marketing and business development during a crisis such as this.

I was recently on a webinar with my former business coach Eleanor Beaton where she addressed this issue head on – and this point really hit home.

She said, “Marketing is oxygen to your business.” And that with everything going on in this unprecedented crisis, you need to show up, be present and authentic.

This inspired me to think strategically and deeply around what you as small business owners are concerned about and what you need both in the short and longer term. It also inspired me to share what I’m seeing out there and what opportunities there are for freelance executives, consultants and coaches to shift what you do in your businesses and HOW you do it both now and in the future.

To that end, I reached out to my colleague Naomi Titleman Colla, Founder of Collaborativity Inc. and co-founder of future foHRward. Naomi is an award-winning HR executive, Talent Strategist, and renowned thought leader around the” Future of Work”.  For years, Naomi has had her finger on the pulse on the “gig economy” and the disruptions around talent in the workplace.

I asked Naomi about her perspective and insights around what this crisis will mean for both small business owners and corporations.

She talked about the fact that there is a lot of negative talk out there, but it’s important to think about what opportunities there are and how we can adjust how we do things in the future.

Silver Linings

Working remotely has been a reality for a number of years now however some organizations have been slow to adapt. The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted and accelerated this shift forever. There is a massive paradigm shift taking place that is changing the ways organizations view the value of work and how work is done, which is really important for service providers to know.

Currently, many organizations still have a very much in-person working culture,with leaders believing if they can’t see their team, they must not be working. Now the big change will be assessing work based on outcomes and impact, no matter where a person’s work is delivered.

An exciting impact of remote working is that the talent pool will be broadened dramatically. Organizations will have access to the best talent since geographic considerations (having to show up at the office) is now not a factor.  

This coupled with the acceleration of the “gig economy” is great news for you as a small business owner! You can look forward to lots of opportunities selling your services to corporations. However, the way to engage with corporate clients during this crisis is key.

Now, more than ever, is the time to change your marketing message to be needs-based

If you want to be seen as a consultant who is flexible and nimble, you must demonstrate to your corporate prospects that you are able to tailor your services to address their needs. Gone are the days of being “tone deaf” and force-fitting your products and services. It is more important than ever to have a “Trusted Advisor” mindset and to really LISTEN to what your clients are saying and adapting what services you offer to their stated needs.

•     Be sensitive to what’s going on

•     Adjust your Unique Value Proposition to adapt to this new world

•     Focus on what’s in your control – we’ll all be changed people once this has passed

•     Develop a growth mindset

•     Be comfortable with the unknown

•     Become agile for the foreseeable future

This isn’t just about working from home – it’s about making dramatic shifts so you can thrive in a changing world.

Here are some final tips to consider if you are not already doing these:

•     Learn to use and engage clients on Zoom or Skype (or other video conferencing platform)

•     Learn to engage corporate decision makers virtually

•     Use complimentary webinars to "get in the door" with target corporate decision makers

It’s clear that doing business digitally is the new reality.

Change your marketing to meet organizations where they are now, and you can make the same, strong, compelling impact.

In short, there are things you can do now that shouldn’t interrupt your marketing efforts. And I’ll be here, supporting you with LinkedIn live trainings and webinars, so stay tuned for more!  

I also want to check in with you around how you are doing.

1. What is top of mind for you right now (besides keeping yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy)?

2. What are your biggest wants, needs and concerns?

3. Please let me know your top 3 - you can email me at

About the author

Kim Chernecki helps high-performing freelance executives, consultants, coaches and other experts, land lucrative corporate contracts. She is the creator of the Land Corporate Contracts Fast-Track System, and is a top-rated sales performance executive, facilitator, coach, advisor, speaker and strategist. A 25-year entrepreneur, Kim has consulted with executives from 100+ leading North American and Fortune 1000 companies and has, herself, started up and helped grow 10 businesses and business divisions. She’s closed millions of dollars in corporate contracts, and provides powerful strategies and proven formulas to help her clients do the same.

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