Digital Rescue Kit [1200x675] (3)

 

The global pandemic has left many small business owners uncertain of their future and grappling with the reality that almost overnight the commerce world as we know it has become almost exclusively an online model.  For small businesses that rely on their retail and physical storefronts to produce revenue, this transformation can be daunting. It’s important to understand that if ever there was a time to move your business into the digital world, that time is now.   The sooner, the better in fact. It won’t just help reduce the loss of revenue but will continue to serve you in the future.

We’ve got some practical ideas to help you quickly make the digital jump your business needs to survive.  Our skilled team has helped clients achieve this in one week because of our experience.  While you may not be able to move as fast, you can still get moving, and we hope this article will help to rescue many more businesses and jobs then what we can get to. 

 

Most businesses can convert to this new virtual reality. No, really.

First, the good news.  This global pandemic is happening at a point in history when our world has many ways to connect digitally.  The proliferation of video tools means that many of things that were once required to be done “in-person” can be done through video.  When it comes to figuring out how to transform your business into a digital one, here’s a quick guideline:

If you have a product, you can sell it online and have it delivered.

If you offer a service, you can sell consultation online and deliver it virtually.

The additional good news is that even before the global pandemic, many businesses were already providing that a virtual world can work.  InspireHUB has been a 100% remote workforce for seven years. Hello Fresh, a meal-kit company out of Berlin, became a billion-dollar company delivering prepared meal-kits around the world and Peloton was enjoying skyrocketing growth from people connecting from their bikes through their homes. (Side note: In our new reality, we remain concerned for the well-being of ‘Peloton wife’ but at least she gets to do her self-isolation with her bike and Aviation Gin.)

We recognize that those with products (food, beverages, clothing, etc.) can have a smoother transition.  For many, like Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, it was a matter of morphing to an online ordering system for their wine and figuring out campaigns to help engage the local community around them.

 

Use your imagination to launch your digital transformation.

But, what about the businesses that are venues, events-driven, or provide  ‘hands-on’ services. It requires more creativity, but remember this: YOU possess a unique skill-set, and that knowledge is something that consumers are interested in and have proven they will pay to engage with virtually.

We realize converting your business to a new virtual reality can be unsettling, so we assembled some creative ideas to help inspire you to imagine the new ways your products and services could come together.

Business

Virtual Inspiration

Bowling Alley

Part of the fun of bowling is participating in a league and competing against other leagues.  Keep up the spirit of the fun and engagement with the following:

  • Sell bowling kits to individuals within your community, whether it is a bowlercade, a mini wooden tabletop, or lawn bowling.
  • Create a community that allows each league to have their own private communication feed for its members.
  • Host a digital tournament and have people compete with one another.

Revenue stream opportunities:

  • Product sales
  • Digital membership sales
  • Tournament fees

Gym

The virtual fitness industry has been enjoying a steady incline for years, but your local gym has something these giant companies don’t have:  familiarity and trust. Help your members stay healthy with the following:

  • Bring your individual and group classes online.  Fitness instructors can take your members through the paces from their “home gym.”
  • Find a provider to sell branded free weights and other home gym tools.
  • Move your individual health assessment to video.
  • Create a private digital gym community that gives members a safe place to engage with other gym members, ask questions, and RSVP for events.

Revenue stream opportunities:

  • Product sales
  • Consultation and coaching sales
  • Membership fees

Restaurant & Food

If you are in the food services industry, moving your ordering system online and implementing delivery as quickly as possible will be critical to your survival.  Making sure you are top of mind with clients can help you stand apart. Here are some ideas:

  • Work with local companies to host “virtual team lunches” that allows all staff to have a shared meal together while they work.
  • Partner with a local winery to offer wine-pairings for your to-go meals.
  • Create a virtual “dine-in” event that showcases a local live-performer that engages with virtual diners.

Revenue stream opportunities:

  • Food sales
  • Ticket sales

Salon & Spas

Your clients have been coming to you for years because they trust you with their various beauty needs.  Suddenly they are stuck in an isolated do-it-yourself world. (It’s about to get ugly out there people, but YOU can help them during this in-between state.  Here’s how you can make the world a little more beautiful and make some money!

  • Create a beauty store with the products you trust to allow your customers the ability to purchase directly from your salon.
  • Offer individual consultations on everything from make-up tutorials to helping them select the right DIY hair color.


Revenue stream opportunities:

  • Product sales.
  • Consultation sales.

Museum & Art Galleries

Museums around the world offer virtual exhibitions.  This is the perfect time for your local art gallery to engage with residents who are reporting increased levels of boredom.   

  • Meet the artist. Host an intimate online discussion with local artists to talk about their work.
  • Ask the expert. Hold a virtual interview that allows members of your gallery to engage and ask questions.
  • Make your gallery store products available online for purchase.

Revenue stream opportunities:

  • Digital event ticket sales
  • Product sales

Sports Team

Reports already suggest that the Coronavirus may prove to be a virtual sports game-changer, but what does that mean for your local sports franchise and traditional live sports? Now is the time to engage with your team and your fans.  Whether you are a local high school team or inter-varsity team, there’s an opportunity to help keep everyone engaged during this challenging time. Here are some fun ideas:

  • Create a fan community that allows your fans to engage with players in an exclusive environment.
  • Host an eSports competition with neighboring teams and allow fans to purchase tickets to the virtual event.
  • Promote and sell your team swag via your store.

Revenue stream opportunities:

  • Digital event ticket sales.
  • VIP access memberships.
  • Team swag purchases.

 

Selecting the right partner and technology to help you with your digital transformation.

At InspireHUB, we’ve created a Digital Rescue Kit to help with the above.  Whether you work with us or someone else here are some things for you to consider.

  • Keep your clients safe.Just like in your traditional business, you need to ensure that whatever you create to engage with your clients, fans and members is safe.  Many technology platforms and solutions participate in data brokering behind the scenes. (Meaning they sell off your user data to other partners you may not want.) Be sure to look for the company's data brokering policy and if you can’t find one, ask!

  • Experience working virtually.
    The good news is that there are plenty of companies who have been working remotely for years prior to the pandemic.  Still, be sure to ASK how about their remote experience. If you’re working with a team who has less than a year of experience working remotely, they will still be working out the kinks.  Companies who have more than two years experience as remote teams will be able to provide you with all the attention you need and not be distracted by the need to stabilize their own internal teams.

Do they have experience?
It sounds obvious but be sure to visit their customer testimonials.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask about speaking directly with one of their existing customers. If they provide superior customer experience, then they should be able to provide you with a list of happy customers who would be delighted to tell you about what they have encountered.

 

TALK TO US TODAY TO LEARN MORE!

 

 

Topics: wineries, small business, change, operational processes, case studies, digital first, industry trends, business tools, implementation strategies, success strategies, engagement practices, digital engagement, game-changer, community building, resilience, competitive strategy, differentiation strategy, financial performance, fulfillment, digital marketplace, digital transformation, disruption, ecommerce, Digital Rescue Kit

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