Life has been exhausting the past several months: the pandemic and the ensuing job loss, civil unrest, and politics. If you are a vendor, you might feel financially strained, but there are some things you can do to maintain your business savvy and sanity during the crises. The first thing you can do is take a few minutes for solitude. Alone-time is a great way to clear your head and prepare for your next business move. If it’s money you’re missing, don’t sweat it! Money comes and goes, right? Worrying about not making money only adds to the stress you are probably already feeling. You will bounce back, and here’s how: as vendors, we rely on events to push our products and services, but with summer behind us, opportunities to get out and into the community (depending where your business is geographically) may be gone too.
Don’t lose hope. Check with your city or county, your local chamber of commerce, or websites like eventbrite.com and festivalsandevents.com.eventbrite.com and festivalsandevents.com. You may find events prepared with PPE and amenable to social distancing. With some ingenuity and patience, you can keep your product or service in the public eye and overcome these obstacles. Also, check social media for how other business owners are surviving. Some business owners are successfully pulling off drive-by events, virtual mixers, and online sales. Do your best to keep your service or product in front of your customers. Times are tough for many people now, but genuine concern about your customers will go a long way. If a customer is low on cash, think about cutting her a deal. Consider running regular sales or offer a discount for your services. Many people are directly and deeply impacted by national and world events and showing compassion to your current customers could lead to new ones. Your customers will thank you; they will remember this once their financial situation changes, and they will tell others. Your customers will thank you; they will remember this once their financial situation changes, and they will recommend others to you. Think about ways you might reach your customers directly through social media and through your website. Advertise sales, discounts, or run specials until things are (somewhat) back to normal. You will be surprised how far a little sensitivity can go in times like these because customer service starts long before someone hands you cash or slides a credit card through your SquareUp device. It starts whenever you interact with current customers and when you meet new people. You will have to be bold and confident in your branding and marketing and deliver the best customer service experience possible. Now is not the time to be hard on yourself. Now is not the time to shrink back. Now is the time to lean into your business goals and dreams like never before. If business is slow now, plan, revamp, rebrand, redevelop. Things will turn around (eventually) but maintaining your business savvy and sanity in the process is vital to your business surviving.\