For Lynda Coombs of Event Perfection, it had been three hectic weeks of settling down disappointed brides, pacifying angry mothers and refunding events that could never go ahead. There had been tears and such emotion. Not to mention the balancing act she was now dealing with of no income and lots of ongoing outgoings.
For Karryn Bartlett, it was an endless stream of refunds, deferments and negotiating with hotels and airlines to address, defer or cancel each client’s dreams.
They came together with six others to work on their business in the Business in Heels Bootcamp sponsored by the organisation’s Random Acts of Kindness initiative. The initiative calls on the community to donate to Business In Heels to give waitlisted struggling businesswomen and small business owners access to education and support during this trying time. The course took them on a journey to review all their business building blocks. Along the way they would learn, workshop and implement ensuring their business would be profitable, digitised, systemised and automated.
It started with a rediscovery of their Unique Sales Proposition, which had been long forgotten or was no longer relevant, they thought. For Lynda, it was her ability to create WOW events, the ones that go beyond perfection where the mother of the bride walks in and say “Wow!” For Karryn, it was combining her love of golfing and her knowledge of New Zealand which makes her the perfect personal travel agent to create a dream golfing holiday.
For Vanessa Hushen of Courier Luggage, the chance to connect and work with other business owners was extraordinary. “Being a business owner is very isolating. I was so embarrassed about my situation. Now being part of this team, I feel I can work on my business and get on with things.”
Throughout the Business in Heels Business Building Bootcamp there were a number of AH-HA moments. Using Collaboration as a key business growth tool was one of those. Lynda realized that whilst she had a big event business, she was still contracting out certain key things like flowers. After learning about the power of Collaboration Circles, she decided to see if she could form an alliance with a florist with the view that each would refer business to one another. Over the course of a few weeks the alliance was developed and today it has enabled them to win two new events that they will deliver together.
Similarly, Ingrid from Archive Wine bar realized that one of her potential key collaborators was a lady who runs a One-Day PA business. She was bringing her clients in for small family events. They put their heads together and now Ingrid has new events lined up post COVID and she’s been able to employ the One Day PA to help her with some project work.
The final revelation came with the workshop on Landing Pages and CRM systems. What’s that you say? Landing Pages are a web page designed to help you make one choice, yes or no. A CRM system is for storing a list of peoples’ names, contact details etc. Everyone realised that they were losing so many potential clients because they did not have these systems in place.
With the course over, Lynda & Karryn were high fiving because they felt in control. They had clarity and focus on what they needed to do and how to implement things. Many have implemented cost saving systems, better invoicing as well as automations to ensure they give their clients the best service.
If you can’t trade through COVID, now is the time to work on your business and ensure –
1. You have a clear and Unique Sales Proposition.
2. Develop a list of potential collaborators and go out and find them. 3. Carve out products and services that are right for NOW.
4. Know your numbers.
5. Digitise, systematise and automate
Then collaborate your way to NEW business and set up for post-COVID success.
To join the Business In Heels community or support struggling businesswomen and small business owners visit https://events.businessinheels.com/projects/coronavirus/.
Women Love Tech would like to thank Lisa Sweeney for her story.