Entrepreneurs and even ordinary people are the ones who find creative ways to solve challenging problems, no matter how big or small.
In this Entrepreneurs' Spotlight, Agency Intelligence highlights 12 forward-thinkers in various industries who share advice, from their own experience, on how small businesses can continue to grow and thrive in any situation.
Health, Fitness & Medicine
1. Dr. Stephen Wander of Integrated Health Center of Maryland – award-winning speaker at NASDAQ and the Harvard Club of Boston, bestselling author of “Reverse Your Diabetes, Change Your Life” & “It’s Not You, It’s Your Thyroid.”
“My advice would be to figure out how to operate your business with the new ‘normals',” says Dr. Wander, who runs his practice with his wife Amanda. “For us we are taking measures to take our entire office from brick and mortar to virtual. Not all types of businesses can do this, but you have to be prepared.”
2. Liz Hall – personal trainer, owner & founder of TheVTrainer.com.
“There is no doubt a mass amount of people are struggling. However, if I float in that thought, it brings me down. I am a visualization-to-creation type of person. When I focus on the fact that people are thriving, that means it’s possible for me to thrive.
“By choosing what’s good for us, we will naturally feel better. It’s a choice to stay glued to the updates and it’s a sure way to have anger, confusion, hopelessness, fear, and everything in between. Or, we can stand in a place of acceptance and say, ‘this is happening, how can I best serve my fellow humans and keep myself safe and healthy, in mind, body, and spirit.’”
3. Dr. Candace Drummond, Owner & Director of AViD Intellectual, clinical psychologist & mental health counselor.
“Mental health providers have frequently been called ‘the invisible first responders’. Increased need and use of mental health services has served to reduce the stigma of utilizing these much-needed services during our globally shared trauma. In 2020, the 3 major themes that seem to benefit mental health and other private practice owners are:
- Innovation through virtual service provision
- Collaboration by sharing services and resources with other providers
- Generosity by reducing or eliminating traditional barriers to treatment.”
Her key to staying strong emotionally & mentally: “I subscribe to my own 3 P’s: Positive, Productive, Present. If I can achieve all 3 daily, I can weather any storm. To remain positive, I limit outside influences: I allow no more than 1 hour a day of news/Facebook, I haven’t owned a television in 16 years, and I don’t have an Instagram account. I stay productive with weekly and daily business and personal goals. And I stay present by fully enjoying and experiencing whatever I do.”
4. Richard Duggal – Superstar RE/MAX realtor, certified Master Practitioner of NLP, and international sales trainer, who has successfully trained hundreds of agents & salespeople to become top producers using the skills of persuasion & influence.
His advice: “To keep your mindset strong, connect with positive people who are opportunity oriented.”
“Reconnect with clients that you haven’t been in communication with. Ask questions and listen. Work on upgrading your sales process and communication skills. Practice your presentation and look at hiring a coach to help you with this.”
Richard’s advice on staying strong financially? “Make a journal of wisdom you learn today that will help you tomorrow.”
5. Moneeka Sawyer – “The Blissful Millionaire,” bestselling author of Choose Bliss and host of the podcast Real Estate Investing for Women.
“As housing sales slow, many real estate professionals are stuck at home with a lot of time on their hands. This is the time to practice Retro-Connecting. Take this time to re-ignite real relationships with your clients by mailing real hand-written, personalized messages (not generic messages in handwritten font). Then keep mailing them every few months. Your clients will remember your kindness and personal attention and call you when they’re ready.”
Her tips to overcome the stress of tough markets:
“Our brains are not able to problem-solve when flooded with stress hormones, so the most important thing to do is to keep your stress in check. A great key for this is to meditate.”
6. Jake Gibson – founder & CEO of Phyxter, connecting trades professionals with consumers.
As the home services industry has felt the impact of major changes, Jake says “now is the time to diversify customer acquisition strategies by using innovative ideas and partnerships. Some of the recommendations to our customers are: have a stronger online presence, but also a stronger community presence. One of my favorite ideas for independent contractors is to partner with other independent contractors in non-competitive trades on a flyer or mail; that way, they can get their business in front of more people for a fraction of the price.”
“The work we do at Phyxter is probably ¾ passion and ¼ business. What I mean by that is it seems like most of the time, we’re just helping people without even thinking about the business side of the company. For example, when we have new ideas on how to generate leads for less, we go out and try them with our customers at no charge. It’s really exciting to have customers that simply trust us to try things to help them…now not all ideas work, but some do, and that’s when we have the most fun.”
7. Sandy Tabacinic – president & CEO of award-winning construction company Homecorp (HomecorpTX.com).
Sandy’s thoughts on keeping community & business going: “Thankfully, construction is deemed essential, so we’ve been able to continue with our work. But as expected new jobs were postponed or canceled. I would recommend that builders continue the pre-construction planning process which can be lengthy. It allows for virtual meetings and can keep the process moving forward until permit offices are back open.”
How does her work benefit other people? “Being able to give others a better feel for their home and more practical uses for their spaces.”
8. Feras Mousilli – Managing Partner at Lloyd & Mousili, a firm that has provided IP & technology counsel to corporations such as Apple & Dell.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many of our Lloyd & Mousilli clients in the technology industry and created issues with contract performance. We recommend a review of their key contracts and the provisions of force majeure clauses that may provide a justification for termination or other measures within the contract. We have also seen many city and state ordinances that have provided some relief for lease contracts, given the shelter in place orders. It is critical to have a good attorney to guide your business through this crisis.”
With a potential increase in workplace safety cases, health claim suits, and ADA violation cases, what can the average person do to afford solid legal protection, both for themselves and against others? “It is more important than ever to reach out early on to a good lawyer to understand the options and remedies available,” says Mousilli. “Many times, our law firm can handle these types of cases on a contingency fee arrangement that can help the average person afford solid legal protection.”
9. Alicia Couri, personal branding consultant & Audacious Confidence Growth Expert.
“As a Kolbe Certified™ Consultant, it is very important for business owners to understand what the hierarchy of their crisis response would be for bringing their workforce back or designing new opportunities for their company. Once safety issues are addressed, they need to develop a strategy for their workforce. We have a Team Reorganization Map that helps do that. Many businesses have an opportunity now to acquire better talent that is now in the marketplace. Some may have discovered shortcomings and challenges that were papered over and now exposed and want an opportunity to put the right people in the right positions. Using the Kolbe Assessment tool can effectively right-size, reorganize, rehire, and redesign to get the workforce up to 100% performance rapidly.”
Her strategy for making it through the current market? “Our response should not be one of panic but to get ourselves positioned for success. You want to know what your TAGS™ are: your Talents, Assets, Gifts, and Skills. Maybe you need to take an online course to increase or enhance your skillset. Take time to update your resume, don’t wait for your employer to call you back, be proactive, and look for who is hiring right now. You may have even thought about starting a side hustle so now is your opportunity to put those plans into action so if there is another wave of this quarantine later, you will not be so dependent on an employer to sustain you.”
10. Albert Corey, accountant & business growth strategist at Corey & Associates.
His thoughts on keeping community & business going: “You have to go out to teach the community. When you teach on social media you become an expert. When the world gets back up, the public will remember you for giving value, and people will flock to you for a referral.”
His advice to those who are losing sleep over their financial situation: “Now the time to go and get free education. There are YouTube videos and almost every coach in all fields is having a web class for free. Go out and listen and take notes. Be ready to take off when the doors open. Most are watching Netflix while the achievers are soaking in all the rich content to achieve greatness.”
11. Kessa Gooden, a motivational speaker & philanthropist whose path to entrepreneurial success came by way of self-reliance. Kessa is a mentor to those seeking relational, emotional & financial support.
Her thoughts on keeping community & business going: “I must say that I am fortunate to have had my business online prior to 2020. If not, it would have been really difficult for me to do business this year. I would advise the community and business owners to be open to doing business online with someone they can trust because it saves us lots of time and money.”
Kessa’s suggestion to relieve quarantine anxiety: “Find something to do online, find a friend or a family member, and come up with a plan to do some form of online business. This will help to create an income so it will alleviate the stress of the everyday bills. Go to seminars and learn how to do online business to help educate yourself and to build relationships with likeminded people, this will help build a better quality of living and future for them and their children.”
12. Alexander Velitchko, founder of 2 marketing agencies -- Triple Agent Digital Media and Agency Intelligence -- and hemp health brand Long Live The Hemp.
"The key to adapting to any sitaution is to identify with great granularity what you're already skilled at, and find new opportunities to apply those skills to different revenue streams and new business models," says Alexander, who calls himself 'a marketer by day, a baker by night,' referring to his love for baking almond-flour cake.
"When I was 11, I scaled a YouTube music channel from zero to tens of thousands of views within a year, without a dime in paid advertising. Those skills are evergreen. I learned a new skill through experience and drive, and now, I have an 'unconscious competence' that I can apply to helping other businesses grow online in turn, for as long as the internet and online search exist. This is a win-win-win, because:
1. the client invests money in marketing services
2. Agency Intelligence pays the hard costs of work to its team members and collaborators to help fulfill the service
3. the business generates new revenue from their increased visibility, whether directly or indirectly.
It's a win in 3 areas -- and that's what fuels economic growth. Even if you could take your skill and use it to sell something that just makes the customer happier and more appreciative, that's a win-win because of the emotional implications."
"When I spoke at the West Point Military Academy, the message I shared with the leaders of America's future was that 'if you're a best-kept secret, it's just as good as being bankrupt.' Every business owner needs to apply that mindset to every aspect of their visibility; their visibility to those they want to attract, whether offline or online."
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