My Business Crashed! What Do I Do Now?

Before diving into the steps I used to get profitable after losing revenue streams to this quarantine, let me share the full impact COVID-19 has had on my business.  Why?  Because it’s an illustration of just how massive this whole thing was for so many…

For everyone.

Important Note: Nothing in this article is about profiting from fear & pain.  Don’t be a jerk.  Everything I’m going to break down for you here I know 1: actually works (because I’m doing all of it) and 2: is about spreading good will and helping the most people possible in the best ways you know how.  

Now… on with the show.

It Was A Dark & Stormy Night… (A Few Short Years Ago)

Everything first started around Jan 15th when factories in China went dark.  At first we all thought it was simply due to their new year celebration.   Less communication was to be expected.

However, it quickly became apparent this was NOT the normal “we’re drunk for a month partying” kind of dark…

This was a “NOBODY could get in touch with anyone” kind of dark.

And then information about a virus outbreak began to leak…

And then information about quarantines began to leak…

And then… everyone had a problem.

Why A Problem In China Became A Problem For The World

As you probably know, over the past few decades China has grown into THE dominant hub of global manufacturing.  And there’s a lot of awesome in that!  You can get custom versions of just about anything you could imagine!  Even better?  You can get said “stuff” for prices that would melt your face off!

The obvious issue is when a lot of the factories were closed that shook all the businesses who relied on those goods.

Like us.

Super Ironically Awkward Timing:

Until only 6 months previous, we had never played with any sort of ecommerce.  Before that moment it had always seemed too much of a pain in the butt. All those physical products, all the inventory, warehouses, supply chain management… Ouch!

I’m an online guy.  Why would I mess about with all that?

Oh yea… because ecommerce can be SUPER lucrative when done correctly!

So we rolled out a VERY high end subscription box to one of our most engaged ecosystems.

The fans went crazy & the box was a HUGE success.

I’m not kidding, with only the most minimal of pre-launches we were able to sell out month after month.

Sales were fantastic & the fans were ecstatic!

In almost no time, the box had gone from $0 to generating a yearly income stream of over $168K and looked like it would push into the $300Ks, maybe even $400K range within it’s first 12 months.


But it was not to be.

When we saw the writing on the wall, we sent a message to our subscribers.

We informed them their box was pausing for a few months and we would be in touch when everything was back to normal.  But the damage has been done.  If we are to “reboot” this we will have to re-invest the full sum and more than we did the first time.

NOTE: Could we have sought out alternative manufacturers in other countries?  Of course. We did.  However, between the timing and as the problem become worse across the world, the best option become to pause & reboot later if possible.

Instant Financial Ramifications:

While this move instantly lost us A LOT of monthly revenue, it saved on future overhead, kitting fees, printing & product costs.

However, with that lost revenue came a harsh reality… we now had to pay off any net 30 debts heading our way WITHOUT upcoming box subscriptions to help. (Yes, we’re getting all of that taken care of!)

You see, the way you grow a subscription box is to push for subscriber growth each month.  This means you re-invest every red cent back into the box until you hit the number you’re looking for.  THEN, after many months, you pull back on the pushing and become profitable.  (then you do it all again)

In an instant we went from “YES WE’RE RICH!” to “OH CRAP… DEBT!”

But Wait… There’s More!

In the later part of 2019 we had “cloned & rebranded” our author facing agency.

The plan was to  take the services we’d perfected since 2011 & deploy them for a new market.

Rather than focusing on online authorpreneurs we began targeting local business owners focused on aesthetics.

Did our program work for them like it did for the others?

Even better.

You see, it can be hard to make an author profitable with the margins are $.35 – $3.99.  At least it’s hard if you’re only focused on books and not additional revenue streams (aka the purpose of our agency!).

However, with these shops featuring services from $49 and going all the way up to $3,500+, we were able to CRUSH IT.

With our very first case study brought in over $29K in new business in under 3 weeks.

In fact, our service was so effective we had to pause the ads because the shop was just too small & was over run with clients!

With case study results like that, as you might imagine, it wasn’t too hard to get other owners to jump on board.

In a very short period of time everything was going brilliantly!

Within a few months we had set up rock solid standard operating procedures for everything:

  • Lead sourcing
  • Lead cleaning
  • Multi-phase cold email reach out
  • Effective phone follow up
  • Appointment setting
  • Sales demos demos
  • Closing SOP’s
  • New client on-boarding procedures

The team was growing and so were our profits!


And then the corona virus quarantine hit…

In days 100% of our clients closed up shop.

That meant so did we.

There wasn’t any reason to keep pushing the service because people weren’t leaving their houses!

Another multi 6 figure income stream… gone.  From one day to the next.

It’s Not Just Us: Our Friends & Partners Are Experiencing The Same Brutal Fallout

Stories of people losing their jobs, individual Air B&B revenue drying up, Amazon slowing down, bars/restaurants closing, travel lock downs & people having no idea what to do next is now common.

Something has to be done.  Fast.

Here’s What We Did To Remain Profitable:

Here’s the good news: If you’re in a tight spot, you’re not alone.

Even better?  Once you take a think on what I’m about to share, you’ll probably see you’re in a much better position than you originally thought!

How We Are Pivoting & Thriving

What is a pivot you may ask?  The good people at Quora seem to have said it best:

A pivot usually occurs when a company makes a fundamental change to their business after determining (usually through market research) that their product isn’t meeting the needs of their intended market.

While both our product and service nailed the needs right in the mouth, when quarantine hit, the ability to service said markets vanished.  (hopefully temporarily)

But the end game is the same: No customers = no sales.

Thrive Pivot #1: What deployable assets do you have on hand RIGHT NOW?

What I mean here is what do you have laying around, something you may have put down before, that with a fresh perspective, can be used as a “go to market” product or service?

I’m not talking about finally making that into product you always meant to get around to, that’ll take too long.  I’m talking about sellable things that may have just never been pushed to market.

I know you have this stuff.

If you’re still reading this that means you’re an entrepreneur.

We smell our own.

If you’ve been in this game for longer than 20 minutes there is NO WAY you can say to me with a straight face that there isn’t a single project you got to 99% completion before abandoning it because you “just had an even better idea”

You might need a sec to think about it.  But it’s there.  In fact it’s there with all 500 other of it’s friends.

Which of those makes the most sense to fire up?

How I Applied This:

I’m applied this the same way I do everything: It was time for a massive change anyway.  Why the hell not now?

My author facing agency basically runs without me.  I’ve set up SOP’s, KPI’s & a fantastic team who manages all the clients & processes.  Yay!

But for the past 7 years (at least) I’ve totally neglected focusing on my personal brand & coaching business.  Sure I’ve taken on a healthy dose of clients in the past, but never officially.  Never with intention.

So that’s the “immediately deployable asset” I officially opened up.

Coaching & consulting.

And it’s working.  In the past few weeks I’ve already bought in new clients.

Even weirder?  I’m having a blast helping solve their problems.

The Second Way I Deployed This:

One element of what we did on the author facing agency was to run Virtual Events for our clients who requested it.

But it wasn’t just like we set up a few pages and let it happen…

We ran a TON of these & produced tens of thousands of leads in the process!

I had invested in a MASSIVE virtual event infrastructure

  • Custom site templates
  • Upsell processes & processors
  • Influencer/speaker getting messages & SOP’s for keeping them engaged
  • Custom engagement graphic templates

Literally a system, procedure & method for each and every process inside of a virtual event.

And then just… didn’t mention it again!

Now is the perfect time to roll them out!

Thrive Pivot #2: How Can You Rapidly Go To Market? 

If you already have a mailing list, great!  Hit send & make money!

(Yes, it’s still mostly that simple)

Everything is always about getting your offer in front of the right eyeballs at the right time.

The single best way, at least right now to do this is by building your subscriber base.

And the best way to do that?

By proving you can help them… by actually helping them.  (fully borrowed from Frank Kern)

Meaning, produce content that solves your markets problem!

Content is life for an entrepreneur.

Produce it.

Taking A Dose Of My Own Medicine:

Just a few weeks before all of this corona crap hit, I let one of my mentors advice finally sink in.

His message was pretty much: “Start building your personal brand again.  You’ve been hiding behind your kids & your team for far too long.  Your message will help people.

You see, I’d been spending the past decade building businesses that had nothing to do with a personal brand!

Who would have thought it would take a global pandemic to finally make me dust off the ol keyboard and write this stuff?

Steps To Using Content To Reach Profitability: 

  • Publish targeted, helpful content onto social media
  • Build an audience of people consuming it
  • Retarget them with some sort of value based lead gen offer
  • Push to webinar (email lead gen)
  • Deliver value on the webinar & sell at the end while still delivering content

In fact, if you were to wrap all this up in a tidy little graphic, it would look a lot like this…

Using Social Media To Produce Profits: The Word Snare Method

PS: I have a multi part series on exactly how to roll this graphic out here >>

How To Get Your Content To Market Quickly:

As with all things you’re going to want to run some ads.  Here’s what I do (based on that graphic above)

  1. Produce high quality content that directly solves your target markets issue
  2. Publish that content in a sequence on your blog
  3. Publish the link to your FB page & push it as an ad (run as targeted ad, NOT a boost)
  4. Build an audience of those who consume the content using your FB/Google pixel
  5. Retarget that consumption audience with more great content (video/written/audio)
  6. Retarget that audience with a leadgen/webinar offer
  7. Deliver more content & sell your “thing”

If you’re not feeling the “ad thing” you can always publish 15 – 60 second videos to TikTok & native articles to LinkedIn.

Both of those platforms are going crazy right now with organic reach.

Recap: Getting to profitability when everything seems to hammered garbage…

1: Take inventory of your assets.

What do you have you can use to go to market RIGHT NOW?

2: How can you get in front of the audience who will love to buy?

If your go to market plan is helping more people solve their issues, start showing you can help them by actually helping them!

Follow up the ones consuming that content with even more.

Doing this helps you become front of mind & will make them WAY happier to subscribe to your list or webinar and then buy your stuff later on.

Again, how do I know all this works?

Because I’m doing it and it’s working.

Have a fantastic day & if you found this helpful please share it with your friends!

Chat soon,

Jonny Andrews