The Coronavirus crisis is hitting many small business owners (and people in general) hard. We're facing a recession of uncertain duration, right now.
This post is my attempt to provide as much as possible in terms of strategy, tools and tactics that will help you generate an online income source and/or turn your offline business into an online business.
Note: Document in Progress
My priority with this content has been to get it published as quickly as possible, because I can clearly see that there's an emergency need among some people. I will continue updating this post with new tools and content over time. If you want to be notified when I update the post, you can subscribe here.
- 00:48 - Who this video is made for.
- 04:15 - Calculate your "runway score".
- 08:41 - If you have a high runway score: play the long game.
- 13:06 - If you have a low runway score: what tradeoffs to make.
- 17:19 - Identify & take action on leverage points in your business.
- 21:04 - 80/20 your offers for a time of crisis.
- 22:33 - How to online-ify an offline business.
List of Tools & Resources
Here are the tools and resources that can help you with the various approaches discussed in the video. I will be adding to these lists over time, as new recommendations come in and as I answer questions asked by the community.
Tools for Online Meetings, Online Classes Etc.
- For a full overview, check our my webinar software review roundup.
- Skype recently added a meetings feature which you can use even with participants who don't have skype installed.
- Zoom is an online meeting tool that has a free plan and can be upgraded for meetings with larger groups.
- Crowdcast is a webinar and meeting platform that makes it extra easy for you to get paid. You can charge for online events, as well as accept donations during an event and make Patreon-supporter-exclusive events.
- PunchPass is a tool specifically made for scheduling and offering online classes.
Build Your Website & Online Presence
On a long runway, use:
- Namecheap for your domain, WPX Hosting for your hosting & WordPress as the CMS.
- Thrive Theme Builder & Thrive Architect
On a short runway, use:
- A free website building tool like Wix or Webnode.
- The most important thing here is to get a simple page up, where you can link to your online classes, course or whatever. Don't get bogged down in website creation if you're on a short runway.
Tools for Creating & Selling Online Courses
If you're a Thrive Themes member, you have access to Thrive Apprentice, which is perfect for building an online course on your own platform.
If you don't have a WordPress site and you're on a shorter runway, consider using all-in-one solutions like:
- Podia - this comes with everything from a simple site builder to email marketing features. You need your own Stripe and/or PayPal account to integrate with it.
- Teachable - course creation & selling platform with built in payment processing.
- Udemy - course platform & marketplace. Potential to reach customers if you don't have your own audience, but they take a huge chunk of your sales & there's generally price dumping on the platform.
For selling things online in general, consider using a merchant of record service. This basically means that the legal entity selling your products is the platform you use, not you or your business. This is legally and administratively much simpler than a setup in which you are the merchant. Solutions include:
- Gumroad - mainly for selling simple ebooks and downloadables. Very simple, limited but easy to use.
- Digistore24 - sales platform and affiliate marketplace for any kind of online product.
- FastSpring or MyCommerce - more complex, more advanced online selling platform that act as merchants of record.
One thing many online teaching and business solutions have in common is that they use video in one form or another. Whether it's video and audio streamed for live events, workshops and classes or pre-recorded video content in an online course.
I've updated my recommended video gear guide. If you're a subscriber, you can access it for free in my course area. Or you can sign up here to get free access to the guide.
Video, Part 2
Timestamps for the second video:
- 00:33 - My experience building a business during a recession.
- 02:40 - Prepare to get uncomfortable. And make it count.
- 06:19 - Use strategic pessimisim & raise your standards when evaluating new business ideas.
- 09:49 - The opportunities lie in counter-intuitive action.
- 12:59 - Now is the time to do "local good".
- 16:42 - My filter bubble has been doing great. Yours?
Here are some resources that I believe can help you get ahead.
- The Customer First Approach - perhaps more important now than ever before. This is a series of podcast episodes we recorded on a method we recommend for getting a rapid start to an online income source. Part 1, part 2, part 3.
- The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Online Business - super thorough and completely free information on how to start a course-based business from scratch.
- The Ultimate Guide to Freelance Digital Marketing - super thorough guide to turning your online marketing knowledge into a business.
Your Questions & Comments
Now it's up to you: please let me know what questions you have and what further resources would help you out. I'm dedicated to helping small businesses get through this. So is the team over at Thrive Themes, by the way. If you aren't subscribed to the Thrive Themes newsletter, I recommend you do that. We'll be doing what we can to be of service during these difficult times.
Also, if you know of any tools and resources you think I should add to the lists above, please let me know!