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As times change, we must change with them. This applies to both our personal and business lives. I know many people and the businesses they are involved with are having difficulty coping with the changes that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak brings. The future is unclear, people don’t know if they will have jobs. Businesses don’t know where the next client or customer will come from. This leads to the “chicken with it’s head cut-off” syndrome. That is people running around extremely busy, but not getting anywhere or doing anything useful.
But there is something you can do, some actions that will stop the syndrome drowning your business, personal interactions and life. Simply look at the situation and create a plan to move forward. That’s what we are about to do here.
On other pages on this website there are articles on What's a Client Avatar? and on the Client Avatar Worksheet Guide. The first tells you a little about the what and the why. The second gives you a detailed walk through as to how to fill out the Client Avatar Worksheet. There is also a downloadable and electronically editable Client Avatar Template Worksheet.
With that background covered, now it is time to consider why today and through these changes is the ideal time to revisit the Client Avatar(s) that you currently use.
The first thing to appreciate, is that the changes that have just happened to the economy, the working from home, the social distancing, the panic buying of toilet paper and pasta. I hope the two are not related! All these individual changes add up to a substantial change in client or customer behaviour. These changes are not going to suddenly go away.
How do I know this? Simple, almost a million people applied for Universal Credit in the UK in a single two-week period. That was 10 times the normal number. That change to the number of people working, or at least making enough money has a dramatic effect on businesses. Well, it would if they hadn’t furloughed their employees. That is the ones that didn’t close. As you know all pubs, restaurants, gyms etc., all closed overnight. One day they were open thriving businesses but closed the next day. No income, so, no money available for suppliers, staff or local government. This has a huge effect on the velocity of money.
Velocity of money basically is the money spent over and over again. I spend £10 at the shop, the shop keeper gives some to the sales assistant, some to the supplier, etc. The sales assistant spends some at another shop, etc. So, many other people spend that £ that I originally spent in the shop. The more times this happens, the higher the velocity of money. The fewer times, the lower the velocity of money.
If too many people are not in a position to spend the money they have, perhaps because they have less, the velocity of money decreases and the economy slows. We face exactly this situation now. Whilst most salaried employees are still employed, furloughed or actively working, they will be spending less. Keeping their money for more essential purchases. Or converting it into toilet paper!
All this is terribly interesting, I am sure you agree, but how does it apply to Client Avatars? The simple answer is it applies directly. There is now a particularly good chance that the customers or clients that you had two weeks ago have changed the way they see the world, how they interact in the world. In short, they are now different people and that means your Client Avatars are now out of date.
If the Client Avatar is out of date, then it is time to re-run the process of either updating the avatar or creating them again, starting from the beginning. It will depend on your business. If the client or customer has probably changed only a bit, then an update is appropriate. But, if the change is substantial, then redo it again from the beginning. It will save the most time and yield the best result.
What kind of things should you look for to determine if things have changed? I would look to see if your potential clients are:
Their circumstances might have changed, so think about:
I am hoping that now you are beginning to see the range and scope of the questions to ask and what the consequences could be. Don’t forget, it will become extremely important to understand where the potential clients will be and that will impact on how you reach out to them. There is no point in assuming you can meet them face to face, only to discover that you can only do this remotely.
This whole situation is unprecedented, it will take time for people and businesses to adjust and adapt. That does not mean you should wait to make these changes. Quite the opposite. Those who move quickly and understand the changed environment will be the ones who thrive. Those who delay will suffer.
Be one of those who make the change early and take advantage of the opportunities that are suddenly before you. It is in these times of change that small businesses can grow rapidly, because they can adapt rapidly. Large businesses need committees to approve the changes, by that time, the SMEs will have eaten their lunch. Be one of those who eat the lunch.
As always, contact me today and see how to accelerate your growth.