How to Profit and Thrive Through COVID-19 | Small Biz Marketing Specialist

How to Profit and Thrive Through COVID-19

These are definitely interesting times. The way we live and the way we do business has been dramatically changed by just two words we had never even heard of before, Coven-19 and Social Distancing.

But here’s the thing … I want you to know that you can get through this and you will get through this if you continue to do your marketing. I’ve been through 9/11 and I’ve been through 2008 and my coffee/smoothie business is currently closed, so I guess third time’s a charm 😂.  Look, there’s a lot I’ve learned from going through those difficult times.


In 1998 I started my first business, an outsourcing business, and just three years later, in 2001, 9/11 hit. I was working with associations and nonprofits who for them meetings, events and membership was their main source of revenue. So when they got hit, I got hit and those were very dark days for me. But I learned a lot by going through that. And most importantly I continued marketing and I was lucky enough that actually there were businesses, who for them unfortunately, were going out of business. But it gave me the opportunity to snatch them up at a great price and I was able to add on mailing services and fulfillment.  I ended up buying a warehouse, thus being able to be a true full service solution for these associations and nonprofits. So I not only got through 9/11, but I was able to profit and thrive.  Just a few years later I was able to sell that business for a full price cash offer.

Then I had my midlife crisis and I did what any rational person would do. Start a Hawaiian theme coffee and smoothie bar. Makes sense. Right? Well that’s what I did and I grew like crazy. I opened two stores at Dulles airport, a store in a mall. I had these kiosks and mobile Tiki bars all around the Washington DC area. I had three food trucks. I was actually one of the first ones here in the DC area.

The growth was great, but so was the crash and burn because then it was 2008 and I woke up one day, $500,000 in debt, not knowing where my next customer was coming from. So you talk about really dark days. Those were super dreary for me. I had young kids and I didn’t even have enough money to put peanut butter and jelly on the table, but I had a come to Jesus moment and I realized that I was blaming everybody else, the economy, the customers, everybody except me.

And when I got clear that the reason my business was suffering was because I wasn’t marketing, that changed everything. I started putting in a six step simple plan, which today I call my ACTION marketing system and it worked. It transformed my business from $500,000 in debt to a seven-figure profitable business. So today, we’re all going through the same thing again. Look, I know what you’re going through. I get it. It’s impacting me as well. I still have my coffee smoothie business, which right now is zilcho because it’s built on catering and nobody’s doing catering. Nobody’s having social gatherings, nobody’s having any celebrations, so it’s impacting me dramatically. But I also have the Small Biz Marketing Specialist and I just want to say that I am so proud of my clients. They are doing so well through this. Yes, everybody’s being hit in the gut a little bit, but very minimally for my clients, they are continuing to market and here’s the difference.

When you’re stuck, when you are facing a difficult situation, you have two choices. You can react or you can adapt.

Most small business owners are going to react. They’ll send out an email to their customers, clients or patients saying, here’s what we’re doing to abide by COVID-19 and then they’re going to go hide their head in the sand hoping and praying that this will go away. And if you’ve read my book, Small Business Marketing Made EZ, you know that “hope and pray” is not a marketing strategy. It just doesn’t work and this will not just go away.

Those who adapt and change the business model and use what you have in place right now and most importantly, continue to market, will be the ones who win on the other side.

My clients, because they’ve built amazing relationships, are keeping their customers, clients and patients. Because here’s an important marketing lesson.  Customers refund transactions. They don’t refund relationships, customers refund transactions, they don’t refund relationships. So my clients, they’re staying in front of mind, they’re picking up the phone, having conversations, they’re doing things that they’ve never done before. The video, text, direct mail. Look, the mail box is quite empty right now. What I want you to know is that if you continue marketing, you will get through this and you will be a winner on the other side.

The reason my clients are doing so well is because they built the foundations to their marketing plan based on that ACTION marketing system. They didn’t go out there and throw their money at Facebook ads and digital marketing and putting all their efforts into one marketing channel like email because it’s free, okay? My clients are surviving, profiting, and thriving because they have those foundations in place.

That’s why I’m so passionate about helping you learn what those six simple steps are so you can do the same. I truly want to help your business succeed. This is the time where you can get crystal clear on your why, who you serve and how you can profitably package what you do to really transform the lives of your customers, clients, and patients.  How can I best help you, and what are you doing to not only survive, but profit and thrive during these chaotic times? I am here to help you get your marketing into action by helping you become a Small Biz Marketing Wiz!

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About the Author smallbizmarketing

Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small - and not so small - businesses one marketing plan at a time. She helps business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE profit. Stacey's in-demand "Small Biz Marketing Success Coaching and Mastermind Program" is transforming the businesses - and lives - of those who want wealth, freedom, and market domination. Her highly acclaimed book "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" lays out the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of Cups To Gallons, the place where independent coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, dessert and snack shop owners go to learn how get into lucrative catering so they stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.

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