Changing Your Business Model in Uncertain Times
Let me start by saying that I would never put myself in a position to actually give business advice except for the fact that I actually do lead a business.
For the most part, I don’t feel qualified to be a leader so I’m more comfortable making excuses for not knowing exactly what to do however God did choose me to lead this organization and at some point, I ran out of excuses and had to get my act together.
So with that said, I do have some advice on changing your business model in uncertain times.
We host events (to prevent child sex trafficking) and so naturally, we had to change our business model.
We had three major events on the calendar for this past spring that had to be canceled which was heartbreaking yet at the same time, we all had peace on what God was doing with beLydia.
Let me back up to say that I love to set goals. I’ve talked about it on the blog before and even shared a few months of goal setting and then couldn’t keep it up. I don’t believe that I was being obedient by not continuing to share. I’m pretty sure I was supposed to keep sharing but I chickened out.
Why? I think it’s part insecurity on sharing something so personal, part fear in putting goals out there and then part shame when I can’t fulfill them.
All of that to say that I actually do like setting goals but it’s much more difficult to actually share your goals with a public audience.
Some of our “someday” goals that we had set back in 2017 are now coming into play. Back then, we talked about transitioning and putting together more communities online and now we are doing that because of COVID19.
Even if we get to a place where we can meet with people in person, I can’t imagine it will be the same? I don’t even know. Right now that feels like a long way away.
Back in March when the reality of this set in and we realized that our life and business is going to look a lot different in the near future, we had a choice to do nothing and wait for it to return to normal (when?!) or take a week to pray for clarity and then move forward from whatever God puts on our hearts (which could have been to do nothing).
He was SO CLEAR on what we need to do.
He took things that He had placed on our hearts years ago and put them front and center.
One example, our new website. Chie Carrol, a web designer that I worked with years ago when I was a health coach, approached me about trying out WIX.
We had just (a few months ago) had a company create a new homepage (which sets the tone for the entire website) for us so I had to really pray about that. It made no sense except for a few things:
I knew Chie would do an amazing job and none of us loved our new homepage. While it was more professional, it definitely didn’t capture our vibe. It wasn’t beautiful and we are so passionate about things being beautiful.
We’re grateful for their hard work but it didn’t feel like us.
So, out of nowhere Chie approaches me near the end of February and makes us this incredible offer to redo our homepage for free and move us from Wordpress to Wix.
The free part is what made us really have to pray about it because it was clearly a gift and she only offered that because the Lord put it on her heart.
So we said "Yes!"
But then I needed to create the other pages which at the time didn’t seem like that much work but OY.
Since the end of March, I have worked incredibly hard on this new website and then added a new website for teens called Open Heart Girls.
Anyway, it was a lot of work for Chie to create the new homepage and for me to create the rest but what I didn't know at the time we agreed to the new website back in February, was how much we would need it moving forward in this new direction. God knew though!
That was yet another sign of confirmation for us--we were supposed to change direction and He started that ball rolling before things shut down.
Let me say that even when God starts the ball rolling, it's still a lot of work. I have never been so busy trying to swing our entire business model in a new direction.
You know when you’re on a swing and you’ve just sat down and the swing is still? There’s no movement. No momentum.
You’re starting from scratch, kicking your legs out straight, pulling your feet under your knees, leaning backward, pushing your arms out, and then pulling them back in. It is a lot of work to get any movement, right? You just keep doing it though, you keep pushing and pulling and working towards that goal of swinging. It’s going to be easier but now it’s work.
That’s where we are now. We are working to get to a place where it’s not as much work.
Last year we worked so hard to lay a strong foundation and in the first part of this year, we enjoyed the fruit of that labor. We spoke to more audiences than we had in the past. We felt like our business was swinging in the right direction. We had momentum.
And then our swing was taken down.
But God quickly put up a better swing. I say better because of His promises. We know He is for us, not against us and His ways are always better.
Romans 8:31 "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
So here we are on this new swing, swinging in a new direction, completely pivoting our business model to incorporate ways to form communities online.
We couldn’t host our Open Hearts Retreat but we could bless the girls with Hope Boxes.
We put them together yesterday so they should get them in the next couple of days.
We’re putting together a teen blog.
We are working on a fun way for mothers and daughters to connect and spend time together (coming this summer).
We have a teen bible study coming up in June.
An opportunity for teen girls to serve as interns & ambassadors.
HUGE shifts in our business model but we’re passionate about these changes.
It feels like a huge mountain to climb, there’s so much still that needs to be done but we’re so excited and grateful for this pivot.
We are on the swing, kicking and pulling, working hard to get some momentum. It’s hard work but we are excited.
So my advice on how to change your business model in uncertain times is to take some time to separate from your team and pray.
Pray for God to be so clear on the path you’re supposed to take. Pray for that clarity. Pray for Him to open doors and windows to show you which way to go.
Pray for the Lord to share ways that you can glorify Him in this new direction.
Pray for His favor and for you to be obedient to whatever He lays on your heart.
Then come together and share what God put on your hearts individually.
Is there a common thread?
Do you have confirmation?
If not, go back and spend more time praying.
If yes, then get to work.
It’s going to be hard and you’re going to have to figure out a way to balance your family time with work. Prioritize the family time but also, get organized so when you do work, you’re not wasting time.
Changing your business model isn’t easy, especially when you had momentum but when you align yourself with God, and trust that His ways are always better and that He has your best interest in mind, the momentum will come back.
Check out our Entrepreneur page! We celebrate women in business and one of them, Laura has a special offer with Noonday where beLydia gets a percentage of the sales purchased through her link in the month of May.