The year is 2021 and a lot has changed since the beginning of 2020.
Business owners know exactly what I'm talking about.
Before Covid-19, people in New York City were just wrapping up the Christmas Holidays with chestnuts in the fire. My hometown people in South Florida are asking, "what are chestnuts and why did they have to go in the fire?"
Ocean Ave in Miami was popping with nightclubs booming and restaurants packed with beautiful people from the Caribbean and Latin America.
Then, many governors begin shutting down their states out of fear the Covid-19 would...you can fill in the blank.
For small business owners, Covid-19 meant, first and foremost, shutdowns, no customers and losing business revenue.
Now, we have an evolving situation with businesses struggling to stay open and erratic shutdown orders, after being open for 20, 30 or more years.
This reshuffling of who is in business and not in business has elevated the concept of "business musical chairs".
When I was in college studying Economics at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, I wrote a paper about the unlikely occurrence of businesses struggling to see which would be the last to survive. Little did I realize this impossible scenario would come to life in 2020.
The theory behind "business musical chairs" looks at the worst case scenario of several businesses competing for consumers where there are not enough consumers to keep all businesses thriving.
The paper went on to describe what businesses must do stay on top and be one of the few still open when others have fallen due to loss of revenue and/or poor performance.
In a way, this Covid-19 situation might create more demand for 321 Biz Dev LLC services.
Before Covid-19, white-collar small business owners (attorneys, CPAs, dentists, plastic surgeons, insurance brokers, and real estate brokers) were living on Easy Street when it came to having customers and making enough money.
No, most white-collar small business owners did not have an abundance of customers, but they had enough to be comfortable for nine out of twelve months. Yes, there were 2-3 months when sales revenues were below expectations. But other months were at or above average sales months.
By mid 2020 and beginning in 2021, white-collar small business owners have been caught flatfooted by their businesses having spotty revenues due to their potential clients losing jobs or having employment hours cut back.
Fortunately, white-collar small business owners' talent, skills and expertise have not diminished. A good CPA before Covid-19 is a good CPA during and after (when though?) Covid-19.
However, many white-collar small business owners are discovering talent, skill and expertise have very little to do with finding new customers.
In 2014, 321 Biz Dev LLC sounded the alarm to attorneys, CPAs, dentists, plastic surgeons, insurance brokers and real estate brokers that being skillful was only half of the equation. 321 Biz Dev LLC recommended white-collar small business owners develop the Effort side of their businesses. The Effort side is the sales activity to find more clients.
Unfortunately, business owners spent the majority of their time on the Task sales activity. The Task activity involves fulfilling orders such as:
Closing escrow on a real estate transaction
Installing Invisalign appliance in a dental patient's mouth
Working on an estate planning case for a client
Auditing a company's financials
Moving retirement funds to an annuity
Performing a Brazilian butt lift
321 Biz Dev LLC has analyzed how white-collar small business should split total sales time between Effort and Task sales activities. Here are the breakdowns:
Attorneys: 30% Effort, 70% Task
CPAs: 40% Effort, 60% Task
Dentists: 30% Effort, 70% Task
Plastic Surgeons: 30% Effort, 70% Task
Insurance Agents: 80% Effort, 20% Task
Real Estate Agents: 80% Effort, 20% Task
As you can see, highly skilled white-collar occupations have a high Task load. And insurance agents and real estate agents have a high Effort requirement.
Some readers and podcast listeners may wonder what is the definition of a white-collar small business owner? These business owners have state licenses, college degrees and specialty certifications where the typical transaction price or sales commission is $1,000 and higher.
321 Biz Dev LLC has verified with hundreds of white-collar small business owners that approximately 90% of business owners DO NOT participate in the Effort activity. This is why the Covid-19 situation is causing a crisis. Business owners are not putting in the Effort to find new clients when finding new clients is paramount to keeping companies open.
Participation is low to nothing because Effort activities require some talent, skill and expertise just as much as skills required to master Task activities.
Unfortunately, Effort skills are not viewed or taught as a priority in law, accounting, dental, medicine, insurance and real estate curricula. In fact, only the real estate industry comes the closest to providing Effort training when real estate agents perform door-knocking marketing actions.
In order for a white-collar small business owner to avoid not having a seat at the table with qualified consumers ready to buy, the business owner must activate the Effort sales activity.
Interested parties can contact me, Rick Nappier, CEO, at (833) 321-3212 or Yeilyn Rodriguez, VP, Business Development Specialist (bilingual) for English or Spanish contacts, at (786) 697-3400.
321 Biz Dev LLC offers 6- to 9-hour sales system training to help white-collar salespeople improve skills and increase business development results.
Business owners can also complete a 5-minute Questionnaire by clicking the Services tab on our website. Also, click the About tab to learn about 321 Biz Dev LLC.
I hope readers enjoyed this article.