Week 1 of Jessica’s Journal

Jessica-Journal

I find it hard to believe that anyone REALLY wants to hear what I have to say. That doesn’t prevent me from saying it, because if nothing else, I love to hear myself speak. However, recently, our team has said that the reason why it’s effective to have me in conversations with our clients is that I am them. As in, I’m a business owner with a growing company. I’ve been and will go through all of the issues they’re facing. I’m highly empathetic to business owners in stages I’ve already gone through, and I love learning from business owners that are beyond where I am.

When we entered this new reality of COVID-19 and the Great Shutdown, I wanted to document what I had done, the decisions I’ve made, the issues I’ve faced. Hopefully sharing what’s going on with our audience helps in some way. I can’t speed up the SBA forgivable loan process, but I might be able to shed some light on why we’re doing the things we’re doing.

Speaking of SBA Forgivable Paycheck Program Program (PPP) Loans . . .

Hot Dog Marketing applied. I am extremely grateful that we do business with community banks that have a focus on small business. The feedback I’ve heard from other business owners that do not use community banks and have nameless, faceless account management with one of the larger banks is that it’s been nearly impossible to get their application going for the PPP loans. We got ours in with very little friction and that’s because I have a good relationship with my bank.

Hot Dog Marketing has been fortunate during this time. We made strategic hires right before the crisis hit and instead of cutting them right away before shit hit the fan, I kept them on knowing that it would pay off in the long run. It’s actually paid off in the short-term too. I’m glad that sticking to my growth plan seems to have helped at this time. I would say I was very bullheaded in my attempt to not let the outside circumstances change my tactics.

That being said, I see the PPP program and the access to my line of credit as smart assurances that I can keep moving forward with plans after this month. We have 30-90 day sales cycles, so if I am worrying, I’m worrying about July and August. Both months tend to be slower for us generally, but I don’t want them to be devastating slow. Early stage sales activity now will help, but I can’t do that alone, I need my full team and I need them there after the summer. This PPP program helps with that planning.

The other thing we did this week is worked on content to help our clients retain a growth mindset. We call it Zig When They Zag – a campaign loaded with content to help clients jumpstart strategy and marketing to keep them growing. This journal is part of that, but we’re also launching a blog series and a podcast/blogcast with our Director of Strategy Kevin Ring.

It’s extra work in a time full of worry and unknown futures, but as a service provider, the best move in these times is to seek leadership opportunities among our community, our industry and with our audience. We’re hoping to do that with these extra pieces of content, sending out more information in our private client Facebook group, and helping in ways we can with our clients.