Life has definitely handed us lemons… the way you look at that truckload of lemons will determine your outcome when this lemon feast is over. I can tell you right now, how you will come out on the other side of this thing. You can know right now how you’re going to come out at the end of this. Do a self assessment of your mindset and YOU will determine how you’re going to end up with all the lemons life just handed you. Are you going to have a lemon empire? Or, a whole lot of rotten lemons laying around?
 
Do you know just how many things different things you can do with a lemon? From hand sanitizer to intestinal cleansing, fresh squeezed lemonade to lemon bars and lemon cake. There is a whole lot you can do with lemons.
 
And so it is with your business.
 
I’ve been paying attention to what’s going on around me right now and I see some great examples of entrepreneurs building their lemon empire. Here are a few that I’ve either observed or learned about from colleagues. I hope you find inspiration from their out of the box thinking…
 
  • A baker who had a lot of orders lined up, suddenly found herself with a lot of flour, frosting and cancelled orders. She decided to gather up all the ingredients, the frosting tools and put them into beautiful customized packages for her clients. She delivered the packaged up ingredients and tools and offered to teach them using videos on social media, how to make their beautiful cakes and desserts. She has since started packaging up ingredients and pre-made desserts and delivering them, she’s using FB ads and NextDoor to promote her delivery. She’s using a lot of comfort words in her advertising.
  • A Gift Store owner who depended upon customers coming into her store to browse through her lovely collection of gifts and trinkets, started putting together Self-Care Baskets and doing lots of marketing promoting self-care time. She has Family Baskets, Mom baskets, Dad baskets, Kid baskets, Girl Baskets, Guy Baskets and I’m sure by the publishing of this blog post has come up with more ideas for baskets. She’s using a lot of loving, caring, nurturing words in her marketing campaigns. She’s promoting through social media channels, NextDoor and email. She delivers or ships the Baskets.
  • Resale store owners are using the power of LIVE videos to sell their merchandise in high energy home shopping network style. They are promoting their sales videos through emails, social channels and the FB Watch Party feature. They offer curb-side pick-up, delivery (sometimes free) and shipping all over the country.
  • Retail and Resale Store owners are tapping into the power of FaceTime. Many store owners admit to going to their stores and working with the lights off or dimmed and the door locked. They conduct personal shopping appointments via FaceTime. They use email, social media ads and live videos to promote FaceTime shopping.
  • A winery who depends upon their seasonal wine release parties every quarter has set up a large tent on their grounds and started promoting a Drive Through Party. You pre=order a box lunch and select the weekend you plan on going. They will hand you your wine order and your box lunches through your car window. They have said that while no one can sit inside, anyone is welcome to bring a blanket and sit outside to enjoy the weather, the view and their lunch as long as your blanket is at least 6 feet away from others; blankets. There are only a certain number of people allowed to “drive through” so you have to pick your date and time of arrival so they can prevent a lot of people from showing up at one time.
  • A House Cleaner (my cleaning lady to be exact) has decided she doesn’t want to go into peoples’ homes at this time. She used to love to paint and since having three kids, a family life and her cleaning company she hasn’t painted in years. She dug out her supplies and starting painting and putting her things on our local NextDoor social network, and in our Neighborhood FB group. She has already sold many paintings and has at least 2 commissions for painting peoples’ pets. She’s also opening an Etsy and Poshmark Home Decor site.
  • A Comedian with a large YouTube following who earns his living through YouTube and touring suddenly found himself with a cancelled tour. To stay in touch with his fans and generate income for himself and follow comedians he’s put together a YouTube Show in Friday Nights called “Friday Night Still Alive.” For $10 you gain access to all the Friday Night comedy shows which will run through the end of all the quarantines. He’s creating different shows every Friday which include himself and a line up of other comedians.
  • A Craft Brewery who depended upon tasting nights and traffic in their bar has started offering delivery of their craft beers and you can either get just the beer or you can order a pizza to be delivered with your beer. They are using FB Ads, IG Ads, email and NextDoor to promote.
  • What have we done as a marketing agency and website developer? Created new website package, DIY marketing packages, slashed prices and we’re offering $0 money down and everything is on a payment plan. We’ve always been flexible and now we’re being even more flexible in what we offer. For example one client had wants and needs that fell in between two of our website build packages, so we worked out a price that fell in between and make her, her own custom package.
 
 
Here are a couple ideas that I haven’t seen but if you know anyone in these industries, pass along…
 
  • Hair Stylists – Building on the idea of the baker above, set up appointments with clients to guide them through how to trim their own hair. Charge a small amount of money for the session or better yet, send a PayPal or Venmo link for a tip when you’re done. You might make money from tips than if you charge and you’re also letting your customers set their own budgets. You can also offer to purchase hair color for your clients, send it to them or deliver to their door step and then set up a session where you walk them through coloring their own hair. Charge for the cost of the hair color. You can also create DIY hair trimming kits which include an inexpensive hair scissors, spray bottle to dampen hair when cutting and any other supplies. You could have different price points on your packages with varying amounts of items giving your customers choices. You could create an ultimate beauty package which includes tea small sizes of aromatic shampoos.
  • Manicurists – Ditto the Hair Stylist idea above only geared towards mani-pedis. Teach your clients how to safely remove gel nail polish at home and how to care for their nails and nurture them during this time away from the salon. Recommend nail polish, foot baths and products. Create mani-pedi packages for one use or for a monthly use and deliver or ship to clients. Include.
  • Landscapers – Where the weather is warm, people are outside doing landscaping. We’re all quarantined to stay home, but not required to stay indoors (thank God!) Offer DIY landscaping supplies to be delivered. Follow up with instructional YouTube videos. Create raised bed garden packages where you deliver all the supplies and seeds to make and create a raised bed garden (f you’re in the south and have clay for soil.) If you’re in a state where you can just plant directly in the ground, create DIY Gardner packages. Because you are directly helping people to grow food and care for their homes you may be granted “work release” and “essential business” status in your area, but check first.
 
If you are a business owner and are doing something creative, for sure please leave it in the comments to share and inspire others. Together we will all get through this but I think it takes the power of idea sharing to inspire creativity and infuse our business owners with inspiration and motivation.