Letter from the iKizmet founder and CEO regarding COVID-19
Thoughts from Andres Moran, Founder of iKizmet, regarding COVID-19's impact on small business and the "hustle."
We are truly living in unprecedented times. First, I and the team at iKizmet, want to extend a sincere hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy during this time.
As fellow studio owners (www.cybstudios.com), my wife and I are going through many of the same thoughts and feelings you are probably processing. Our first tough decision was temporarily closing our studio last week. Next, we found ourselves fielding a multitude of questions from our members about the length of our closure, when we would be reopening, and questions about memberships and class cards. Having to stay pragmatic during these conversations was one of the hardest things because honestly, we really weren’t sure ourselves.
As things progressed rapidly, we took a breath, gathered ourselves, and went right back to the “hustle.”
Like many of you, we acted quickly by moving our content online and creating rental kits for our clients. Our goal was to keep together the community that we created 4 months ago when we opened. We kept our teachers employed by filming classes and kept our community engaged by delivering spin bikes and rental kits to their homes before the mandatory “Shelter in Place” order was enacted.
Last night, after the last week of delivering, filming, and quick decision-making, my wife and I finally sat down to discuss the big questions around "what's next?" and how to keep our staff for both our studio and iKizmet. I am sharing a few of the takeaways from that conversation below in the hopes that this will give you some perspective as well.
1. You have built a strong community.
We unexpectedly starting receiving thank-you emails for putting our classes online and for providing rental kits. We were especially humbled with the emails we received from members asking us NOT to freeze their memberships. Instead, some of our clients wanted to help keep our community going by allowing membership fees to continue running.
Your members and clients will surprise you in how loyal they are to your brand.
2. You have the ability to hustle and you need to keep hustling.
Every small business owner knows the “hustle” and it’s this “hustle” that will get us through these uncertain times. As my wife and I were both driving our separate cars on our way to delivering spin bike rentals, I couldn’t help but think even with our city going into a "Shelter in Place" scenario that night, here we were, delivering bikes and rental kits to protect our community and livelihood. We were just like every other studio owner finding a way to make it happen regardless of the challenges in front of us.
3. Start preparing now for the recovery period.
Let's face it, many of us are going to need working capital and to look into financing options. Many business owners are researching their options through their local Small Business Administration (SBA) office. One option that maybe be available to you is through funding or loans from the federal government.
Take this time to get intimate with your iKizmet platform so that you are prepared to provide supporting data and information on any financing applications. These banks or government entities will undoubtedly require a snapshot of your business operations. With iKizmet, this is already done and automated with historical trending to show where you were last year, the growth you had seen, and where you were trending before COVID-19.
There has never been a better time to be data savvy about your studio.
I'll leave you with this. During this time more than ever, iKizmet pledges to provide our clients with what they need in terms of reporting and analytics. The team at iKizmet is continuing to work hard (from home) to continue the development of new and improved features.
Founder and CEO of iKizmet