How a Crisis Can Make Your Small Business Stronger

By Maria Peagler

Oct 29 allows me to run a global business and still be room mom for my sons.  I can work from my home office and still be there for my family, which is huge for us since my husband is a small business owner too.

I mentioned in my email newsletter back in June that my son had been ill and that required me to make significant changes in my business model.

I had no idea how those changes would affect my business.  Would revenue suffer? How would my clients take the news?

I was anxious to see how the change from individual classes & coaching to one membership for everything would play out.

It was a big gamble, but one I needed to make to simplify my business and my personal life to be more focused in both.

While I didn’t go into much detail then, now that I’ve had some time to see the results both in my business and at home, I wanted to share with you the results and what I’ve learned that can help your business too.

The Crisis

My older son became seriously ill earlier this year, and was out of school for half of a semester.  He required tutors, hospital home-bound teachers, frequent medical tests and doctor visits.  It was a challenging time for him and for me: any parent who has a child with a medical condition can tell you how heart-wrenching it is to watch and feel helpless.

(I actually rejected my law school acceptance 20 years ago after a colleague told me he had to take a leave of absence to care for his son who had cancer.)

My son’s health has improved, but not yet to normal levels.  So we’re still doing tests, even more and varied doctor’s and specialist’s tests, but he’s in school (doing his senior year of high school and freshman year of college together) and much happier.

Things were looking up when my younger son was rushed to the ER.  He’s okay now, but he has been diagnosed with asthma and food allergies, which has turned our lives upside down.  We are now a multiple food-allergy household, and meal preparations have become quite a production!

During this time many wonderful things happened too:  my older son has a part-time job he loves, he attended prom and homecoming with his girlfriend, and we enjoyed summer vacation together at Epcot.

My younger son was on a creative problem-solving team that earned a 3rd place in world competition!

The Results

In June I changed the SMOC business model from individual classes and coaching to a single membership.  It greatly simplified visitor’s options when they were new to my website:  no complex choices, just one membership with three different membership lengths:  monthly, 6-month, or annual.

This simple change also made managing my business incredibly smooth:  I no longer had to administrate 11 different membership levels, expiration dates and payments.

A single membership made running my business simpler.

I’ve also had to make some difficult choices:  I no longer have the time to do local networking groups, mastermind with valued colleagues, write guest blog posts, or many of the things that help drive business.  As a thinking mompreneur who loves a challenge, I enjoyed those activities on a personal level.

But my family needed me more.

So how did these changes affect revenue? After all, that’s the big test.

Changing to a simplified membership model increased revenue by 4x.

Even though I was actually working less (and doing no marketing other than social media), I was earning more.  And being more profitable.

I was forced with excruciating choices, made my best business decisions, and was open to the ambiguity of the results.

I trusted my instincts.

My business — and your classes — are better for it.

During that same time, not only did revenue & profits increase, I added more value to an SMOC membership with the Social Media Assessment Quiz, MyCustom Learning Plan, an Infographics gallery, and a Chat Wall for instant communication with members and me.

Because I kept my business lean, I was able to pivot when external forces demanded a change: I simplified my business model, focused on my core business, added more value for my existing and new members, resulting in a win-win for everyone.

My advice when you’re faced with a crisis?

First, don’t panic!

Take care of yourself so stress doesn’t negatively impact you & your family: meditate, exercise, talk with friends — whatever works for you.

Focus only on what matters.  The rest will be there when the crisis is over.  Until then, pay attention only to the most crucial aspects of your business.

And as always, I’ll be here to help.





About the Author

Founder of, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.

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