Game of Groans: Part 2 of 3

7 Minute Read

In this second installment of a 3-part blog series, I do my best to bring lockdown-fatigued business owners back down to earth and provide you 6 things that I believe you need to do right away in order to keep your business going and evolve with the times. If you have not read Part 1 of this series, I highly suggest that you go back and start form the beginning. You can find Part 1 of the Game of Groans blog series here: PART 1


Have you ever played a game of chess and felt like you were making some good moves, only to be jarred out of your focus as your opponent suddenly exclaimed, “Check!”?

We’ve found ourselves in a tight spot during the lockdown this year. Even our business brokerage San Jose CA office has experienced it. But like in chess, if we do nothing when we are cornered, we’ve simply forfeited any potential to win. Covid-19 has put us all in check…but not check-mate. This is because we still have moves that we can play and if we are open to a new counter-strategy after observing how our opponent has played the game, we can certainly still win.  The California State Government has called “Check” on small businesses this year, but they have not prohibited us from being able to continue making moves to find a safe and effective strategy to victory.

Pause. Inspect the board. Think about how your opposition moves. Look over at the chess tables next to you and see what the other players in your position are doing. Contemplate a different strategy from what you’ve examined. Act with full investment.

The hard truth is that simply sitting around and waiting for things to return to normal is the equivalent of failing to make our entitled moves, and therefore the same as hastily forfeiting the ability to progress and continue onward.

In Part 1 of this Blog Series, I gave you 2 new strategies to try. Here in Part 2, I will continue adding to your list of new moves that you should act on in order to turn the tables for your business.


Decades ago, when I ran a local gym Franchise in San Jose CA, one of the first things I thought of doing to grow our membership base was to go to other local Santa Clara County CA businesses around me and set up cross-promotional marketing with them. It goes without saying that every business owner wants more traffic and would love for other businesses to recommend their product or service to their client base.

The concept was simple. I created a referral network. As each business agreed to promote my business in trade for me promoting theirs, I added them to the list which then helped to entice other businesses join the network. In the end, we created a referral program where we would provide a card that had the names of all the businesses within the referral network, with the promise of some sort of promotional pricing if the customer mentioned the business that had referred them from within the network.

At that time, I had to go door-to-door to speak with business owners all over San Jose CA. Today we have the internet and online groups where we can find people in bulk to network with, almost without any effort.

Join San Jose CA and Santa Clara CA business groups on Facebook and LinkedIn or any other site that you can find through a Google search. Get connected. As a business owner, you are a valuable partner to other business owners, just as they are valuable to you. Share Ideas. Create partnerships. Work together against the common issues that all business owners in Santa Clara County CA face today and learn from owners who have tried new concepts that have been successful for them.


Communication is so important, the title of this section should have been repeated at least 3 times. Your marketing should all focus on communication to your local San Jose CA and Bay Area CA clients. Make sure that your Yelp page and other review sites are updated. Tell your clients that your business is open and how they can continue to shop with you. Specify the actions you are taking to be safe and responsible so that your customers can enjoy your product or service safely and in compliance with local guidelines and recommendations. Be specific. State things such as how often your employees wash their hands, that your people are practicing social distancing, that everyone is wearing a mask and gloves at all times and have been trained to not touch their face. Even though we should assume that business owners are following Santa Clara County CA guidelines, it’s important to state it anyway so that clients and customers can check it off their mental check lists.

Even something simple as a large sign outside of your business with big letters stating that you are open for business or stating your phone number or website for online ordering can be effective. But even your post cards, or ads that you place in Santa Clara County CA publications or social media sites should all focus on clear communication on the fact that you are open for business, that buying from you has never been easier, that you are following guidelines and that you are providing special accommodations or deals that relate to making your business a preferred place to buy from in San Jose CA.

To be Continued:

Our business brokerage San Jose CA office isn’t just here for when you are ready to sell your business. As the name of our business suggests, we are advisors. Relationships are what we are all about so that we can provide our business industry knowledge to you at all times. Someday, when you are ready to sell your San Jose CA business, of course, we will be happy to be your liaison through the process of finding the right buyer and helping you achieve your goal. But until that time comes, we are a resource that you can connect with for advice, guidance, and over 20 years-worth of knowledge that we’ve gained from working with other business owners through all types of challenges and climates.

We hope we can be the deliverer of an olive branch during a great flood that seems to indicate no chance of finding solid ground any time soon. It’s there. You just need to change your trajectory to find it.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog series which will be released next week.

JC Myer is the Operations Manager with Sunbelt Business Brokers. He can be reached at (408) 436-1900, or at [email protected]