How to thrive in a crisis: build your network

Thriving in a time of Coronavirus

I co-own a company called Clever Tykes, that introduces entrepreneurial role models to children ages 6-9 through storybooks and teaching resources. The books are read in every school in the UK, but at the moment all those schools are closed. In order to keep serving our audience, we have adapted to where they are – at home.

Here are the changes we have made to our business model, that businesses in many industries could replicate:

Created free downloads

We made all of our print-at-home activity and colouring packs free for parents to download from our website, an offer that we told homeschool resource blogs about, who then shared the resources with their networks. We saw a perfect opportunity to introduce new people to the brand whilst also helping parents who have found themselves in charge of homeschooling.

Could you:

  • Take any of your existing knowledge or assets and turn it into content that could help your customers?
  • Quiz your audience and find out what they need the most help with, then provide it for them?


Daily ideas and tips for our audience

To help give daily doses of inspiration to parents educating their kids at home, and teachers looking to inspire an entrepreneurial spark in those they are teaching remotely, we created an email series of entrepreneurial stories, including how inspiring people were raised to be entrepreneurial and how they are raising entrepreneurial kids. When collating the stories we focused on sharing expertise in order that our network members could help each other.

Could you:

  • Turn stories, ideas and insights into an email series that your audience can subscribe to?
  • Use the power of the collective to introduce your clients to each other, for collaboration opportunities?


Created a different version of our product

We realised that the customers of our books and resources would likely be parents instead of teachers, so we created a bundle of entrepreneurial homeschooling resources suitable for this purpose. Educating at home requires different methods to a school environment, and we wanted to make sure our products were best serving the needs of our customers.

Could you:

  • Create a new product offering or a different use of your existing products, delivered in a way suited to your customer’s changed needs?
  • Offer your services in a different way, perhaps 1-2-1 via Zoom or in small virtual groups?


No matter what kind of business you run, it’s the perfect time to add value to your audience and build your network. Think about what your customers need right now. It might be inspiration, motivation, help with marketing, help with pivoting, and so on. It might simply be preparing to absolutely smash it once we are allowed out of our houses.


Since starting her social media agency in 2011 Jodie has been been fascinated by the influences that create entrepreneurs. She co-wrote a series of children’s storybooks, Clever Tykes, which develop positive, resourceful and creative behaviour in 6-9 year olds; they are now read in every primary school in the United Kingdom and she’s determined to replicate this in countries across the world. She was included in Forbes’ 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs in Europe 2017 and gave a TEDx talk with the title ‘creating useful people’.

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