Mastercard's Ginger Siegel on Scaling a Small Business, Pivoting to Digital, and Hiring a CEO

June 2, 2020
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Small businesses across the country and around the world are stepping up and doing their part to help flatten the coronavirus curve. They’re temporarily locking the doors of their brick-and-mortar shops, pivoting to online sales, implementing digital content and social media marketing strategies, and setting up contactless delivery systems, even if it means that their bottom lines take a hit in the process.

To help tackle all your burning questions about launching, pivoting, maintaining a small business and thinking about the future during the COVID-19 crisis, we tapped Ginger Siegel, the North America small business lead at Mastercard to answer your inquiries in real-time. During a digital mentor session at our Money Moves summit, she delivered some serious #realtalk with real action on pivoting to digital, scaling a small business, and reaching for your dreams right now.

In case you missed it, we’re sharing all the mic-drop moments from her Money Moves mentor session. Scroll on to read some of the highlights.

On getting back to normal post-COVID-19…

“What I always like to tell small businesses is, The things that you do, should be the things that you do the best.

“When you’re trying to get back to normal, focus on the things that brought you to the first place in your business. Take those by the hand and drive those first.”

On scaling a small business right now…

“One of the best things to do is to focus on groups like LinkedIn. Really build your network and join those groups and begin to use social media to advertise what you do.”

On pivoting to digital during the coronavirus crisis…

“Almost 40% of small businesses do not have a digital presence, and there are a lot of great companies out there like Shopify and Squarespace that can help businesses get online.” 

“The process is pretty simple. What I would suggest is that you take a look at the companies that build it, post it, and do it for you because now’s not the time to try to invent these types of things.”

On hiring a CEO in the midst of a pandemic…

“A lot of businesses are going to be struggling to try to get out to the other side of COVID it’s going to be important to get as much experience as you can on the front end.”

On seeking out a loan right now…

“If you’re concerned about paying it back, one of the best things to look at is a PPP loan that if you use it for employees and certain things in your business those parts of the loan are forgivable.”

On Mastercard quickly pivoted and reacted to COVID…

“What Mastercard is focused on now is really figuring out how it can help, which is why we partnered with Jaclyn and Create & Cultivate to do this digital summit.”

“Mastercard has an underling strong base of doing well by doing good, so it really wasn’t a big pivot for us to provide resources, guidance, and the $250 million that we’ve promised globally for small business.”

“It’s not about selling product today, but it’s how you can help and add value.” 

On making the shift from retail to online…

“I have been amazed at the number of businesses that have pivoted from retail establishments to online.”

“Pivoting and realigning how you’re delivering your services is really important. I hesitate to recommend that people make major shifts or changes, but continue to build out your digital presence now because, even after COVID, the new normal is going to be new.”

On launching a new product during COVID-19…

“People aren’t spending as much money right now, but now’s the time to think about the products that people will use and not necessarily shelve your product but think about how you’d deliver it differently.”

“This time gives us time to breathe, step back, and plan in a way that we wouldn’t have had time to do before. Think about the delivery and if it makes sense during this time.”

On pricing strategies for new entrepreneurs right now…

“It’s really based on the uniqueness, the demand for the product, the ability to buy it, and get it at this time.” 

On learning more about starting a business…

“My very, very favorite book to start a business is called The E-Myth. What The E-Myth talks about is really being able how to zig and zag between your passion as well as the things that you don’t necessarily know.”

“Now is as good a time as any to think about reaching for your dreams.”

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