Adapt And Be Agile In A Business Landscape Where Business As Usual No Longer Applies
By Lynne Roe
The post-pandemic world will require new normals. It will be a challenge for businesses. For most, there won’t be a ‘business as usual’. Social distancing will necessitate new ways to function and interact. Things we once took for granted — meetings, conferences, travel — will need to be rethought. How are employees work may be forever changed. New technologies must be embraced.
As the New York region reopens, business owners are grappling with how best to reboot. Small businesses that have been hard hit will need a new playbook. The key to adaption is to be flexible, understand the landscape is different, and if possible, avoid key mistakes. Here are eight:
Avoid getting caught up in managing the crisis and forgetting about your long-term direction. Instead, view your business from a high-level perspective when making pivots and changes, keeping a long-term view of how the decisions you make now will take you in the direction you ultimately want your business to go.
Avoid trying to make all the decisions on your own. Instead, solicit input on what and how to pivot from your eco-system (employees, accountant/CPA, business coach, suppliers, vendors, etc.). Their ideas can help you make better decisions.
Avoid thinking that someone else will swoop in and save you. Instead, focus on your responsibility as a business owner to resolve the issues at hand. Be proactive and follow up on all loan assistance options and new avenues for revenue. Not every opportunity will work out for you (only a small percentage of those seeking a government grant will receive one), so pursue multiple possibilities.
Avoid neglecting your marketing efforts. Instead, continue to build relationships with your customers and prospects, and revise the language you use to focus on how you create value. You still need to ask for the sale – just think differently about how you do it.
Avoid sitting back and waiting to see what happens. Instead, invest your time and energy today (and every day) in actions that can deliver results. If you wait, your competition will pass you by.
Avoid thinking that what you were is all you can be now. Instead, think about what your business can become and be flexible and willing to pivot.
Avoid believing that the services or products you offered in the past are what you should offer in the future. Instead, zero in on the most profitable offerings for now and save the others for when you have recovered sufficiently. Consider new variations on current offerings that are still in your core business area to attract a broader range of customers. Then test the ideas with prospects and customers.
Avoid the notion that the way you have always done things is the only way to proceed. Instead, work to streamline your business processes. Review how you do everything and spend the time to make it more efficient. What have you not had time to do? Do that now. You will be glad you did.
Lynne Roe is president of LSR Consultants. Roe is helping business owners navigate the post-COVID-19 world through her virtual Rebound and Recovery program and providing a three-step plan for rebooting in her free E-book, which can be downloaded here. https://eepurl.com/ggD3_9