In my 30 years of both business ownership and advice there have been some serious of ups and downs, but there is one thing I always observed . . . There are always opportunities at times of adversity.
Opportunities to redesign a business model, pivot the strategy, redeploy assets, fulfill an emerging or unmet need, build a stronger team, drop low performing products and services, lean up operations and supply chains . . .
But I have also observed it’s the minority that embrace and exploit them.
Finding these opportunities has more to do with having a ‘can do or will do’ mindset, a bias for action and a creative approach to observing customer and market behaviours, what Edward De Bono called ‘Green Hat’ thinking. It’s a way of looking at a challenge with no restriction or inhibition on what could be done, no limitations just being creative. Once the ideas are down then it is a process of assessing their merit in your current state of play. Those who have a positive mindset and easy access to knowledge and can position themselves during this time will be able to move fast on opportunities they spot.
Darwin’s observation . . . It is not the strongest of the species that survives but the most adaptable . . . has more meaning now than ever before. Here is a list of proactive ideas our clients have for not just surviving but potentially thriving in adversity:
– Cold store trucks converted to delivery vans
– Real estate agents already hosting virtual open homes via Face Book live
– Taxis converted to parcel transport
– Face to face training by gyms and dance studios shifting to virtual platforms
– Professional service firm advisors connecting more regularly for fast advice sprints with clients via zoom calls
– Online fitness and yoga classes etc run at same time as the normal class, that are recorded, and clients can join in when it suits them
– Bars running Virtual happy hours where drink packs are delivered along with cocktail making classes offered online
– Pick up & return mechanical servicing and repairs that also details and sanitises the car before delivery
– Knock & drop food deliveries, ordered before 2pm delivered the same day
– Deliveries starting at midnight, so items are waiting for customer when they get up
– A training company using Virtual Reality tools instead of face to face training
– Collaboration of previously competing companies working together to provide all in one value proposition – what I call co-opetition
– Packing excess stock with other items to make package deals eg: Wine & Curry Dinner
– Travel agent offering a trip refund recovery service, then use refunds to plan a future trip of a lifetime
– Dining Bonds – Pay now, dine later at your favorite restaurant
– Converted loading dock into a drive by/pick up solution
– Bottle shops offering groceries and fruit and veg convenience
– Restaurant kitchens and chefs shifting to chilled and frozen meal prep and distribution for those isolated at home
They are also looking to the future and planning to:
- acquire skilled employees who were laid off by other companies
- acquire other businesses/customers at reduced valuations
- acquire capital assets at better prices and on better financing terms
- getting ‘business fit’ and reduce waste in their business
- possibly to borrow at very lower rates to fund fast recovery and or growth
- enter new markets left undefended
Each day we are hearing of new and creative ways our clients are tackling the challenge of keeping their business operating in these difficult times. The important thing is to not give up. Tough times are always about opportunities . . . opportunities to do things differently, to spawn new industries and business models.
PS: Whenever you’re ready . . . here are 4 ways we can help you grow
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