Evaluating Opportunities in Times of Crisis
Economic upheaval, global panic, increased business restrictions and cities on lock down. These are not headlines from a futuristic disaster movie, they are circumstances facing every business across the globe during the COVID 19 crisis. This unprecedented crisis is affecting the marketplace at record speeds and it is hard for business owners to stay ahead of the demands of the this new normal.
The competitive, technical economic and social environments are all in flux and as businesses need to quickly transform their operations to meet the new normal.
Shifting a businesses’ output and altering the ways they deliver their products and services can be daunting and may not be realistic for all. But with any crisis, opportunities do arise and businesses do innovate and transform their day-to-day operations to meet the new market demands. New businesses are born from the necessity to adapt and pivot during a crisis. Now is the time to consider the possibilities not be resigned to simply shuttering your business.
What can a business owner do to not only change their business, but to try to survive through a crisis? They can reinvent their interior business or alter portions of their business to thrive during these unusual times. Businesses can use a systematic approach to creating a new plan and converting their operations to meet new consumer and market needs.
The following are steps to take to begin your transformation now;
- Evaluate what your competitors are doing and what they are doing to adapt. Have they changed what are they doing different? “Your industry and the locations of your operations around the world will help determine how your business will be affected. It’s critical to understand your own strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your competitors” (Rhodes & Stelter, Harvard Business Review, 2009). https://hbr.org/2009/02/seize-advantage-in-a-downturn
- Reduce your exposure and quantify your risk. Actual calculate costs of staying at your present course and how potential changes, consolidation or acquisitions could mitigate your projected losses during the downturn. Leave not department or stone unturned. Ask could we so this cheaper, faster or should we continue doing at all due to the changes in the marketplace. A complete financial review is required. From debt to credit, cashflow to payables every contract, every process needs to be reviewed and altered if possible.
- Evaluate your spending and shift budgets to handle the new priorities. Cost cutting and economizing are prudent, but sweeping or dramatic cuts in all areas may not be warranted. Rhodes & Stelter remind us “Companies that injudiciously slash marketing spending often find that they later must spend far more than they saved in order to recover.” It may be more important to invest in areas of your business in the short-term in order to make the changes necessary for your business’ transformation.
- Identify changes in the cultural and social environment. How are consumers behaviors and patterns being changed and what will the new circumstances force consumers to change their buying habits? Adjusting your ability to meet consumers immediate needs may open new avenues of service and productivity to keep your business viable during this crisis.
Adding services or products to meet new marketplace demands. With every crisis comes opportunity and now is the time to consider adding or augmenting. The COVID 19 pandemic making certain types of businesses more attractive than others. Here are a few categories that might see a lift in revenue.
- Essential services (like plumbing, cleaning, and other home services)
- Food and beverage (specifically the delivery of these items that were once consumed on site)
- Health care services and increased access
- Business coaching and consulting
- Information technology and virtual connectivity
- Repairs and maintenance
- Senior services
- Daycare and Pet care services
- Staple items, such as groceries or personal care
- Consignment Sales and an increase in access to used items, including clothing and home goods
Take a look at other ideas at https://www.national.biz/5-recession-proof-business-ideas-opportunities-2020/.
Finally, every company no matter the size is going to have to deal with one or more of these five sets of actions outlined by McKinsey.com at the very least to achieve business continuity during this new and uncertain time. For specific details for these five activity sets, visit https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk/our-insights/covid-19-implications-for-business.
- Workforce protections
- Supply-chain stabilization
- Customer engagement
- Financial stress -testing
- Nerve-center integration
It’s time to Plan. Prepare and Pivot. ActionCOACH can provide your business professional guidance and assistance in creating a 90-day Crisis Management Plan to help you survive and thrive during this global crisis. With coaches in over 70 countries, there are certified business coaches ready to offer your organization tools and resources to help you adapt, change and evolve.
For more information about ActionCOACH visit actioncoach.com.