With the fear and uncertainty over COVID-19 gripping the nation, it’s easy to see why many businesses are feeling the financial and operational strain of a country in lockdown. The view of the global business landscape is very pessimistic and we’re witnessing many businesses going into administration, the latest being high street giant Debenhams.
There’s also been a surge in rash decision making such as Liverpool’s attempt to furlough off-field staff, after raking in £500m plus in revenue in 2019.
So, what do you do at a time like this if you run your own business? Well, you double down on strategy, look at what others in your industry are doing and adapt your business.
A time like no other
We’re embracing the challenges that lay ahead for us, being a start-up that launched in a period of chaos. It’s our chance to shine and shape the narrative. It will make an awesome story to tell our clients in the future. We see this an opportunity for us to grow as individuals and help others transform their business. After all, we’re a business transformation consultancy, it’s our bread and butter, it’s our job.
We see a bright future
We see untapped opportunities in the current climate. From investing in digital services to providing products that will stand the test of time. There’s no denying it, the world has changed forever because of this pandemic and with it the business landscape.
The time is now
This is the moment where business owners should take a step back, test their entire business offering and ask themselves “how do we remain operational and profitable over the next 2-3 months”. We’re now in the era of short-term agile business strategies, gone are the 5-year plans and even the 12-month marketing plans. To survive today, your plan must focus on agility, adaptation and short-term goals. Business owners need not fear the lockdown, but rather use it as a way to recharge and repurpose their offering. Businesses need to embrace the challenges that lay ahead and build a more resilient business. Make no mistake this is not the financial crash of 2008; this is an entirely new beast and the cautious will fall victim if they do not take positive action.
Ditch the strategy
Long-term plans, will be replaced with short-term business transformation strategies, which focus on serving virtual and local communities. With the lack of physical exposure to products and produce, businesses will need to ramp up their online offerings, fine tune the services they provide, and provide their audience with compelling content, whilst they’re in lockdown mode. This is not the end, this is the beginning and if businesses approach this right, new industries will be created and it’s these businesses that will thrive in our new virtual world.
We’re turning a café into an online business
We’re currently working with an East London based café which needed help to change their business model. The owners approached us to help them establish an online offering. We worked with them to create a unique collection of locally produced health and fitness products. Lockdown has made it harder for consumers to get hold of fresh fruit and vegetables. We identified that the lockdown diet, mostly consists of pasta, eggs, bread and toilet rolls :-P, and lacks many of the vital vitamins and minerals found in fresh food. So, we’re developing a short-term business transformation strategy for the café. This will result in a café with a new purpose and revenue stream. The café will now serve the community and fitness enthusiast with fresh juices infused with protein and other nutrients.
I believe that every business can transform itself or at the very least, should be able to do so, especially in times of a crisis. Being agile, will help businesses thrive and ride the waves and those who don’t will fade away. The ability to adapt in a fast-changing society, is the biggest challenge facing businesses today.
Samuel Dontoh Co-Founder and Chief Innovations Officer
We love working on complex projects, problem solving and fine-tuning businesses for sales and operational success. The current climate is a chance for small businesses to help each other achieve short-term and long-term success.
Get in touch and let’s create a robust short-term strategy together that will position your business for long-term growth.