BUSINESS SURVIVAL & GROWTH
THROUGH COVID-19 & BEYOND
a free virtual meeting
A NEW NOW
FLEX & INNOVATE
Everything has changed for our customers and us, that change could be an opportunity (big, small or just enough to keep us going) for flexing or innovating our products or services.
Your Perfect Market
It's been an opportunity for a Bristol startup, Good Sixty 'good food delivered', who recently raised investment.
Switch to Consumer
And for Wigwamplay.co.uk who've switched from B2B to consumers. By creating fun handmade adventure play toys, perfect for entertaining (and tiring out) your kids in your garden.
Offer tech solutions for free,
to gain market traction
If you've been trying to enter the market with a new tech solution, and it's been a challenge to gain any significant market traction (a common challenge, for start-up or scale-ups short on cash for marketing).
Then offering your new tech based solution to customers free now and gaining market share, could lead to market traction and conversion to a subscription based market share in the future.
to sell later
An opportunity to work now on a new product or service, that can be sold later when businesses/consumers are back spending?
For example a service wrapped into a package (with templates and videos), tech, a new product line, or a piece of research.
Even collaborate and partner with a business who appears to be a competitor.
Our businesses are changing so significantly, we're much more open to what would have been unthinkable before.
A sandwich manufacturer saw the opportunity to partner with a business who had a smaller division in their area, of sandwich production. A division that has been completely closed by the lock-down, and is no longer profitable for that business to start again. In return, RWCo can offer trade into their new partners main business.
New Demand Trends
Some areas are doing especially well right now:
Home working IT & communication tech
Online learning Tech apps
Home schooling Deliveries
DIY & decorating Gardening & home growing
Books & podcasts TV & home entertainment
Can you tap into these?
What will be next?
What will be important trends for your market?
Some people innovate.
Some people see obstacles.
Different people are good at different things, use them differently.
Give ideas recognition.
GET READY TO START AGAIN
The change curve
Remember the change curve, and how you can help yourself and your teams at each stage.
First at the Shock stage, give information and allow space. Followed by supportive listening (no advice), through the uncertainty phases of denial and into anger/depression. These lead (or you lead them) to the turning point, and exploring, problem solving, understanding why. The final stages are 'acceptance' stages, where decisions are made and people move on. Here assist decisions and give encouragement.
Be Mentally Ready to Lead
Consider what the Covid-19 change means for you and process this now, so you'll be emotionally and mentally ready to lead your teams.
As directors, you lead your leadership team, and they in turn lead their teams.
Which means, as directors you need to be ready first.
Less resistance to change
When people are in a 'change phase', they can be more open (or less resistant) to other change. Making it can be a good time, to move people towards a new product/service, market or culture.
A caveat to this, be aware of layering on too much change and change fatigue (for most people this is up to 2 yrs of experiencing change).
Start on a skeleton plan, with options.
As soon as business starts again, your teams will be looking for you to say what they need to do.
Even if you will be involving your teams in the plan, a skeleton plan or thoughts of your own, are a useful aid to start and guide your team discussions.
Consider and map plan(s) based on:
- which products / services will start first
- which materials and suppliers
- how much money will you need
What potential obstacles are in each plan
How robust is your supply chain now? Consider alternative supply plans.
McKinsey research showed project planning that included a meeting on obstacles, had better preparation for pitfalls and overall success.
Plan for different scenarios.
For example, a full ramp-up return versus a slower build in revenue.
Plan, direct, plan, repeat
As so much is changing, so rapidly, there may not be time to create a fully fledged plan and then to give directions to your teams.
The alternative, be continually planning, giving direction and going back to planning further. And repeat.
Your supply chain,
Identify which businesses in your supply chain, will be critical to your business delivery in recovery.
Keep in touch with your suppliers.
Listen to how the lock-down is impacting their business. How at risk are they? What can you do to help support their business? It may be knowledge sharing on raising funds, or sharing your future plans and commitment to them.
Not happy with some suppliers before?
Now may be a good time to look for other suppliers, with the caveat, that loyalty and restrictions on supply may be factors within your supply chain.
Flex & Innovate
Time now to work on that new idea?
Give new ideas serious thought.
Next Consumer Trends?
After the 2007 crash, at first people had more disposable income to spend, interest rates meant mortgage payments were lower. There was a trend to more authentic living and spening. Only by 2010 did the recession really bite.
This time, a recession impact is going to be faster.
How will consumer priorities be changed?
community buying British
UK holidays experiences - a surge in communal events
Consider what the impacts will be for your customers and end-users.
New Ways of Working
Here to Stay
Some of our new ways of working under lock-down, are likely to stay and become more commonplace.
Working from home
Saving expensive costs, office politics, energy directed towards work or R&R (brain power restoring) not energy sapping unproductive commuting.
Eg, Barclays boss: Big offices 'may be a thing of the past', BBC
Feedback is meetings have become more structured, focused and productive.
On top of this, online meetings save unproductive travel time for everyone.
Conferences, events, thought-leadership sharing, and learning has all moved online.
How will networking evolve?
Zoom networking has replaced networking events, though we've yet to see how are these are evolving to create a platform for longer term 1-2-1 relationships to be built.
How can a change in consumer and B2B appetite for online be adopted for your sales & marketing?
More videos and online sales.
For example, Stephenson Law are producing a weekly series of Q&A webinars, engaging with their clients and a wider audience of potential clients.
Supporting your Team
Consider the impact on your employees of this time. How will this impact your business?
It's likely supporting your teams now, will help your business recover faster.
Consider what's most relevant that can you do now to support, motivate, develop and prepare your teams for rebuilding your business.
CharlieHR has a furloughed team support guide here.
Culture on Starting Again
Will your teams look the same post covid-19?
Post having worked separately, or some of the team on furlough.
Team members may see others experience differently, do some feel others have had a holiday, whilst some may feel less value or loss of identify or positional power by being furloughed.
Better to address the differences early and discuss them openly. Rifts in teams distract their focus on the business.
For guidance on running a culture audit, contact Suzanne Easton at IBEX Gale here.
Recessions correlate with more start-ups.
Out of necessity, opportunity and redundancy.
An opportunity and a source of greater competition.
MORE START UPS?