Stand six feet apart. Always wear a mask. Wash your hands five times a day. Avoid large gatherings. This is the “new normal.” If someone told you this would be your life a few months ago, you would’ve probably laughed out loud. Now, it’s real.
Are you a small business owner? You probably didn’t see this coming — no one did. So how are you supposed to make your business thrive during these uncertain times? Is your revenue taking a hit? Maybe you’ve had to furlough your staff. Times are tough, but it doesn’t mean your company can’t succeed. As a true entrepreneur, you know that the glass is still half full, and that means there are plenty of opportunities. Your company needs to be ready to hit the ground running in a post-COVID-19 world. The only way to survive is if you focus on how to CHANGE, TRANSFORM, and GROW. You can come out of this pandemic stronger than you were going in.
Have you ever heard about the boiling frog experiment? As the story goes, if you put a frog in boiling water, it will immediately jump out. But, if you gently place the frog in a pot of lukewarm water, and slowly heat the pot, it will unwittingly allow itself to be boiled to death, not perceiving the danger.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Like the frog, most of us don't recognize the need for change unless it's forced upon us, and even then, we're ill-equipped to handle the change or it's just too late.
According to a recent CNBC article, 7.5 million small businesses risk shutting down permanently if the disruptions caused by COVID-19 persist1. The organizations that will survive the global pandemic are the ones who have been able to pivot and "pay it forward" by supporting essential services, or those that take advantage of this downtime to come out stronger, more focused and better prepared for the next phase of the economy.
“It is far better to foresee even without certainty than not to foresee at all.” — Henri Poincaré
Imagine being amazingly well-prepared for any kind of worst-case scenario—you could actually come out of it unscathed. How often does that happen? You’d be able to identify potential risks and disasters in advance and have a contingency plan in place so your business doesn’t take a serious hit in case a disaster strikes.
According to research, almost 40% of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey slammed into Southeast Texas, destroying countless small businesses. Gaille Media, a small digital marketing agency, was almost one of them when Lake Houston overflowed and destroyed their offices. However, the company was fortunate in that it stored all its data in the cloud; the team never lost its critical work files and could continue to function remotely without an office—this is an example of good business continuity planning.
So how can it help you?
Basically, you’re not left in the lurch if your company is affected by something beyond your control (case in point: COVID-19). When you have a business continuity program in place, it helps mitigate the disruptions caused by crises, natural disasters, or accidents by being equipped with a contingency plan.
Simply put, business continuity is a concept of crisis management that identifies potential business interruptions and allows leaders to build resilience through changes to processes and operations.
But then, COVID-19 happened...
In an ideal world, you’d already have a business continuity program in place to help you get through something like this, but we know that most of the world was totally unprepared for the effects of the pandemic and the global lockdowns—like most companies, you weren’t prepared.
Don’t fret though, it’s not too late to come out the other side of this pandemic successfully. Here are a few ways to stabilize your business:
First off, don’t be the boiling frog. If your business doesn’t change, transform, or grow it will fail. Determine how best you fit into the new virtual, social distancing world and pivot your business to accommodate.
Do a complete 360-degree evaluation of your brand and the services you offer. Upgrade your technology, find fresh ways to connect with your customers, or better yet, is it possible to digitize your product or service and offer them online?
Rethink your company's strategy and focus on how to catapult your product or service into as many countries/regions as possible effectively and at a low cost. By doing this, you can immediately access the digital infrastructure available to capture a more global market share. A lot of people are working from home and by default, the world has slowed down. On the bright side, people now have more time to research, read, and be marketed to.
Look for opportunities to acquire a smaller competitor. This is the time to give back, support your community and the economy. Acquire a great, small business and expand your service offerings.
In business, growth is simple: if you don't evolve, you die. Successful companies are always undergoing constant evolution. During this pandemic, the need for organizations to capture more of the global market is higher than ever. Revenues have likely taken a significant cut, and for companies restricted by geographic location, this could be a death sentence.
To make it to the other side, you need to rethink your company's brand, services, and operations — it's time to adapt to "the new normal."
Look at it this way: this is a fantastic opportunity for you to CHANGE, TRANSFORM, and GROW your organization and be ready to thrive in what will certainly be a different world. If you’re wondering how to do it, contact EVOLVE for a free consultation today.