Over the past few months, what many considered to be "normal" has been challenged. I have seen business owners that once struggled to find new clients suddenly get inundated with clients and orders due to their niche or their method of fulfillment. And I have seen large businesses that we thought would never fail, struggling to keep up with cash flow concerns and finding new business.
The world as we know it has changed. And when the economy reopens, you want to set yourself up for success so that you can take advantage of the explosive growth that is going to happen when our new "normal" sets in.
There is no such thing as a perfect idea. But for the majority of us, there are a series of small great ideas that will make a huge impact in how we run our businesses. So today, I wanted to share some steps that you can take as a business owner to set yourself up for success when America opens back up.
1. Pay attention to what other industries are doing.
It's easy to get wrapped up in your day-to-day projects and problems. You see others in your industry having the same struggles, and it's comforting to know that you aren't alone. But chances are, someone in another industry has already figured out a solution to your problem. You just don't know it yet.
For example, I have seen retailers follow and model their businesses' responses after something that they saw a professional services firm do for their own clients. Normally, they wouldn't pay much attention to that niche, but in this case they not only found a great solution to their own problems, but they were the first one in their industry to come up with a new approach.
2. Focus on structural enhancements.
This is a great time to work on structural enhancements that will have a lasting impact on the way that you do business. One of the IT service companies that we work with does most of their IT services remotely, but they discovered that quite a few of their clients prefered to have a technician come out on site because it feels like that they are getting more value--even though the client usually gets the same fix faster when they work with a remote technician.
So during this time, they are working to establish a new baseline of efficiency about how many tickets can be handled by a technician each day remotely, so that when they go back to doing some remote and some on-site work, they'll still keep the majority remote when possible. The company is also focusing on client expectations and having proactive conversations and video calls with customers to keep that human connection.
3. Create an expanded offering.
Always been too busy to offer a virtual product? Thinking about expanding your product line but haven't had the time? Now is the time to get everything in order and expand your offering. We have seen restaurants switch to family-style meal offerings, trade schools turn to virtual learning, and so many more. If you have been waiting for the right time to create a new offering, now is the time.
These are just three quick concrete ideas to help you structurally prepare your company today to really blast off post-coronavirus. Right now there are many opportunities--some of which are right in front of you, others of which are three months, six months down the road, but being prepared for them today makes a lot of sense.