Five Tactics To Help Move Your Business Ahead After A Crisis
The business world is ever-changing, and the ability to adapt to change is the true mark of an entrepreneur.
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The COVID-19 pandemic hit the worldwide economy so hard that many are still wondering what to do to keep their businesses afloat. Happenings like these are not particularly rare, but they've always occurred on a smaller scale. With many companies crumbling because they cannot withstand the change, there's so much concern for business owners. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic could cause a sea change in how people spend their money, and these changes could reverberate for decades.
The business world is ever-changing, and the ability to adapt to change is the true mark of an entrepreneur. Many uncertainties surround the world as at now, and much of that uncertainty stems from the currently unknown variables as regards future viral outbreaks. It is essential to know that things may never return to what they were before. For example, there will always be a reluctance to resume physical shopping, eating out, engaging in other consumer activities, etc.
At present, we have only a generation of salespeople that had operated at a time when we had a bubbling economy, or veteran salespeople that may no longer be adept at selling in tough times. In tough economic times, about 25% fail in business, 70% percent barely survive, and 5% thrive. Which will you be? The answer to that will be based on how you follow through on the following tactics for business amidst this crisis:
1. Learn to adapt to change
"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less." - General Eric Shinseki
Charles Darwin, the British naturalist, theorized that only the fittest organisms survive, suggesting that only organisms that best adjusted to their environment will be successful in surviving and reproducing. The same is true for businesses in such daunting times as this. The ability to adapt to changes quickly and effectively determine if a business will thrive, barely survive, or die. If you want to thrive in business in the coming years, this is the best time to decide to adopt new strategies. To adapt effectively, you must first identify what problems the pandemic is causing in your business, and what areas need change. Communicating with your employees to address this problem will not only help you know these challenges, but will also boost team spirit, and make your employees feel safe and valued.
2. Remain optimistic
"Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier." – Colin Powell
To be optimistic means to be hopeful, and to maintain a positive outlook on your future and the future of the world. Optimism is an integral part of resilience, the inner strength that helps us get through tough times. What is your current mindset about the change, and what is your reaction to the change? Are you angry, fearful, hesitant, anxious, or ambivalent about the change? It's okay to have many feelings or conflicting thoughts about the pandemic, and the difference it has brought. It's also okay to be unsure about how to react to the change. But whatever happens, you must remain optimistic. When something bad happens, an optimistic person will believe that it won't last forever, and that there are better things ahead. Optimistic leaders are better leaders, because they radiate their positive energies, thereby making their employees more optimistic. No one needs a terrifying prediction or prophecy of doom at this time. We all need to focus on making things work, and this can only happen if we have a positive mindset.
3. Flow with the current marketing trends
"To be a good analyst, you need to know what the trends are and what tea are doing." - Jon Gruden
Now is the time to think about adapting to the current market trends. Although it may be challenging to understand and predict all the current market trends fully, taking the time to study the patterns will be your advantage. For example, if you strongly sense that e-commerce will dominate in the coming years, consider adopting e-commerce strategies entirely. Spend some time to fully understand the current market landscape in your business line and reoptimize the position of your business. These might require some drastic measures like changing your entire business strategy and the like. But when you think about it, you will realize that your business can provide its services or products to customers more remotely than you thought! If you flow with the current marketing trends, you will be able to leverage on entirely new revenue streams or business pathways. Since your former business strategy still exists, you'll be able to form a hybrid plan which will prove useful after the lockdown. So, don't just sit down at home and lament; instead, go with the flow!
4. Be empathic towards employees and customers
"Empathy is being concerned about the human being and not just their output." – Simon Sinek
Understand that everyone was hit in one way or the other by this crisis, and they are all going through a lot. To stay relevant, you have to remain connected on three fronts. First, is the internal connection with your employees, the second is the external connection with customers and investors, and the third is the global connection and flow with emerging trends and markets. To be successful in business, you need to have certain levels of empathy, which helps you fully understand others' perspectives. When you put yourself in someone else's shoes, you'll easily know how they feel and act accordingly. For example, some of your employees may not be able to work effectively and efficiently from home, while some others will become more efficient, and that's entirely understandable. Don't make a fuss about it.
5. Take risks
"Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast." - Tom Peters
Only those who are willing to take risks will survive. Realize that the world has changed, perhaps, forever. You'll need to reach more people at home than you ever did. So take risks, put in your time and resources, and join the winning team! We all realize we are going through unprecedentedly difficult times. It is the will to survive and thrive that will keep you moving. Brace up, and foresee the writing on the wall that demands innovation!
Related: Powering Through The New Normal: Four Ways Entrepreneurs Can Boost Their Focus and Well-Being