The Mental Model That Achieved Record-Breaking Sales During COVID-19: The Worst-Case Scenario
Traffic and Funnels was able to enact changes quickly, adapt to the new normal across the board and enable growth
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The COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world at an unbelievable rate. In the first few months of 2020, utter confusion reigned in commerce and industry, let alone the finance industry and elsewhere. With little known about the virus and only hastily produced models and scenarios to work with, nobody could know what to expect.
Looking back, we now know the effect was—and remains—devastating to the economy of even the most powerful countries. Factories were forced to close, offices and retailers also, staff—wherever possible—were asked to work from home. All of this meant massive changes in the way commercial entities operated.
However, some businesses thrived in these very different circumstances. One such is "Traffic and Funnels,' which is one of the businesses operated under the Evans and Welch LLC umbrella. How did they manage to bring in record sales in this situation?
What's the Trick Behind "Worst Case Scenario'?
Talking to Chris Evans and Taylor Welch—co-founders of Traffic and Funnels—takes you straight to the answer we're looking for in the subtitle above: there's no trick. As such. It's nothing clever and hidden, it's simply excellent management and adaptability. It's also about expecting the worst-case scenario to occur, and being prepared for it.
When the crisis arose, Evans and Welch were able to capitalize on their expectation that, sooner or later, things would go wrong. Whether an economic crisis such as we've seen in the famous sub-prime mortgage's world crash not long ago, a national change such as Brexit in the UK recently, or a world pandemic, the ability to react—and react quickly—meant that Traffic and Funnels gained momentum rather than lost it.
Expecting disaster to hit, being prepared—for example for a recession—allows leaders and managers to be aware of what will become available in terms of businesses in trouble and to have the ability to be in the right place at the right time to pursue an acquisition. This is the sort of move that Evans and Welch have prepared their managers for: expect trouble, and use it to your advantage.
Build in a margin for when the crash happens
In a conversation on a webinar, Evans used the phrase "we are always hedging'. What did he mean by this? Put simply, it's about building a margin into the way the business is managed. Look at it like this: when you plan a project you estimate the time involved, and you add a bit on for good measure. Things go wrong in all walks of life, and that extra time is your margin for when problems occur.
That's what the founders of Traffic and Funnels are talking about when they mention hedging. It's putting something aside for when the inevitable crash comes or when there's a world pandemic. But there's more to being able to react quickly than this.
The standard method of operation in a traditionally run business is to build teams and then have those teams act as underlings to the leaders. This is not the way Evans and Welch have achieved success. Rather than making decisions for the team members and instructing them to go along with it, they empower their teams and leaders to make decisions alone.
This seems like a risky proposition to many managers, but that's for one simple reason: they've always done things that way. By making decisions for other individuals, you are not giving them the credit they may deserve. By allowing them to choose the direction they think they need to follow, things happen much faster and directly.
This is another reason why Traffic and Funnels, and the other Evans and Welch businesses, was able to react quickly to the oncoming pandemic. Even at the very beginning, with the uncertainty of the immediate outcome, they were perfectly placed to jump in the right direction at the right moment and capitalize on the upcoming crisis.
The leader or manager is programmed to jump in when a problem occurs or an obstacle needs to be addressed. Yet this leaves the members of a team unstressed, without the need to react so strongly, as someone else is doing it for them.
By empowering teams and constantly anticipating a crash—which came in the form of COVID-19—Traffic and Funnels was able to enact changes quickly, adapt to the new normal across the board and enable growth at a time when many businesses stagnated.