A country in lockdown
Since 23rd March our country has been in lockdown. The world has paused and taken a deep breath as the heros of our nation fight in the biggest battle we have faced in decades. Coronavirus has affected all of our lives and businesses in multiple ways. There is no denying that the world will be forever changed.
During lockdown, I have coached my clients not to waste this exquisite opportunity of time. We discussed the 5 phases in what I call ‘your path to opportunities ahead’1 and how their business can prepare for, plan and maximise each phase.
On 10th May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first stage of easing lockdown restrictions in England, allowing employees to return to work if they could not work from home. Business owners and employees alike either sighed with relief or panicked with despair. The question on everyone’s minds: “what does my business do now?”.
My advice – don’t get left behind. Get your game plan set so you know how you will compete and grow in the 2nd half of 2020. Focus firstly on the next 6 weeks for your business, i.e. the duration of phase 3: warming up.
During this phase, prepare yourself mentally for the changes ahead. Your mindset will influence the way you approach, react and manage your business and personal life going forward. Are you going to sit back and wait for someone to tell you what to do next? Or are you going to proactively put measures in place to be ready for the sprint to begin?
- What is the new normal in your marketplace?
- What adaptations do you need to make now to keep your employees and customers safe?
- What adaptations will you keep in place permanently?
- What are your competitors doing? (and can you do it better?)
- What are your competitors not doing? (and can you fill that gap?)
- How have your customers habits and expectations changed?
- What existing services/products do you need to adapt?
- What new services/products can you offer?
Once you have a plan in place for phase 3, planning for stage 4 can begin2.
New opportunities ahead
Seeking, recognising and seizing new opportunities is key to survival.
Although we are ‘heading towards the sharpest recession on record’3 it would be foolish of any business owner to allow this to crush their motivation to succeed. Yes, it is true that many people are facing financial difficulty, however to deny those who continue to have a steady income the chance to purchase your services/products would be an opportunity lost.
Take a moment to consider the pent-up demand just waiting to burst into the market place – the volume of people who have disposable income and are ready to spend it. What is your message to them? How are you communicating your products/services to them? How will your business meet their needs?
A strategic shift in your marketing is required now!
Explain to your customers what makes your business different from your competitors.
Let them know why your services/products are relevant to their needs in the new world that is emerging.
Let them know how you will keep their health and wellbeing, and that of your employees too, at the forefront of everything you do.
Sell to them with compassion, using well thought out purpose, tone and relationship enhancing messages. Let them know you care.
And as your business reaps the rewards of your efforts, look towards phase 4 and get ready for the sprint….
1. If you would like to know more about ‘your path to opportunities ahead’, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request the recording of my coaching webinar.
2. If you need support in writing your business plan, join our free 90-day planning workshop on Wednesday 20th May – click here to register.
3. “Bank of England warns of sharpest recession on record” – 7th May 2020 – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52566030