Changing Dynamics of Doing Business Today
April 17, 2020
If there was ever a true statement written about business, it might be “Today is definitely not yesterday.” It is probably equally safe to say that “Tomorrow will not be the same as today.”
Practically every business anywhere in the world has had to cope with the negative effects of the global pandemic. Some will emerge stronger with different and better business models as others will wither and die. One major deciding factor (success or failure) will be based on what is done today in preparation for tomorrow.
During these troubling times, there can never be enough written, read, or learned about what can and should be done to remain currently viable and, more importantly, sustainable for the long-term. As a consultant, it is imperative for you to communicate with clients on a frequent basis. Let them know you’re available to assist them now and in the future. Planning today will reap tomorrow’s rewards.
Businesses must be innovative today in order to survive. While change has always been a part of every business (voluntary or involuntary), certainly the current economic and health climate has caused change to be both. Businesses want to change (voluntary) to remain sustainable but have been forced to change (involuntary) for the very same reason.
These changes require innovation...thinking out-of-the-box, doing things differently as never before, planning for altered operations, and perhaps marketing products and services in ways dissimilar to past marketing efforts.
What is the best type of innovation? This is the ultimate question. Since every business is different to some degree than its competition, there cannot be one answer that fits every situation. Owners must review and determine numerous factors: uniqueness, strengths, weaknesses, untapped opportunities, financial resources, supply chain, employees, and extent of branding along with the quality and diversification of products or services being sold.
Not Just One Idea
It is not just one idea that should be implemented but, in fact, should be a multitude of ideas. Extreme times call for extreme measures. The more ideas tried; the more ideas that might prove to be successful. Consider some of the ideas being tried today (many obvious, of course):
- Starting or increasing loyalty programs
- Credit extended to loyal customers
- Extended payments on purchases
- Discounted pricing
- Free deliveries for all types of products
- Discounts for payments in advance of products or services being delivered
- Retail stores and restaurants adding curbside pick-up and delivery
- Limiting items for sale concentrating on higher profit margins
- Utilizing video calls for conferences and sales presentations
- Promoting through email and social media
- Virtual consultations for medical and professional services
- Restaurants selling groceries to keep their supply chain alive
- New online marketing campaigns
- Car dealerships or automotive repair shops offering a tank of gas with warranty or service work
- Businesses accepting credit cards that was not a past practice
- Working in teams to prevent entire workforce from being infected
- Employees working remotely
- Flex hours to decrease employees being around each other
- Extended warranties
- Capitalizing on e-commerce capabilities
- Special shopping hours for selective groups
- Online schooling and tutoring
- Airlines considering selling miles for advance purchases
- Some colleges eliminating entrance exam testing requirements
Obviously, the list can continue. Whether it’s an innovative idea or a copy-cat idea, new twists must be put on existing businesses.
A Need for Customers
No one can make the global pandemic disappear immediately. Businesses must cope for the present and plan for the future. Build a strong customer base by:
- Building value in products and services that customers understand
- Determining the needs of customers and providing what is needed
- Building trust with customers to ensure an ongoing relationship