At the beginning of the crisis, I decided to open some of my appointments and deliver free brainstorm sessions, to help fellow entrepreneurs deal with the impact of COVID-19. I have done this because I believe that to survive, we need to pull together.
Every week I spent hours brainstorming with entrepreneurs, so now, I have spoken with UK business owners from many different industries. I have spoken with people from retail, from the service industry and from manufacturing. I think I see a pattern so would like to share some thoughts and observations.
COVID-19 is a reality now; we can be angry about it, we can be scared of it, we can feel bad about it, but the fact is – the coronavirus is a Black Swan, it is a game changer.
COVID-19 is a reality now; we can be angry about it, we can be scared of it, we can feel bad about it, but the fact is – the coronavirus is a Black Swan, it is a game changer. It is changing the way we do business and I think the impact of it will last for long time after it is gone (If you would like to know why I think it’s a black swan, and why I think it is likely we will have a longer battle, look here: Business during a coronavirus).
What entrepreneurs should do with coronavirus (COVID-19)?
As entrepreneurs, business owners and specialists, we are responsible for maintaining the economy. This is the time for action. We cant hibernate, we can’t wait. We all have very important assets which need to be used now – these are our brains, our creativity, our ability to create and deliver value to our customers
I think there are a few things which we all should to consider:
- We all need to focus on staying safe. We need to stop spreading the disease. We should follow all reasonable governmental measurements and we need to ensure that our families and friends are safe as well.
I think we need to look at our mental health and we need to talk with people we are close to. I think this is good time to build relationships and get to know each other better.
- Think about your community – look out for them, write to your neighbors, ensure they’re fine, help them if they need it, if you can.That’s two quite obvious things, and I think we need to do one more thing.As entrepreneurs, business owners and specialists, we are responsible for maintaining the economy. This is the time for action. We cant hibernate, we can’t wait. We all have very important assets which need to be used now – these are our brains, our creativity, our ability to create and deliver value to our customers (but we need to do it, smartly and safely). Everything that has disadvantages, has advantages as well. Every single threat gives us an opportunity as well – all we need to is to see it and to take the opportunity.
- Let’s talk about maintaining the economy
Adapt your current business
Re-think how you can produce and deliver value to your customers. If you are in an industry which can’t go fully online (for examples many manufacturers have to physically produce things; they need to organise people to produce goods) and if there is still a great demand for what you offer, think how can you adapt your operation to fit the new reality. It might be about special procedures, about wearing protective equipment or about sanitizing. It might be about rearranging your workstations or manufacturing hall (for example to maintain the proper distance between people) or it might be about digitalisation to minimize the need to work in the company.
Let’s brainstorm with your employees how to do it. This ensures that they can impact the way you generate your value. Ensure they are reassured or comfortable with safety measures.
Is it easy? Not exactly. Is it cheap? There will probably be some cost. Your company may not be as efficient as before. You might make less money – But you will generate value and make some money.
Pivot to a new business model
This is the great occasion to think about how you can do business differently. It is a great time to create a new business.
- Can you make a pivot and start to serve new customer segments?
- Can you change what you offer to your customers? Can you build a new value proposition?
- Can you find a new channel to reach your customers?
- Can you develop the new kind of relationship which you need to maintain to serve your customers?
- Do you have any specific assets which can be used differently?
- Do you have partners? Might be this is about how to cooperate with them in a new, innovative way?
- Cost side: any ideas here? Can you build a new business model based on this area?
- What about financial streams? For example Can you develop different pricing mechanisms?
- What about your business environment?– do you see any particular need which your company could satisfy?
There are plenty of opportunities, we call it “epicenters of innovation”– you can really start a new journey from any point.
Stuck at home?
Even if you are stuck at home, even if you can not work online, you lost your job or maybe you don’t have the skills to do business – you can still help to maintain the economy. You can generate value for yourself. You can waste your time – or you can use it to learn new things. You can use this time to up-skill – to be better in your profession. Or you can re-skill – you can build new skills to be able to perform a new job when all this crazy time has gone. Your skills will be needed soon.
Adaptive approach to the business
“Performance is more important that excellence”. Think. Act. Measure. Assess. Learn. Build a better version. Act again. Survive.
In the strategy world, in the world of agile approaches, we have a saying: “performance is more important that excellence”. Think. Act. Measure. Assess. Learn. Build a better version. Act again. Survive.
I decided to keep some appointments open every week during the epidemic for all people who would like to brainstorm a bit and help to maintain the economy.
If you would like to have a free 1-2-1 session with me register here: COVID Brainstorm.