By Robert Bentley, Oscar Pellizzon and Steve Goddard

This pause in economic activity can be viewed as a calamity, or as an opportunity.  Some of our most creative, clear thinking comes when we have time to pause, reflect and review.  Remember, a field that has rested yields a good crop.

This document is just for our clients, past and present, and won’t be found on socials or our website.

Extend the ‘runway’

This is like cashflow management on steroids.  Speaking to banks to defer repayments, registering for government assistance, speaking to creditors to reassure them, speaking to landlords about leasing costs, reduce the cost of labour, and conserve cash.  All of these measures will extend the runway to allow for a softer landing, and a smoother take-off at the other end.

Maintain regular social media posts to build your brand

Now is the time to be reliable in the frequency and quality of your social media.  A potential new customer needs to see your brand 50 times, on average, before it registers.  People are looking for brands they can trust, who survived the tough times, and cemented their brand messages.

Think about how you can increase market share

Unfortunately, some businesses will not make it through the economic shutdown.  With good coaching, hopefully yours will.  Whilst most businesses are ‘parking their aircraft’, we need to be ready to take off again. We need to be ready to take up the capacity that has been created by other competitors exiting the market.

Use the time to work on inefficiencies

Most businesses have the best intentions when it comes to enhancing efficiency and becoming more productive.  Efficiency means to do the same with less, and productivity means to do more with the same.  Utilise the extra time available to ‘clean up’ or streamline processes, train staff, and jettison unproductive products or services

Review your business model

Your business model has two parts – the story of what you do, who you do it for, and how you wrap an experience around it.  The second part is how you make money doing it – pricing, cost of goods and labour, overheads, cost of finance, and ultimately, profit.  Out of your business model falls your positioning – which parts of your business model that give you a competitive advantage, that is defendable, and no-one can say ‘no, you’re not’.

Think about what you would have or can do differently?

Think about what you would do differently if you had your time over again, and see which parts of this thinking can be applied.  Treat is a fresh start, an opportunity to relaunch with a clear message, clear execution, consistent delivery, and more clarity.

Be cautious about diversification

Some business are very experienced in introducing new products and services, and some are not.  In past downturns, clients have invested in diversification strategies and tried to build some awareness around the new products and services, only to abandon them once core business returns.  It is not often that there is a good return on investment on this diversification.  Rather, scale back and focus on your core offering, and really drive awareness into your chosen market of your brand.

Think about sustainability

The businesses that are doing well right now are those who have blue chip clients, or have services that are enshrined in legislation.  Government contracts – federal, state and local – are favourable, as are essential services businesses.  Sectors that are essential include health, food, IT, communications, parcel delivery and security.  In every recent downturn, home hardware suppliers and garden centres have done well.  Key aspects of sustainability include having a clear competitive advantage that is difficult for others to replicate, embedding your business in a supply chain, with long term contracts, having reduced dependency on the business ownership, sophisticated management systems, and well-developed retention/succession plans.

Keep close to your clients

Its easy to get busy navel gazing, and internally focussed, or perhaps too focussed on some clients while ignoring others!  Remember to look outwards and be part of the solution, rather than focussing on all your problems.  This is not a contradiction – we need to do both.

Health is the number one wealth

Too busy to exercise?  No time to eat well?  Too stressed to meditate?  There has never been a better time to build up a habit in all of these things.  We tell our high performing, high achieving clients that exercise is not optional, it is essential.  Exercise helps regulate mood, calms a busy mind and allows perspective to return, assists with weight control, sleep patterns and many other things.  High performance starts with you, and your health is pivotal to that and your business’s continued success!

[gravityform id=”1″ title=”true” description=”true”]