We are barely halfway through the year and businesses around the country have already faced several crises. Storms and flooding in the early part of the year followed by the colossal impact of the Coronavirus since March. Both unforeseen circumstances have been extremely challenging and potentially detrimental for businesses who have been forced to react to situations out of their control. In addition, we remain uncertain of what lies ahead.
Like many business owners you have probably done what is necessary to survive over the last 3 to 4 months. But it is equally important to look at what you can do to pivot and adapt to the new way of working. Stephen Covey (an American educator) wrote that we must “take control of that which you can control”. For example, preparing a recovery plan for your business, considering different approaches depending on the severity of the crisis, as well as identifying opportunities for change, growth and investment.
So, what factors should we consider? We can’t expect to know how quickly customer demand will return to 2019 or earlier levels. We do not know how long social distancing will affect the way we make and sell our products or how we deliver a service.
Create more than one recovery strategy
I am a trustee of a museum and we are currently reviewing two strategies based on re-opening in September. The first with a drop in visitors of 30% and the second with a drop in visitors of 80%. We are also looking at how we control our costs going forwards; carrying out a waste audit and seeing what costs can be reduced. After all, Toyota in their 7 Wastes strategy said that 30% of an entity’s operating costs were waste so its worthwhile spending time on this.
Having two recovering strategies for your business allows you greater flexibility to react whilst the economy and government policies remain uncertain and changeable.
Use the Product Surround Model
One of my clients, a restaurant owner, is reviewing the business by considering potential problems he will face: customer nervousness, social distancing rules and the need to retain key staff e.g. the chef and manager.
He recognises that 80% of the value of eating in a restaurant is driven by 20% of the cost (the Product Surround Model concept) and is planning his approach around this principle:
- Product – your service where 80% of the cost is but only 20% of value for the customer. Here you want to think how you can reduce waste and become more efficient.
- Surround – where 80% of the value is for the customer but only 20% of cost. By enhancing the customer experience and the quality of the product you show them the value of the business.
He is now devising a new menu to suit rapid serving or one-hour sittings, he has engaged with online delivery in the locality and now he is promoting safe distancing measures on his website and is about to start a social media campaign with well-known local businesses.
Be ready to innovate and adapt
In both cases there is a desire to look at new ways of delivering a traditional service to overcome the problems that Coronavirus has caused. As a Mindshop Expert©, I work with businesses in all sectors to assist them in pivoting so they can adapt to the new way of working. A successful adaption will lead to the business being able to thrive as the business world starts to work once again.