As the second wave of the pandemic hits and once again a number of businesses are being required to close, there are business owners wondering if their business will be able to weather this storm and how you will keep your business afloat.
I really do wish I had a magic wand that could ensure every business would come out of this, but that simply isn’t the case. Without a doubt, you are likely a little tired of hearing about the need to pivot your business, so we won’t go there. My guess is you have also dug deep to come up with different types of solutions whether that be in trimming expenses or readjusting schedules.
So where do you go from here?
I don’t have a simple solution, but I do know that sometimes when you ask a different question, you get a different answer.
Below are three questions and an example related to each, that when you think about them in regards to you and your own business, might unlock the idea you need to keep your business afloat:
- What problem am I solving for my customers and how else could it be solved? For example, if you are small boutique shop, the problem you are solving could be “offering one of a kind items that showcases a unique taste for their home decorating and in gift giving”. Right now this is solved by coming to your store, but how else could you do this? What if you set up appointments where you could FaceTime them and walk through your shop (almost like shopping with a friend) and you did the collection of items and arranged the delivery. You would still be solving their problem, but in a unique and different way.
- What is your competitive advantage and could you leverage it in a different way? For example, maybe your competitive advantage is being able to plan and carry out unique, one of a kind events. What if you took that and rather than carry it out the way you have, you hired yourself out as a type of “consultant”. There are companies and families wanting to figure out how to host a holiday event in a unique way, with the current restrictions and maybe with your know how, you could make the experience incredibly meaningful in a different way
- Is there a different type of market I could access, and how would I reach them? For example, maybe you own a restaurant and while you are still able to do delivery and takeout, you are accessing the same market. There is a market of kids learning from home. What is you provided some sort of warm lunch drop off, with a menu that was fun and different (put that creative hat on). Get people talking and get these kids to share their experience on social media….create some buzz!
The biggest challenge in ever solving a problem is, trying to hang on to the idea that things could return back to the point where there was no problem. Each of us can expend a lot of energy fighting for why it should be the way it was, but rarely does it help us in the end. The world keep moving forward and so must you.
Coming up with the answer to some of these questions requires you to look at your business from a different perspective and it will require you to let go of how you are currently doing things, but if there is one thing I know…business owners are incredibly creative and resilient. Remember there is nothing wrong with the business you run, but the environment is changing and will continue to change in the years to come, so use some of this time to do that look into the future.
Keep your business afloat by seeking out others in your network and bounce your ideas off them. Ask them to help you answer these questions and don’t stop helping other business owners to do the same. This pandemic is taxing for everyone, but your business networks are there to help out…don’t be afraid to seek it out.
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