2020, a new and exciting return to the roaring 20’s, or so we thought. Looking back to January 1 st is a sobering experience. We put plans in place to tackle the new year. We confidently knew the business model and value proposition we’ve had in place for years was well equipped to continue to deliver the experience our customers expected and the revenue targets we’d set. We knew this because, after 5-6 years of subdued economic conditions we were still in the game.
Where to from here? As Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face.” “Where to from here?” is the question on all our lips. A question that is impossible to answer on our own and made more difficult by the sheer volume of information and conflicting views of what the future holds. We aren’t sure as to what extent we need to change, to re-design or re-define our positioning and service. All we know is that “The Times They Are a-Changing” and we will need to change with them.
The Lockdown economy is here. The Covid and Post Covid Economies are coming. What you were offering before the outbreak and how you were offering it may well need to change. Finding or refining your business’ purpose in the new world we find ourselves is a process you will have no doubt already started. However, navigating your way through the storm of information and predictions in front of you is a time consuming, and possibly depressing, exercise.
I would suggest the best source of information and guidance we need in order to map our way forward is in our customer relationships. Industries are shifting, supply chains and the businesses built around them are in flux, company budgets are up in the air and business owners are re-considering their business models. All this change, all these decisions will affect you and your offering in some way or another.
This creates a unique opportunity for us to build the business our customers are going to be looking for.
In strategizing the way forward, you need to pick your sources wisely. Your loudest source should be your customers. Use this time to find out why they love you and your business so much, what makes them pull their hair out at times when dealing with your organisation, what problems have you solved for them and what hidden value have you delivered in doing so? Ask them how they have been impacted by the outbreak and lockdown. Most importantly find out what their short, medium- and long-term strategies are to get their business back on track and how you fit into that picture.
By going through this exercise, you will have engaged with your customers deeply. You will not only have identified their needs but also their strategy moving forward and how they need you to adjust what you do and how you do it to fit into their new way of getting business done.
Most importantly you will have a solid understanding, from the horses mouth, of how to position your business and the problems you solve for your customers.
Serving your customers in a responsible and highly effective manner means you have a shot at not only surviving but seeing growth in areas of your business.