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Annalese Sharrock

Annalese Sharrock Strategic Director

Annalese@strategycollective.co.nz
021 615 364
06 759 7044

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In Difficulty Lies Opportunity

Albert Einstein famously said that “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Covid-19 has provided plenty of opportunities for businesses to test Einstein’s theory. Difficulty has come at us from all angles including loss of revenue, staffing issues, lack of supply, working from home, childcare, and navigating government support and regulations.

Thankfully, there have been many examples of businesses seizing the opportunities that have come their way. Gyms providing online workouts, education running virtual classes, and food and beverage suppliers doing deliveries.

Of course, not all businesses can so easily move online or to a contactless delivery (pretty tricky for a barber to go 100% online!), so we’ve come up with three categories for opportunity spotting that might just help some lightbulbs to go on in your own unique difficulties.

The Pivot Approach

Did you know Nokia started as a wood pulp factory? And what about Flickr making computer games before its famous photo feeds? Or what about Instagram as a check-in app before it became one of the big social networks? Pivoting from one approach to another is the backstory behind a surprising number of incredibly successful businesses. So, is pivoting right for you?

Here are some questions to ponder to assess if a pivot is right for you?

  • What can we do now that utilises our current strengths in terms of our people, our customers and our unique selling propositions? Avoid the temptation to go too far out of your lane, but look at pivoting as a re-deployment of the same troops, potentially doing the same task, but in a different location that has a different landscape to navigate.
  • Can our current offering simply go online or contactless? What do we need to do to make this shift?  (e.g. online consults)
  • Is there a project that we’ve been wanting to launch for awhile and that would suit today’s market? (e.g. launching a webinar series or starting deliveries)

The People Approach

Covid-19 won’t last forever. Down the track, this blog will be irrelevant. So maybe now is the time to look at growing your teams’ capabilities.

That online digital training you’ve been meaning to get your staff to do, now is a great time to do it. That innovation brainstorming bootcamp you had planned to run with your leadership group, a couple of Zoom calls could finally make that happen. Those books you wanted your team to digest to get everyone on the page, why not gift your team some e-books for lockdown reading and hold a weekly book club to discuss findings and take-homes?

Coming out of Covid-19 with a more engaged, better equipped workforce has to be a good thing!

The Give-Back-and-Grow Approach

In the marketing world, much of the advice from industry leaders over the past few weeks has suggested that if you can’t pivot seamlessly online or to contactless provision of service, take this as an opportunity to give-back to your customer base.

Engage your customers with meaningful and valuable content through social media, webinars and email channels. If you’re a restaurant do short kitchen tutorials with your chefs. If you’re a barber or hairdresser, do hair maintenance tips. If you’re a professional service, do a free webinar giving out free valuable advice.

Sure, none of this pays the bills. But neither does an advert in a newspaper or designing a new website. They’re all investments in growing your audience and building their trust, so that at a later time they come to you to solve their problems and hand over cash to do so. Consider this time as an extended and fully focused time of investment in your audience.

You might even put metrics on this: build your email list by 500 contacts or increase your social media reach by 300%. These are all realistic goals and goals you and your team can get behind while business-as-normal is on hold.

 

If you’d like to brainstorm ways that your business can pivot, equip your people and/or give-back-and-grow, then please drop us a line. We’d love to help spot those opportunities with you.

Book in a free chat with one of our business enablers today.