We are in a time of significant change, an inflection point like we’ve never seen before. Those businesses that endured 9/11 and the 2007-2008 recession learned a great deal about how to rebound from a crisis. Those lessons will be well-served today as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. But will that be enough to successfully rebound to pre-pandemic business levels?
Typical business behavior, as we knew it may take a long time to come back. Customers have had to restructure, and while some have risen to prominence during this crisis, many will return to market with a different look than before. They may struggle to retain the talent they once had and will be left with a void of institutional knowledge. Those factors may hinder your return to greatness or in some cases, open new doors of opportunity.
Your value proposition and ability to offer high-value solutions and insight may be your key to creating and closing new business opportunities. How you deliver those exchanges will be tested as the status quo probably won’t be good enough. We are all focused on learning how to do business and add value in new ways — ways that abide by the social norms that will be present in the days to come. I’m convinced this will be a huge opportunity for those who are prepared and have taken the time to get better, be better, and execute better.
Character will also have a significant role in your success going forward. Not only the character and integrity of your staff, but of your business. How did your business behave during the crisis? How did you deal with your staff, customers, and suppliers during the downturn? How about your community? I see the social media posting of thanking people and good will gestures shared by businesses. While this is all good, my question is will that same tone continue once the all-clear siren has been blown, or will it be back to how things were in the past? You have a tremendous opportunity as an individual and as a business to continue the positive vibes toward all of your stakeholders.
Human connection (6 ft. away and virtual) is critical during these times. These are not simple tasks to be only addressed in a memo or email. As a business leader, you have an opportunity to show your true colors during this crisis and your business can thrive on that in the future. Connect with your staff (both at work and those working from home), your customers, and suppliers. And don’t stop connecting with your community — it’s important. Have a clear picture of where you want to go, a map of how to get there and engage your team to make it happen. If you have any comments or thoughts as to how you’ve approached these issues, please send me a note or include them below.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.