Philie Group Blog

Will Back to Normal be Good Enough?
By Mike Philie

When is good enough ever good enough? Not very often, and not for when you are emerging from a global pandemic. As an owner or a leader of a business, your entrepreneurial drive most likely got you to where you are today. When your business faces unprecedented challenges, that’s when the entrepreneurial adrenaline is likely to kick in. Getting back to normal in our personal lives may not be a bad thing, but I’m not convinced that getting back to normal for businesses will be enough.

What Have We Learned

There were a lot of organizations that were struggling or flat before the business pause occurred. They may have a difficult time rebounding and grasping for any glimpses of what normal once was. Their muscle-memory and elasticity will have been depleted. What we have learned over the years is that companies that have used this time to re-examine, and question their business from top to bottom are the ones that usually emerge in the lead lap. Others who seem lethargic and lacking a clear direction, may find themselves left behind.

What Client Segments Will Prevail

When you examine your customer accounts and separate the contributors from the takers, and the whales from the minnows, ask yourself which of these will prevail when business resumes. And when it restarts, what will they need to make their business prosper once more? How will they be positioned to thrive in the new order of things? Their success will help drive yours, and if they stumble, it will do nothing to help you regain your momentum. For example, if one of your customer segments is event planning, then you may have to replace that business sooner than you think. While if you have a pharmaceutical segment in your portfolio, they probably won’t be affected to the same degree. 

Be Better Than You Were Before

When you determine what customer segments you think you can rely on to restart and rebuild your business, what will you be producing for them? Will it be the same as before or will they require services different than what they needed prior to the business pause? Work toward utilizing your existing equipment, staff, and intellectual capital to deliver not only what their customers want, but what they need. Get your team together and think through the different scenarios, and the what if’s. Start presenting these to your customers, give them ideas that will help them re-start their business, and remain (or become) the most trusted and valuable resource to them.

One Last Thought

We are overwhelmed with information on what to do during and after the pandemic, and for many, we have become numb to reading about it. While I get that, I also get that not everyone will come out of this intact. The economic impact caused by the pandemic will not treat everyone fairly or equally. I see organizations everyday thinking about new things to try and having conversations with their customers while they are at home, waiting this thing out. I also see organizations that are struggling. For those, they may need some new things to try because just hoping things get better won’t ensure their spot on the roster going forward.


I welcome any thoughts or questions, please add them below or reach out to me directly.


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 assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at, LinkedIn or email at


The blog originally published in Printing Impressions


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