Are you ready to ride the waves of change?

Emerging prepared with a plan in a post-pandemic economy

It is April 2020 and when I wake up and start the day, there are always lingering questions in my head. What the heck will my business look like three or even six months from now? Will I still have a business to run or will the way I make a living cease to exist and I will end up doing something completely different?

It is difficult to know what state my business will be in a month, much less three months later. Unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball that can predict the future for myself or anyone else I know.

One thing I do know for sure is that things will never go back to the way they were four months ago. If you are one of those people who wait for the ‘old economy’ to come back or bounce back, then a rude awakening awaits you, because it’s not going to happen.

I guess most people don’t want to think about the idea that they could be out of business in a matter of months. Hell, it’s not something I want to think about either. Being out of business due to an invisible predator that has spread across the globe and disrupted people’s lives and the global economy seems unfathomable.

As my husband and I looked at what was happening within our country and around the world and the impact it was having on our businesses, we did a financial assessment of how long we could maintain our current standard of living. For whatever reason, I felt good knowing that we could hit a certain period within the year. It never occurred to me that I would not allow myself to think about what would happen if did run out of savings.

My husband, on the other hand, had thought about it. Hearing him verbalize his plan of action ‘before we get to that point’ forced me to finally go to that place in my mind where I needed to have an internal conversation, ‘what if I could no longer maintain my business?’

The AHA moment

When I finally “went there”, I had a great AHA moment. Suddenly I realized something that had never occurred to me before. The voice in my head said, “Pam, you’ve been here before!”

OMG yeah that’s right, I’ve been here before. I had to unexpectedly close a business due to circumstances beyond my control: an economic crisis.

It was 18 years ago. He ran a women’s fashion retail store in a major Singapore mall. The store was in operation for a good part of 3 years, and only one year in the facilities of the shopping center. Business was good. That was until we were affected by the Asian financial crisis of 99.

My clientele used to be expat women along with residents and tourists. As we progressed into the year 2000, we witnessed the decrease in the daily number of buyers. People started holding on to their money due to the uncertainties that were coming. Much like what we are experiencing today.

Eventually it reached a point where there weren’t enough business to cover the monthly overhead and the difficult decision was made to close the store. However, it was not as simple as closing the doors. While the owners could see for themselves that there was no foot traffic for all tenants, they still demanded to be paid for the remaining months of the lease. That resulted in a painful $ 40,000 check to the owner. Making that payment only added an insult to what was already a very difficult time to have to close due to an economic crisis.

When the place was empty and the doors closed, I allowed myself to have a pity private party. I gave myself permission to feel sorry for myself for two weeks. When the pity party ended, I knew it was time to get up off the ground and get busy contemplating what the next plan of action would be.

Even despite my desperation, I was confident that there would be another business in my future and I would have to be prepared and ready to turn.

Remembering that I have been here before, and knowing that I had the resilience to recover and come out the other side, assures me that I can do this again if necessary.

Every company or business owner will need to find out what is best for them after a pandemic. Maybe you haven’t even started thinking that far. Maybe he has, but he still has no idea what he will do when we all resurface in this new c (covid economy) economy.

Instead of waiting for circumstances to dictate what will happen a month or three from now, I see myself as a surfer who needs to be in the blue ocean, judging, calculating, waiting for the right wave to jump and ride. . through the barrel to the beach.

This time I’ll be ready to ride on top of the wave instead of being swept up in the surf and not knowing which way to go.

Preparing for the C economy

No one will be able to say for sure when countries, states and communities will open their doors for business, but it is important to be prepared with a plan of action.

These are just a few thoughts for business owners and business leaders to consider right now in preparation for their business resurrection.

Establish product-service relevance

There are some vital questions to address before you start creating your recovery roadmap.

Is my product or service still relevant to my target market today and will it be relevant after a pandemic? Will the target audience remain the same or will it change completely?

If my target audience remains the same, albeit with minor changes, I will move on with my recovery roadmap.

Anticipate, ask and answer

Read the latest research results for your industry, along with reports from economists. As commercial operators, we must research the market and anticipate consumer wants and needs to provide the right solutions.

Creating ideal solutions for consumers cannot happen while brainstorming in isolation. Ask your customers what they will need in a post-pandemic business environment.

Armed with the research and needs of the target market, respond to their requests and deliver your best solution that addresses those immediate needs. This may require the development of a completely new product or service.

Duplicate Marketing Activities at Low Cost and No Cost

The global health and economic crisis has left millions of businesses without income for months, so the last thing most would want to do is shell out large sums of cash for marketing campaigns.

However, that does not mean that a company should go underground and not market at all. Otherwise. There are things any business can do to continue marketing its products and services using low-cost or no-cost marketing activities.

  • Create content. No one knows your business better than you (and your employees if you work for a large organization). Start by creating content that educates and helps your target audience. Your content can be distributed in many ways.

  • Write blog posts and upload them to your website, social media pages, and syndicated sites.

  • Take a survey related to your industry and then distribute your findings to your target audience if it will help your business.

  • Use free creative sites like Canva to create visual content like banners, posters, social posts, animated posts, and more.

  • Use the free tools to create infographics that educate.

  • Create short videos that educate, motivate, or demonstrate a product. Everyone has a camera on their smartphone, so pick it up and hit the record button. There is no excuse for not doing it.

Look for a synergistic collaboration

One of the advantages of all the chaos we are going through is the change we are seeing in humanity. The gift economy is on the rise and for good reason. You are of greatest value to your customers when you offer them more than they need.

Seek collaboration with business partners who can add value to your customer base.

Reaching out to other corporations and business owners will stimulate the economy and create a three-way profit.

Learn and go digital

The way business is conducted today has already changed. Operating efficiently in the new c economy will require the use of more technology and applications to conduct business remotely with clients and team members.

Companies that once offered their services in person must adapt to digital platforms in the new normal. This form of communication that was once considered “nice to try” has moved into the realm of a legitimate way of doing business.

Not only will the need to learn new technologies for virtual participation arise, the need to know how to protect our privacy will require us to spend some time understanding cybersecurity as well.

There will be a learning curve, but not diving in and embracing the new wave of technology that has now become part of our everyday lives will mean that those who are unwilling to learn will be left behind.

Reuse to create additional sources of income

As a veteran small business owner, I am a strong advocate for having multiple sources of income. Every time I develop a new brand, I map the various ways that I can sell my services at different prices and through different distribution channels.

Having more than one source of income is something that I urge small business owners to start when designing their business model from scratch.

See your business with fresh eyes. At the start of your business, the product or service you offer may have been created for a specific target audience. Can you repurpose what you offer now for another audience or niche?

Case in point. I have a deck of cards on entrepreneurship that was derived from the action steps in my book chapter, The 50-60 Something ™ Start-up Entrepreneur. The deck of cards was a spinoff of the book and became another form of information reuse and additional income stream.

Since the information on how to start a business is the same, I can now repurpose the deck of cards with a new brand, a new design, and sell it to a completely different market.

Is there a part of your business that can be divided to create a new product in another industry? What could potentially be reused or even upgraded within your own business to create a new stream of income?

Surfing the wave

A great wave of change is coming for all of us. It will come in the form of a recession or possibly depression. I am preparing now. I want to be ready when the wave of opportunity rises to me. I hope others join me in this blue ocean and we can ride this wave together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *