“Anything is possible, everything is not”. The first time I heard that it immediately resonated with me. It’s a quote from one of my mentors, Rick Scott, of FocalPoint in Canada. I am a self-described cautious optimist. In a recent assessment, I found that my strongest “resilience muscles” are confidence, creativity, and experimentation. That should just about tell you enough about me. I’m confident I can do it, I love to come up with “out of the box” ideas, and I truly love experimenting with new ideas. The problem is that when you put these all together, you can be a person that confuses “anything with possible” with “everything is possible”. And that can lead to unrealistic expectations and over-commitment.
Coming out of this COVID-19 quarantine, most businesses are looking for ideas on how to get their business back on track. Business owners need to be very tactical right now. And this quote, “anything is possible, everything is not”, is very appropriate for them at this time.
If you look at this from a positive point-of-view, we have been given a great gift. The world pressed “pause”. The government helped fund it. And now we get a chance to reinvent and restart, with hopefully better ideas, a solid strategy, and a new spirit. With the idea that “anything is possible”, what should you, the business owner be thinking about:
- What market shifts have occurred as a result of this?
- What new opportunities are presented due to CV19?
- And, most importantly, what weaknesses have I discovered in my business or my business model that I can adjust right now?
Analyzing Market Shifts
Markets typically shift over time. Telemedicine, for example, has been around since the 1970s and has been growing slowly in the past two decades. But this pandemic did more to advance telemedicine in 6 weeks than it had on its own in the previous 6 years.
What shifts have occurred in your market? One friend of mine has a cleaning business. They have pivoted from janitorial services to sanitization services. Is that a drastic change? Does it require retooling and retraining? no, very little. But it communicates an entirely different business model and presents a new value proposition. Understanding that the market has shifted from an interest in vacuuming and emptying wastebaskets, to a focus on protecting employees and customers from a virus, is a great example of understanding a market shift.
ACTION ITEM: What significant change has occurred in your market? How can you adjust your business (or maybe just your message) to address that issue?
Once you’ve done this, consider what that would look like? How much of a stretch is it? Remember, anything is possible, everything is not. What ONE thing can you change that would leverage a shift in the market?
Looking for New Opportunities
Sometimes you can’t pivot during the storm. But you can be prepared to protect you and your customers from the next one that comes along. New opportunities abound for companies that have an answer for the next crisis. Here’s some that I’ve seen recently:
- Healthcare providers are adjusting their message and promoting how their services helped during the pandemic. And, more importantly, how they will help you get through the next one.
- IT service firms have shifted from traditional services to being an enabler of work-from-home technology.
- A security firm has added a system that takes your temperature as you walk past the building security point.
What new opportunities are there for you?
ACTION ITEM: Business owners are looking for help right now. What service or product can you offer to your clients or prospects that would help them weather the storm and come out ahead on the other side?
Note that this new product or service may not be a huge profit center for you… yet. It may simply be something that helps serve and keep your business and brand top of mind. For me, I’ve been doing a number of free workshops. For several weeks I did them weekly. I’ve not shifted to bi-weekly, as it was getting to be a little much. Remember, anything is possible, everything is not. I had to back off a bit so that my new service didn’t interfere or prevent me from other critical tasks. (Remember my risk factor from the first paragraph). — INTERESTED IN MY WORKSHOPS? Follow me on Eventbrite.
This is an important question that I ask almost everyone. What about you, your business or your business model is not working? Think about this. Be honest with yourself.
The reason I ask this now is that never has there been a time where our weaknesses are more exposed.
Recently I asked a client this and he told me with absolute confidence that nothing was broken. Now, I know better, because their sales have hit a brick wall. He said, “if only everyone knew who we were and what we did, we wouldn’t have a problem!”. Bingo! What’s broken about his business is that their marketing hasn’t been effective. Before the pandemic, they were networking, having lunches, and making plans for a brighter tomorrow. But when the pandemic hit, they couldn’t get in touch with prospects outside their immediate network. That’s a problem.
ACTION ITEM: Be honest with yourself. There’s something that has been exposed about your business during this. What is it? Sales, marketing, operations, team issues…
Now’s a great time to address these issues. Perhaps it’s something you just need to stop doing. Or perhaps you need to shift some resources around to address this concern. You can’t be everything, but you can do anything better. Anything is possible!
Use this time to get better. Basic blocking and tackling. In the case of my client, getting more active in marketing and sales is of paramount importance. Shifting some resources from performing internal tasks to doing some outreach in creative ways should go a long way in getting greater market awareness.
Anything is possible, get started now
Yes, anything is possible. Everything is not! Get focused. Stay in your lane. Figure out what you need to do to act and to serve your clients and prospects in the best way possible int he coming weeks.
If you’d like to learn more about how I help companies get focused on this topic, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to hear from you soon.