Your COVID-19 Exit Strategy – How To Stand Above The Crowd
Thankfully the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths appears to now be subsiding here in Australia, and “the curve” is flattening. Now is the time for businesses to prepare for the brakes being slowly released and to ensure they are in good shape to steal a march on the competition when the lights turn green.
After the Storm
The past few weeks have been truly horrendous for many businesses and owners have no doubt been putting their minds to how they could survive such a massive hit to their business. Hopefully the government assistance at both state and federal level, together with a little ingenuity on the owners’ part, has eased some of the pain and opened up a way through this.
But for those of you who thought now was the time to simply hunker down until the storm had passed, then think again! Just as some of our sports teams are talking about training more intensively ready for when the season restarts, so you need to be putting similar effort into preparing your business for the restart. And ideally, you should be aiming to go back to work in better shape than when the restrictions took hold.
You see, any owner worth their salt will know that they have been running a business where parts of it could have, and should have, been improved. So why didn’t they do that? Why did they choose to “live with it”? It’s because they always felt they didn’t have time, or there were other, more important things to do (even though rarely are there more important things to do than improving your business!).
Well, now you have time to make those changes you’ve been putting off. Seldom do these times where you can stop and think seriously about your business come around, and seriously thinking about your business is exactly what you should now do. And you need to attack this with a complete ‘root and branch review’ approach, going back to square one.
Rethink your business
Think carefully about what it is you do, why you do it, and how you can do it better. Then (in case you didn’t do this first time around) rethink all that, but from the customer’s point of view. Don’t think about what is convenient for you, but about what is most convenient for your customers. Think about helping them solve their problems, or meet their aspirations, more effectively, and as easily as possible for them.
Too many businesses forget that they exist to serve their customers, and that the profit they’re looking for can only be generated after customers have been, at the very least, satisfied. No happy customers leads to no customers, and no customers is what many have been experiencing for the past few weeks; I’m sure no-one wants a repeat of that!
Once you’ve decided what it is you should be doing, then apply yourself to working out the most effective and efficient way of doing it … and in that order! Your first priority should always be, at a minimum, meeting the customer’s expectations, and only then should you work on how to deliver that without wasting time, effort and money in doing so. This way you should be creating happy customers and at lowest cost, ensuring you’re still competitive in the market.
Then rise above
So, look at your business with a critical eye, plan out what improvements you should make and how, and start implementing them as soon as you can. Remember, very few businesses actually serve their customers well; many profess to really valuing their customers and tell you at every opportunity how important you are to them, but then don’t match up to that in delivery. If you can sharpen up your business in this respect, and before the restart, you’ll be several steps ahead of, and head and shoulders above, your competition.
After all, how many businesses, big or small, genuinely impress you when you deal with them? I can only think of one or two who stand above the rest.