Updated: Jun 19
A time of upheaval also brings with it a time of opportunity. The coronavirus epidemic may be no exception. For a long time we took several things in our stride especially in India with our famous 'chalta hai' attitude. This laissez-faire approach wasn't really life threatening and was immortalised by 'Timon' and 'Pumba' in 'Hakuna Matata'! (Ladies and Gentlemen I am a huge fan)! Hey but life moves on! Here we are with Corona virus, the 'Scar' of our lives whom we must fight and claim our lives back rightfully. So here I am pontificating about what we should or shouldn't do. So I'll keep this brief and to the point and welcome your thoughts please.
I believe most businesses will be facing severe distress in the current scenario, accumulated cash flows will be dwindling if not already gone, pink slips being handed out like samosas with chutney and business sentiment racing to the bottom of a never ending abyss! Rare businesses will have found themselves prospering during this time, like liquor and wine, groceries or drive in movie theatres maybe. Fashion and Lifestyle is routed, travel and hospitality, restaurants and malls all facing chances of going to the cleaners. There is a very remote chance of most of these companies coming back to their pre-corona normals and growing from there. And even if, it will be a long long time before that happens.
Well if you're the lucky few that survive, the lucky few who choose this as the right time to start a new business, the lucky few who find the means and purpose to continue investing in the future, I would imagine, there cannot be a better time to re-visit the basics of your business, whatever it may be..
1. Who is your customer? What does she need? What is the need you fulfill or plan to fulfill? Do your customers already perceive you as an expert in that area or do you have a plan to create that perception though blogs, podcasts, videos or other means?
2. What is the market you operate in? How will you differentiate yourself and build moats around your business? What competition is already there and likely to emerge in the future?
3. What's your SWOT? Tip: Most of us tend to overlook our strengths and weaknesses and remain externally focused on opportunities and threats.
4. Have you recently visited your 4 Ps of Marketing (Product Mix). Tip: It's not old school!
5. Do you consider your team working with you to be your biggest strength? How can you make that be? Virtual hugs?
6. Do you think this is the right time for your business? Despite the coronavirus impact will people still need your product / service? Or is this a good time to plan a pivot?
7. Is your customer service really exceptional? These days people are more slick than warm. It is rather off-putting especially in terms of customer service.
8. Do you have the resources needed? I believe this is important but comes last on the priority list as 'if you find the purpose, the means will follow'!!
Thanks for reading through. Any other ideas of how businesses can return to basics and rebuild their health after the effects of this dreadful pandemic subside and life trudges back towards normalcy, please share.