Repositioning Your Business
Whether You Think You Can or Not, You’re Right
Lockdown has proven to be a crisis of epic proportions, detrimental for many industries and businesses all over the world. As business owners and entrepreneurs, many of us had to innovate or face the consequences of evaporating.
With all the negativity in the media and people blasting their opinions all over Facebook, I am taking a different root. I want to encourage you and sow a seed in your mind of optimism, instead of doom & gloom. In the words of Winston Churchill “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.
A great example of somebody spotting opportunity during a recession is J. Paul Getty (1892 – 1976) from the Getty Oil Company. J. Paul Getty received an inheritance of $500 000 in 1930. He took the money amidst the great depression and bought out all the oil stocks he could find at the time when the oil stocks were at their lowest. After the depression when the market recovered, he was a billionaire overnight and the owner of a huge oil company. J. Paul Getty said, “I buy when other people are selling”. Maybe it is time for you to “buy” when others are “selling”.
Entrepreneurship is risky business, you deal with many challenges like cashflow, employment issues and time capacity. Entrepreneurs should be the best equipped for times of crisis, because for many entrepreneurs every day of their lives is a ‘semi-crisis’. As an entrepreneur you should understand the risks and rewards of the game, as an entrepreneur you should understand the concept of ‘buying when others are selling’. This might be a wake up call for you, the lockdown could be a perfect crisis for you to take some wise risks. I believe it is time to take risks, I believe it is time to open your eyes for any possible opportunities that you might spot. I believe it is time to take market territory while other businesses are closing. I believe it is possible to use this economic crisis to reposition, improve and set your business up for growth post lockdown and Corona.
To move in this direction, you need to study and understand the impact of the lockdown and economical crisis on your market, not necessarily your Industry. If you want to move ahead in the Industry, I suggest you spend more time on your market than worrying what other competitors are doing. After figuring out what the market needs, you need to position your product or service to make your offering essential to the market. The question becomes ‘how can you change your offering from a nice to have to a need to have?’. Knowing that people need your offering, your next step is to make your offering as easy, simplistic, and accessible as possible.
The Impact of the Lockdown on your Market
When Apple launched in 1976, Steve Jobs and his mentor / business partner Mike Markkula wrote down three key values on which Apple would do business. The first, and most important value they wrote down was empathy for the consumer. Apple understood their market and customers like few companies did.
For you to reposition your business post lockdown, you need to understand your market inside and out like never before. What does your target market and customers need from you now during this crisis period, what is essential for them and what will they be willing to spend money on?
After doing your own research and really understanding what your customer needs now, you need to look at the competitors and see where their focus is at. Identifying their focus points will help you to spot opportunities and assessing what opportunities the competition is missing.
With this understanding and knowledge of what is happening in the market, you can take wise risks, backed up with in-depth planning to position your business for growth post lockdown.
Sell an Essential Service
It is vital that you understand what your market or customer deems as essential. You need to identify why the consumer is buying your product or service offering. In a recession or tough financial times, people will not spend their money carelessly. Every buck spent is measured and categorised as essential or non-essential spending. Preferably you want to fall in the essential box.
Remember, people buy emotionally and justify logically. Maybe your product or service offering has a great emotional concept to it, the consumer wants and understands it. But when times are tough, they justify the purchase logically before continuing to do business with you and your offering is not making sense as a necessity. Your question needs to be ‘how can I turn my product from a nice to have into a need to have’?
By now you understand the market conditions, you have successfully managed to wangle your offering as an essential, the next step is delivering your product or service offering hassle free.
People pay quicker when the process is simpler. You need to go to work in your operational systems with one goal in mind – removing the red tape! As Steve Jobs said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. How can you make your process as seamless and easy as possible for the consumer, from start to finish?
The Choice is Yours
I want to leave you with the famous of Charles Dickens “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair”. Some companies have boomed during lockdown, and others have faded. For some this is the best of times and for others this is the worst of times. Your attitude could determine your ability to spot opportunities that you have not seen before.
Henry Ford said it best when he said, “whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right”! The decision is yours, whether you think there is opportunity in this crisis or not, you are right!