How has COVID-19 affected your customers?
COVID-19 may have significantly changed customer priorities, buying patterns and distribution channel preferences.
The energy within the recovering economy can provide fertile ground for experimentation and pursuit of new ideas.
Why it matters
The silver lining to a bumpy economic revival is the opportunity to try new things that could help recovery or open new possibilities.
Customers are eager to embrace change for the sake of safety and will be drawn to businesses leading the way. Summon your entrepreneurial spirit!
What can you do to regain the entrepreneurial flexibility and willingness needed to recover?
Gather ideas from your management team, staff, advisors, customers and partners. How do they see the future unfolding? Write ideas and theories in a notebook or collect them in an online document like OneNote.
Foster an entrepreneurial spirit
Reward your staff for new ideas, forward-thinking actions and efficient decision making. Remember that risk’s companion is failure. That means you should dissect failures for lessons learned about planning or execution—without punishing anyone for failed effort.
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Spread out your new initiatives
See which changes are helping your business and which are not. Start with changes to as few areas as possible—product, suppliers, operations or delivery—and note how they affect the others. Write down the metrics you’ll use to assess success or failure. Be ready to accelerate the winners.
Monitor the latest on the pandemic and changing business conditions
Every day brings new developments and projections. What information is applicable to your business? How does it affect your recovery plans and the new ideas you’re working on?
Have a clear, scheduled review process—weekly at first—to review results and make decisions about what to advance and what to discard. SCORE’s 3 Tips for Properly Pivoting Your Business Model can help you as you make business adjustments.
Explore new channels
It’s a great time to look at new distribution approaches. You should always carefully evaluate the impact of distribution changes on primary markets and existing partner relationships.
You can expect more latitude for experimentation during COVID-19 as you try to find the right balance between maintaining continuity and evolving to survive.