There’s no doubt that most of us in business have found the last few years a challenge.
March 2020 saw the UK enter its first ‘Lockdown’ in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the country as a whole. Roll on the best part of 2 years, and we’re still very much in the thick of it.
How has the pandemic affected businesses?
As a Business Growth and Strategy Coach who works with businesses of all shapes and sizes in all sorts of sectors, I observe first-hand the impact that the pandemic has had and continues to have on ‘business as normal’ and the huge change forced on business owners attempting to steady their ships, keep their people safe, service their customers well, and of course, make some money on the way.
Many businesses have folded. Many struggle on, hoping for a return to a known sense of normality and the chance to bounce back to a previous level of success.
I’ve seen many capable business leaders struggle to stay positive under such testing conditions and lose their way. Equally, I’ve seen people of similar skill and character move forwards as successfully as normal and make the most of the conditions they find around them.
So why do some businesses thrive, and others struggle to survive?
Business life is typically hard enough under normal circumstances. Factor in a global pandemic and the need to be open-minded to change/adaptation is the essential ingredient.
With so much disruption and uncertainty in the world, how do you as a business owner, or someone about to start one, move your business or business idea forwards in such extreme conditions?
How you can make your business relevant in 2022
Ask yourself this question. “Is your business currently relevant and does it add value?”
I want you to get curious about your business as a whole: Customers, Products/Services, Technology, Processes, Suppliers – all the moving parts.
This question will force you to ask a few more questions.
- Who is your ideal target customer?
- What do they value in a supplier like you and what more could you sell them? If you’re not sure if there is anything more you can do for them, ask them!
- Are there new gaps in the market that are ready for you to exploit?
- What industries are you in? Are there any that you should be in now?
- What innovations do you need to embrace to move your business to a more relevant and capable place?
- What products and services should you be offering and what should you stop offering (because they’re no longer of value to anyone)?
- Look at your Customer List – are you still attracting the right customers for the right reasons?
- When did you last do a review of your products and services to see if they are as good as they could be?
- With advances in technology and digital connection as a result of the pandemic, are there ways you could use these technological advances to add value to your customers/increase profitability?
- Operations and Processes – Is the way you currently operate in your business still as efficient as it could be? Take the Zoom and Teams meeting tools as an example. I’ve seen businesses use them alongside face-to-face activities to significantly increase levels of profitability, time efficiency, and customer experience. Could you be one of these businesses and do just that?
There is opportunity in change
Periods of rapid change like the one we are in now will bend and alter the working environments in which we operate. There will be adversity, but equally, there will be plenty of opportunity if we’re open to spotting it and agile enough to capitalise on what’s possible.
In business it’s important we react to the changing conditions and stay relevant to someone that values what we do.
These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself on a regular basis. If you do, I’m certain you’ll spot opportunities to make your business more relevant, engaged, and ultimately profitable.
What can you do next?
If you like the idea of getting your business ‘fit for purpose’ in 2022 and are struggling to know where to start, I’d be very happy to jump on Zoom (one of the new sets of time-saving tools I use on a daily basis) and explore where to start. If that sounds like a plan, get in touch with one of the team here at Start & Grow and let’s chat soon.
You can access a range of free, expert support for your early-stage business here. Simply sign up and hand-pick specialised training courses, 1-to-1 interventions, networking opportunities, and get the chance to apply for a £1,000 grant to help your business grow.