COVID-19 presents one of the greatest challenges in business – rise to it!

CEO of managed property bond portfolio, HJ Collection, Reece Mennie says businesses should find opportunity in adversity and rise to the challenges presented by coronavirus.

WhatsApp, Instagram and Uber all share something incredible in common aside from having transformed how we as society operate: They were founded during the last recession.

This pattern of innovation through periods of economic hardship is found throughout history and for entrepreneurs battling through the impact of covid-19, these stories should be perceived as welcome motivation.

After weeks of lockdown, it is clear that there are two camps of business owners – those who perceive lockdown as ‘shut down’, halting external spend, retreating from operations and pausing all activity and those who continue to push, stand and fight.

WhatsApp, Instagram and Uber wouldn’t have been founded by the camp under ‘shutdown’ and, if anything, demonstrates that despite the hardship and devastation that we continue to face – now is a time to pivot and make positive change.

Evaluate your operations

With social distancing measures forcing businesses to change how they operate, now is an excellent time to evaluate your internal processes.

Be honest with yourself about what does and doesn’t work: What can be improved? How can you uphold the same level of product or service delivery whilst implementing new tech-based systems? And what staff members are making a positive difference to the future success of the business?

There is no other time when you will be forced to really evaluate your business, and although it has presented significant challenges for many, it also provides an opportunity to stand back, analyse and streamline so that you emerge stronger when we are able to return to some form of ‘business as normal’.

Increased activity vs competitor decline

Right now, many of your competitors will be standing under camp one, pulling back on supplier spend and failing to communicate with both existing and potential stakeholders. While some will perceive this temporary ‘pause’ as harmless, they will have failed to consider the long-term damage.

Businesses need to be seen to exist, which means if your competitors are effectively sleeping, you have the opportunity to rise, to increase brand awareness and resulting market share. Don’t take this opportunity for granted out of fear, you’ll regret it in the long-term.

Do something different

WhatsApp, Instagram and Uber are incredibly successful because they disrupted and innovated their industry sector. If you are currently operating in an industry that has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus, pivot your business strategy and do something different.

Aside from enabling you to drive new and additional revenue during this challenging period, what you change and implement now could be fundamental to the success and longevity of your business for years to come.

Excellent examples of this are restaurants and hotels creating takeaway menus, estate agents doing virtual viewings and Manufacturers of household products like hoovers switching production to create ventilators and much-needed PPE.

This wouldn’t have been part of any previous business strategy but will change lives and create meaningful change.

The lesson? Don’t let fear take over. It may be challenging, but in every challenge is an opportunity, as long as you have the right mindset to rise to it.

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