There are countless unknowns in our collective and uncertain future. We’re living in a new paradigm without knowledge of how long this season of uncertainty will last. Understanding this reality, NOW is the time to get back to business basics.
Our company leadership, including Lee Baynes and Steve Gross, have years of experience (often speaking on the topic) helping companies survive downtimes. We’re all now in a season where we must ask ourselves key questions including, how are we going to throw off cash from our business? How can we make the proper cuts and not overfund certain aspects of the company? What funding methods do we need to succeed? What products should we be offering in this new world?
Much like the dot com boom, where no one had the internet access that we do today (and email was limited or not available), it was the technological advances that led to a season of change and massive marketplace shifts. For companies to continue competing, they had to leverage these new technologies or they quickly became irrelevant.
The technology pivot is once again at our door. Whether it’s virtual meetings (where we feel face-to-face) or cloud-based communication systems (where we can operate as if we’re in the same office) we now have to smartly think about how we can accomplish our same goals in the new context with these tools. We have to do the same transformational thinking with our products, services, and offerings. To survive and succeed, we must explore technology in new and creative ways.
It would be preposterous if restaurants, that have beautiful indoor dining spaces with countless seating, expected to be prosperous during the next twelve months. They must change now or they will fail.
Restaurants are not the only industries that must change. Other examples include businesses that host conferences. There were seven events this year I was planning to attend and speak at and all of them have been canceled. Others have shifted to digital-only.
The Engage 2020 conference for the AICPA organization had about 7,700 people registered to participate in person, but because the registrants were open to attending virtually, the attendance ended up considerably higher. They were forced to go online and discover how to build a digital conference. The vital question event organizers must answer is, how can they facilitate the same value that people receive from in-person events?
No company is excluded from shifting its business model. I can’t tell you of one organization that hasn’t experienced an impact on its products, services, offerings, and deliverables. There isn’t one company that doesn’t have an opportunity at best, or must rebuild a dead business model, at worst. Businesses are facing a crisis but they’re not fated to failure if they choose and act wisely.
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