Now that’s the biggest challenge for most businesses currently- staying relevant. In a recent webinar with Gordon Odundo, we explored simple ways that business could adapt and stay relevant to their core function now more than ever.
In his presentation, Mr Odundo based these moves on the companies’ short-term, medium-term and long-term objectives.
He said that entrepreneurs should think of their businesses objectives in terms of short-, medium- and long-term objectives, and know where they should and should not be making changes in business strategy.
While a one-size-ﬁts-all approach never works, there are some principles and concepts any business can apply during this current public-health, or any other, crisis.
Based on the three objectives, here are our key takeaways from the webinar:
Deﬁne short-term in terms of one to three months and this is where our current crisis is going to have the largest and most dramatic impact.
And depending on your industry, that impact may be positive or negative, and it may be minor or major. What’s most important is to take control of things that are easily changeable, such as social media advertising, search engine ads, video ads and other types of digital promotion that can be closely monitored and adjusted as needed.
For example, due to restaurant closures companies in this space can adapt a takeout and home delivery service model to stay relevant.
Likewise, a manufacturing business may consider temporary closure as their clients adjust to the new normal thus saving them costs though at much-reduced revenues.
Deﬁne your medium-term as three to nine months. While the changes will not be as dramatic as in the short term, your business may require some strategy adjustments to succeed.
Evaluate the tactics you plan to use in the medium term, as well as their anticipated performance during this time period.
Make sure your most critical product lines and services that will remain in demand during a brief downturn are the ones you are placing medium-term emphasis on.
This is also a good time to focus on volume at a potentially lower ROI.
If your business can break even or be slightly proﬁtable at a certain point, engage in as much advertising and marketing as you can to keep your volume up, even if in the medium term it means less proﬁt. The goal during a crisis for any business is to stay alive.
Here deﬁne long-term as one to three years. Since the future is not clear it is advisable not to make any long-term changes at this point.
As conditions and forecasts change, businesses should adapt their strategy accordingly, but for now, most companies should hold tight and not make any dramatic changes that will hurt them in the long run.
All in all, the key to any business leader now is Innovation. Get in close to your customers and understand those new problems and challenges they have in this new world that you’re well placed to solve.
In closing, Mr Odundo pinpointed that Businesses now more than ever need to avoid knee-jerk reactions and make smart decisions. They should also use data and numbers to drive decisions and, most importantly, avoid panicking.
“We are all in this together. Your friends and enemies, partners and competitors are all facing the same challenges as you. Keep your business positioned as best as you possibly can during these trying times, and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. And remember that your marketing can make a tremendous difference between success and failure,” he concluded.