Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed the businesses and livelihoods of millions of SME’s and even big corporates all over the world.
It has destroyed the hopes and dreams of many business owners for 2020 and as we come to grips with the year that was, but what can we expect of the future and even just of 2021?
In unpacking this pandemic and the impact there of on our businesses, we begin to understand that life as we knew it has changed forever.
Looking into the rearview mirror we get to understand how this pandemic has changed the world, our country and our communities forever.
One of the changes we see is that consumers and our communities at large are expecting different things from business.
It’s no longer just the free-market economy and its drive towards wealth creation that is at play here, its also how we address and speak to issues like training, immigration and automation and how that affects our employees and our communities.
As stated in one of the latest McKinsey Insights reports on this issue “… the business ecosystem is evolving; those who resist will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage”.
To understand this change we need to find answers to questions like:
- What are the implications for business under COVID-19?
- When will the pandemic end?
- How has B2B business changed in the COVID-19 era?
So, what will 2021 bring?
We can make all sorts of assumptions and we should certainly look at different scenarios for our economy and business growth. I would like to suggest that we take a positive outlook and work on developing our “HOPE for 2021!”
Yes, if we look at the Pandemic of Hope, what does that bring for 2021?
In this case hope could be built on what we expect to Harvest, new Opportunities we identified, identifying the areas that our Profits will come from and lastly deliver with service Excellence.
Unpacking our HOPE for 2021 and beyond
Let’s first look at Harvesting
What would you harvest if you didn’t plant anything in 2020?
We know that after winter, we get spring and it becomes a time to plant and to ensure we have put enough seed in the ground for a bumper harvest.
Most businesses had to go the extra mile to ensure that they bring not only new customers onboard but also that they keep the existing ones.
With the economy now starting to look like its picking up, under our current lock-down levels – are we ready for it?
Yes, the size of the economic cake has decreased but if we have done our planting correctly, there should just be a better return on that investment in 2021.
What are the Opportunities for you and your business in 2021?
It is firstly going to depend on you and your mindset about the state of the current economy and what is happening in our communities, our country and our businesses.
What we believe is important, because we know that Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you are right.”
Let’s develop a positive mindset and take ownership of our businesses so that we can ensure we deliver the results in our business and our lives that we dreamed about when we started it.
I believe that as leaders we have no choice but to strive for Extreme Ownership. Ownership that Jocko Willink and Leif Babin describe as follows:
“Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.”
They also state that “Once people stop making excuses, stop blaming others, and take ownership of everything in their lives, they are compelled to take action to solve their problems.”
However, the way this is still described in a way that is distant from us.
I would like to believe we need to describe this as follows: “Once I stop making excuses, I stop blaming others, and I take ownership of everything in my life, I am compelled to take action to solve my problems.”
That’s our opportunity, we must do it as leaders, as business owners!
So how do we stand to Profit in 2021?
There are several ways and perhaps the first is that we have a business that has survived and now we are developing a plan and implementing a growth strategy.
As strategy that will make the business more resilient and that will ensure our teams are fully committed and inspired in growing the business and helping us build our dream.
Let’s be clear we need to develop and run a business that is profitable and that has the cash flow to pay the bills and the costs of running it. Our current finances are extremely important and must ensure we have predictable cash flow, but live is more than money.
How do we get back to a life worth living?
How do we ensure that we don’t burn out before we have completed the race?
As business owners we must also take care of ourselves and our capacity to earn in the future.
Excellence could be the differentiator!
How can we stand out as business from the rest of the pack?
What is our niche and why would customers come back and make us their number one supplier of choice?
I believe the answer lies in service excellence! Service that everybody talks about and brings us raving fans and customers that cannot stop talking about us!
Service excellence is our ability to consistently meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.
It’s also a known fact that 72% of customers will share a great experience with 6 or more people. With referral marketing, this is an immensely important number as 74% of consumers consider word-of-mouth a key influencer in their purchase decisions.
How would you WOW your customers?
I believe we have HOPE. We can Harvest what we have planted in 2020.
If we apply our minds, we will identify many opportunities that we will profit from in our business and our life.
Lastly, I believe that Service Excellence in everything we do will massively impact our business results.
Should you wish to connect and discuss the above, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Yours in great business,