As we shift from ‘survive to thrive’ many businesses are telling us that they’ve stopped looking backwards – it’s time to stride forwards and start being a business again.
That means making money and thinking of smarter ways to boost revenue and get cash flow moving in a more favourable direction.
What is evident as we enter into a new era is that things aren’t going to be the same, but there are opportunities out there.
| What’s going to work in the new world?
If we are going to conduct business in this new world, then the feedback we’re receiving is that businesses have to pivot resources to take advantage of new opportunities. This will happen by asking what options you have, what immediate challenges you face and, most importantly, how are you equipped to meet them?
At the most basic customer-facing level, we’ve all seen the takeaway queues around New Zealand. Some outlets have been clever about managing queues and managing expectations; staggering orders to reduce delays and ensure stocks don’t run low, providing (through safe social distancing) menus further down the queue to get the customer quicker through the ordering process and so on. One Auckland burger joint is taking telephone orders – something they haven’t done since 2015.
A post-COVID-19 business model can focus on reinventing not just yourselves, but the relationships you have with suppliers, vendors and customers. This might be through generating selling ideas you haven’t tried before, novel partnership-linking and using the COVID-19 experience to create smarter ways of working, ingrained resilience and more confident decision-making.
| Now’s not the time to beat yourself up
One SME owner recently said that surviving COVID-19 would be their ‘proudest business achievement’, and the NZ Herald reported this week: ‘Right now we have a chance to build a better New Zealand – this moment will not last and it must be used wisely.
This is the message to politicians and business leaders from Rebecca Mills, co-ordinating author of a new discussion paper, Build Back Better Framework, which provides a process for rebuilding New Zealand after Covid-19…’
Obviously we've had some economic stimulus which is good and right and proper as an emergency response to some of the smaller companies,’ she says.
| Build a better business ecosystem?
‘Build Back Better: A Non-Partisan Covid-19 Recovery Framework. From Recovery to Resilience’ argues that the ‘recovery decisions we make now may shape our society for many years to come.’
In the free download, Mills, founder of The Lever Room, begins by asking five key questions, ranging from how to best fund recovery, to how do we best minimise sector vulnerabilities and create resilient communities, and how can we best prepare our leaders for the future?
The paper then goes on to outline eight actionable projects, including governance and preparing for the future before it arrives and developing an impact economy ecosystem. It’s a fascinating read with an ‘intention to create a practical resource for those currently investing resources with the shared goal of building back better.’
Check out our dedicated resource for businesses impacted by COVID-19. It’s full of useful information and resources, support and offerings, funding opportunities and partnership and coaching details.
For more business ownership and leadership advice, check out more of our blogs.