How your entrepreneur mindset will guide you to adapt to marketplace changes and stand out during tough times
When you started your company, you probably saw a problem that needed to be solved and felt like you were the one to solve it. Whether it was building a better mousetrap or simply identifying time and opportunity, like every entrepreneur, you had every belief that you would go into business to succeed.
Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Perhaps that is what gave you the courage to step off of what was safe and normal and take the plunge to pursue building your company.
Whatever the reason, perhaps a few months or a few years down the road, those rose-colored glasses came off and you were hit with a stroke of reality! For new entrepreneurs, you are suddenly inundated with more work and responsibilities than you probably ever imagined. For more seasoned entrepreneurs – you’ve been around the block a few times, you know the rules, so you are prepared.
However…and there is always a however…both entrepreneurs are back to stage one when the pandemic hit and everything changed. Whether you are in traditional retail, restaurants, service business, construction, real estate…every industry has been impacted in one way or another.
What do you do now??
The key is to go back to what got you here in the first place: the mindset of finding an opportunity and filling it. Just because your clients and customers aren’t doing things the way that they used to doesn’t mean that they don’t have needs. An easy example would be the grocery stores.
Many, if not most grocery stores quickly realized that their customers still needed some place(s) to shop…that the demand for food would not change and would likely increase since people would be home all day and restaurants wouldn’t be an option. As a result, according to an article on CNBC, many began offering curbside pickup, delivery, check-out free and contactless technology to consumers.
According to an article in Yahoo! news, virtual and augmented reality and other technological advances are expected to drive growth globally in the medical simulation market by 14.6% CAGR by 2027.
What about your company? What can you do now that everything has changed?
You started your business as an entrepreneur. It is time to put that hat back on and develop new solutions. This is a season of innovation. This is a season of adaptation. This is the time to find a different way under, over, around or through the mountain.
As we get back to basics, so to speak, consider – as a starting point – the following:
1) What do your customers need?
By continuing to stay in communication with your customers, you can likely get a feel for how they are feeling and get a better understanding of what their new needs are. This might have meant changing your in-person meetings to virtual meetings or changing from simply being a cleaning service to helping your clients keep their homes more sanitary and COVID-19 free.
2) What capabilities do you and your team have that may not be being leveraged?
You might be surprised to see where your team might be able to plug in. Some restaurants were able to recruit servers to becoming delivery drivers so that they could continue to serve their customers. People still need to eat, right?
3) What secondary or tertiary markets may have needs that your company has not addressed?
If you are in real estate, for example, other realtors may need assistance in staging homes or creating virtual walkthroughs so that they could continue to sell properties. So, while your main business may have slowed down, you may have created another stream of income from those who may have been your competitors.
4) What will it take to develop and launch a new product offering?
It will depend on the offering. The key, however, is to be able to stay agile, because the market and market requirements will continue to change. Sure – some things will likely be here for quite some time, such as delivery services and virtual meetings. But restaurants, barber shops, beauty salons are going to need to return to providing an excellent customer experience for people. They are more than food and hair; the experience is always intertwined with the end product.
5) Understand that in situations like this – your company may be in survival mode.
The primary goal is to stay in business. This doesn’t mean that you would throw out your company’s values, but it does mean that you may need to do things a bit differently for a while in order to do what is necessary to stay in business. You may need to veer off of the path toward your vision for some time, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot get back on track to get there.
Tapping into your entrepreneurial mindset is going to be critical in order for your company to continue in this rapidly evolving environment. The businesses that can become or remain agile are those that are going to have a distinct advantage over those who cannot, are slow to or refuse to adapt. Keep in mind that the business landscape and marketplace will always be in some state of change. It just happens to be much, much faster this time around.
Business Catalyst Masterclass
To give back to the small business community, we have developed the Business Catalyst Program to help you retrench, move your company forward, and bridge the gap from where you are today to where you want to go.
We still have a few spots left for the catalyst program. Register through this link, then once we review your application, we’ll let you know if your business qualifies for it.