In moments of crisis, market shifts, and unpredicted change, stated bluntly: businesses who do not pivot will perish. But, not all hope is lost; many businesses withstand, and even benefit from, intense shifts, driving forward transformation and innovation out of necessity. In fact, several juggernaut businesses (Disney, Uber, and IBM, to name a few) were created during times of financial recession. Through a combination of macro actions (scenario-planning, identifying and planning for potential outcomes) and micro actions (from budget assessment to shifting roles and responsibilities of your staff to support changes to your strategy) businesses can craft a future-proofed business model and a viable roadmap to success in current times and future.
Our world is shifting toward a digital, on-demand world, heightened and accelerated by stay-at-home orders from COVID-19. Legacy brick and mortar industries have been forced to think digitally and find synergies with new platforms and invest in emergent technologies.
The landscape of academia, historically dominated by green quads, towering buildings, and a high-touch in-person environment are quickly in need of adapting to an online world. Not only are universities tasked with finding ways to translate brand equities to an online or hybrid system,but also how to continue to reinforce their value proposition–and tuition rates–when the full on-campus experience is not available to their students.
Foodservice and hospitality establishments have likely experienced the impact of this massive shift the most, where temporary shutdowns have forced table turns and occupancy rates to zero. Tactically speaking, now is the time to analyze which platforms can you invest in or partner with to optimize your business and deliver (literally) what your customers need most and how they want it.
Layoffs and furloughs are harsh realities of any massive market shift, so taking the time to thoughtfully develop contingency and staffing utilization plans is crucial. Take stock of the side projects that get deprioritized and pushed off during normal times. Understand which of these can finally be tackled — which will add future value and provide meaningful employment to those who may otherwise have temporarily obsolete roles.
Walking through worst-case scenarios (or living through them), no matter how close-in or outlandish, can unlock future-proofing strategies. This predictive thinking can lead to breakthrough innovations that insulate businesses from future disruptions. Consider new category entries that make sense for your brand, ways to diversify your brand’s portfolio, and new products or services to meet emerging, unmet needs.
Necessity is often known as the mother of invention, but it’s also mother to optimization. Whittling down to top performing SKUs and service lines allow you to streamline your offerings and manage production during tough times. It also opens up opportunities to reevaluate a seasonal or LTO strategy to introduce and/or reintroduce deprioritized offerings. Restaurants, from independent to QSR chain alike are thinking through reopening plans and how to support a dine-in environment with continued precautions and adaptations to social distancing and new service models–from table placement, reworking “touchless” touchpoints, and overhauling preparation and sanitation guidelines for both staff and guests.
If your business is in need of a transformation strategy, consider these project bundles, our own version of micro-offerings. These sprint-sized initiatives are built to be agile and nimble, delivering immediate, actionable results for your business.