Has it felt like a roller coaster to you these past two months?
Every day there is a myriad of updates on what you can and can’t do.
It’s all critical information, but the real purpose of your business goes far beyond this crazy back and forth.
Your company’s main purpose is to fill market needs and make your clients’ lives easier…all while protecting your employees and building your company to provide better opportunities for their growth.
But what’s the best way to grow forward during these busy times?
It may seem chaotic, but it boils down to two choices:
- Doing a better job servicing your clients and competing with everyone for the same business, or
- Creating new products and services to attract new and better clients.
Ironically, you need to be good at both of these.
Here are some examples:
Competing Leads To Innovation
A few weeks back for my podcast I was conversing with Bob Grover, President of Pacific Landscape Management in Oregon. He shared with me that during the crash of 2008, some/many of his commercial clients wanted him to do the same level of service for less money.
They were in a bind and they needed help, it was up to him to figure out how to provide the same or similar level of service in a more efficient manner.
But in 2008 he missed this ‘opportunity’ i.e. he didn’t read the writing on the wall, and he subsequently lost more business than need be. This time around he is embracing the innovative challenge of figuring this out now in real-time.
He is much more financially prepared this time around having paid down his debt, and he plans to lead his clients through this mess as best he can.
By embracing this challenge, he is forcing his company to become more innovative and build a stronger more efficient company.
How about you? What competitive challenge are you asking your company to step up to?
But wait, there is more to growth…
You also need to be good at recognizing and creating brand-new products, services, and opportunities.
Gardens of Babylon in Nashville, Tennessee has done an excellent job of pivoting their garden center and putting it online, which has allowed them to keep serving their clients and to keep growing their business. They got hit by a tornado this winter and then by the pandemic, and yet they have survived and grown by shifting how they go to market.
Their company growth has been non-stop, driven by their willingness to experiment and try new things. I have worked with the owners, Matt and Marcus Kerske, for a while and I am astounded and pleased how they implement many changes quickly, such as:
- restructuring their leadership team
- revamping their overhead with the use of freelancing
- flipping their sales processes on its head
- and now, putting their garden center online
In private talks, they have told me that they see this online strategy as a seed for creating their new normal (stay tuned to learn what that is…).
The Reactive And Proactive Muscles
To thrive in 2020 and beyond, you will have to exercise both muscles:
- Reactively doing a better job shifting to client needs and competitive pressures, and
- Proactively developing new markets and methods to grow your business.
In these crazy times, your challenge is to take enough free time away from the day to day, so you can reflect clearly on how well you are doing, and where you need to pivot or reinvent your services.
If I polled all of your clients, what score would you get from 0-10 for reacting to their needs and maintaining positive relationships with them?
If I polled all of your top leaders, what score would you get from 0-10 for proactively and quickly developing new products, markets, and business approaches?
Ask your team to answer both of these questions, and then take the initiative to plan your next move.
Andy Grove, the past CEO of Intel wrote a book around his belief that Only The Paranoid Survive. I would update that to Only The Innovative Will Thrive.