To quote the famous philosopher, Jon Bon Jovi, “Woah, we’re halfway there,” or at least somewhere either side of it as we see some Government restrictions lift and a growing positivity towards a path back to ‘normal’. Well, most likely a new normal, which might even be better than the one of a couple months back.
So given our Bon Jovi position, I’d suggest doing a check-in, both personally and in a business sense, to be in the best position possible as ‘this’ unfolds.
Although this is meant to be a business focussed article, I feel making our personal well-being a priority also makes for better business outcomes, on a wider scale. So, heads up, I might get a bit airy fairy here. Hang in there. You’d only be watching Netflix anyway… by the way After Life and Ozark are really good.
Firstly, everything written here is done with respect to those that have lost their lives and businesses in this crisis. We may sometimes forget that. Although we have experienced some of these tragedies, in the scheme of things, locally we have been extremely fortunate.
I am going to endeavour to take a gradual and considered path back, to try and ensure the team aren’t negatively impacted and we hang on to as much of the ‘new’ good as possible along the way.
It might be you cook more now which could be healthier and saving money, extra time with pets that have kept you grounded, connecting with your family in a different way, getting out in the veggie garden you started because you thought the world might end, doing jobs around the house that you were avoiding or perhaps even just breathing and being still.
This window will slowly close, which is good in many ways as we help businesses and lives rebuild, but it is crucial we learn and grow as humans from it. Brené Brown/Anthony Robbins bit over.
No doubt everyone reading this (hopefully someone is reading this) is involved in a business that is having varied degrees of success at this time. People smarter than me will soon tell us the true toll on the Hunter economy. Being a glass-half-full guy, I think we are at a point we can ‘make lemonade’, if you haven’t already been doing so. Like the personal path, we have a window now to make some adjustments to gain long-term benefits for our businesses and the region before all the noise starts again.
If you are fortunate to have a solid base to build off and some available funds, go for it.
Firstly, start with revisiting your business vision and purpose. With all you’ve recently experienced and learnt, does it all still align?
Then on to more tangible aspects of getting your house in order. Do an audit of your marketing collateral, is it cohesive and truly represent who you are? Is your website functioning properly and giving the best user experience?
If your answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions seek professional advice. There are lots of skilled operators in our region who can assist.
Going forward, your 24/7 online brand and offering will be paramount. Think of ways to raise awareness of your services. If you’ve been a bit subdued now is the time to strategically raise your brand profile.
Obviously, all of this will come at a cost, but any level of investment now will save the need to play catch-ups later.
I am confident as a region we can and will bounce back. However, we need to hone and promote our offerings around innovation, creativity and manufacturing. Plus showcase our natural assets and strategic geographic advantages we have. It will not be easy by any means, from personal to small business to the region, now is the time to act. We can do this together.
*Please note the words “pivot”, “unprecedented” and “zoom” were intentionally not used in this article, ‘til now. Sorry.
This article first appeared in the Hunter Business Review, May 2020.