During uncertainty businesses typically:
– Stop investing
– Make knee jerk decision
– Miss hidden opportunity
Explore 5 opportunities to create growth at this time:
Opportunity Number 1: Product Innovation
“Are we still selling the same products, in the same way and with the same pricing structure as two and a half years ago?”
Purchasing behaviours change; innovate products and packaging – this is cheaper than creating new ones.
Focus on product extensions during good times and product innovation during tougher trading conditions.
Opportunity Number 2: Channels to market (distribution)
If business revenue is dropping we know that our channels to market are:
– Not well enough established
– The wrong ones to move through this part of the business cycle
These businesses need to innovate channel strategies; fail to do this and you will miss future opportunities.
During good times the strategic focus is on channel extension and in bad times, channel development.
Opportunity Number 3: Functionality and Structure
We know of the need to evolve our products and distribution channels.
Functionality stop most businesses doing this.
During uncertainty, directors focus even more of their time on day to day firefighting; they do not have the capacity to create growth.
To combat this, we create a functional structure, this frees up time to focus on strategic activities.
Look at the wider market (macro) to create a stronger position as trading improves.
Opportunity Number 4: Capability
We have created new distribution channels and implemented a different infrastructure.
At this stage the business requires different skills to capitalise on the rising market.
The innovative business puts a focus on building the capability of their teams. I.E. the right people, with the right skills, doing the right jobs.
Opportunity Number 5: Succession Planning
In uncertainty companies put succession plans on hold and forget about staff planning; there is an assumption that staff won’t leave for fear of not getting another job.
In the next growth phase, these employees simply leave and business stalls. Time and resources is now spent on recruitment.
During tough trading, we should invest in staff development and culture. If we create loyalty now we will flourish when the good times come back.