It is often, incorrectly, said that in China, the word for “crisis” and the word for “opportunity” are one and the same. Now, leave aside that this “fact”, attributed to John F. Kennedy, doesn’t mention which of the various Chinese languages this refers to. Leave aside the fact that it’s not true in any case. The truth is that in times of crisis, there is inevitably going to be a great deal of change. And where there is change, there is opportunity. So it doesn’t need to be dressed up as some linguistic coincidence – it’s simply the case that opportunity can arise out of crisis.
No-one can deny that this year has been one of great turmoil. To some extent, every country on Earth has been touched by the pandemic. It’s been a testing time for businesses, who have had to change their working practices to deal with the crisis. Right now, just getting through 2020 has to be the first priority. That said, if you are running a business there may be some silver linings to the cloud we are living under right now. Below, we’ll see a few examples.
Decisive action now can set you up for progress later
If you are staying on top of your books and ensuring that bills are paid and arrangements made, then you should be able to make it through this crisis and still have a business. Not everyone will be so lucky. While it’s worth being patient with other businesses that owe you money, it’s also important to know your rights. Quick pop quiz: what are the benefits after filing a UCC 1 form? If you don’t know, make it your business to learn – bigger businesses, with more resources than yours, will know and will be making their arrangements, so don’t get elbowed out of the way by them.
Visibility is more valuable than ever
In times of concern, local businesses can be remembered for the right reasons and the wrong ones. If you’re in a position to furlough some staff and avoid job losses, you should do so; using this time as an excuse to let employees go would not be easily forgiven nor forgotten. On the other hand, efforts you make now to help your community through these tough times will be remembered decades into the future. Sponsoring a fundraising event for the community, or providing needed resources as a gift, will gain you more positive publicity than any marketing campaign ever could.
Embrace the future, even if it has come early
In 2020, people have rapidly progressed through a learning curve that would usually take several months. Figuring out how to meet and work remotely was essential earlier this year, and so a modus operandi that was going to become more common anyway was accelerated. You’re not expected to be doing “business as usual” right now, so take the chance to change how you do things; as things return to normal, you’ll be ahead of the curve with ways to attract more customers and you’ll have acclimatized to the “new normal” in a way that some of your competitors won’t.
2020 has taken a shape that none of us would have chosen, but the future will be governed by how we react to it. If you take the chance to build now, you can bounce back better and reap the benefits for your business.