Many businesses will need to do a full assessment of their marketing efforts in the case of an adverse event (for example Lockdown due to Covid-19, or extended power losses due to Loadshedding). In many cases how we do business can be changed forever, or a market we are positioned for can be changed or lost. Here are 5 key questions to answer in your business to start to determine a way forward and develop a continuity plan during, and after these kinds of events. Many of the questions will not have a complete yes or no answer and it may serve you to work out a % answer (e.g. I can do 60% of the work I normally do, or 40% of my staff may be able to do their work from home)
1. How has this event affected how I can operate my business?
This question relates to the issue of your own internal operations, running as normal before the adverse event.
-Can I operate remotely, can my staff?
-Can I get necessary supplies? How are my suppliers businesses doing?
-Can I still deliver goods and services to my customers/clients?
-What work can I still do (what % of your normal costs/revenue is this)?
-What is the minimum level that I can operate on?
-What will “normal” working conditions be like after the adverse event? What additional or different requirements may be in place and how will this affect efficiency and costs?
2. How has this event affected how my customers/clients do business with mine?
-Can my clients still operate or to what extent can they still operate?
-What issues will they have running their own business?
-Would they still need/demand my current services during and post an event like Lockdown and to what extent may this have changed? What new dynamics within their business will we have to take into account?
3. Will my current target market/customer base still be able to fulfil my business needs during and post an event like Lockdown?
-What % of my normal business levels/targets will my current target customer base be able to fulfil? Is it sustainable?
-How long until I can regain the “business as usual” status with customers I had before the event, if ever?
-What key changes may need to be made in how I operate to adequately service these existing clients and how much will these cost? Will my business model still be profitable?
4. What new opportunities will be presented by the changes due to the adverse event?
-What permanent changes in behaviour and the way people do business, or even structurally and in legislation will be effected by the adverse event?
-How far reaching are these changes –local, national, regional, and internationally? How do the changes manifest in different areas?
-What new needs/requirements are being created that I can take advantage of with:
-my current offering
-my business skill sets/experience
-my business assets (equipment, people, processes, location, etc.)
-my target market
5. What changes am I prepared to make to my business to survive and grow during and after an event like Lockdown?
Depending on your own situation, you may need or wish to engage in all three of the options below, they are not mutually exclusive, but will each require their own resources, so we recommend you determine exactly which share of your future business each option represents and apply resources appropriately.
–Seek different or additional target markets with my current offerings? (only works if your current offerings would be in demand or if you can find new markets unaffected by an event like Lockdown)
–Seek to service my existing target market with additional or adjusted offerings, related or unrelated to my existing offering. (and to what extent would this cover the shortfall in current business –remember if your customers can’t afford your offering during an event like lockdown, the chances that they can afford additional offerings are slim, unless the additional offer is a critical offer/item during an event like Lockdown). How will this affect my profitability? What changes and investment need to be made to introduce new offerings.
–Seek to develop a new offering to a new target market (i.e. start a new business). What transferrable skills and advantages do we have that will be useful in a new opportunity presented by the adverse event? How quickly and easily can we access and break into a new market with a new offering?
Thank you! I apologize that there were slightly more than 5 questions here! We hope that going through the process of answering these questions has led you through some important considerations for your business and that you can start to see a way through and past this current, and future adverse events. If you would like to delve into this process in more depth, please don’t hesitate to set up a chat with me:
Some additional useful links: