How to Adapt Your Business in a Global Pandemic
Your psychological response to situations dictates how successful you are in business. During the pandemic there have been winners and losers in business. Those businesses that have enjoyed success despite the challenging work landscape will often have one thing in common. It is their flexibility and ability to adapt to the changing and difficult market conditions.
Being a CEO or business owner can be isolating. However, an emotional reaction to unstable conditions in business can be unhelpful to growth. When a crisis hits, as leaders we must ensure our team and customers are safe and shielded from the worst. There is a tendency to blame something or someone for our failures or shortcomings. This is unhelpful and will stunt a business or individuals growth, instead we must take responsibility for our actions and emotions. We have to adapt and diversify if necessary to keep moving forward. There is also a level of acceptance needed that the world has changed and we are unlikely to return to the old ways. We must think of ways our businesses can fit into this new way of working. Adjust our mindsets.
Use this new world to find new opportunities. Humans don’t like change. We aren’t wired for it. At the beginning of time our physiology meant we were hypersensitive to risks. The threat of danger could mean death. Finding a safe environment was paramount to our survival. Changing our patterns of behaviour meant we were more at risk from predators. The world is now changing and evolving at such a fast pace that many of us struggle to keep up with it. It is important to understand this about ourselves. It doesn’t mean we cannot challenge these behaviours. We must remember that the majority of us have food, shelter, family and are safe. We must remember that we are more able to take calculated risks without catastrophic consequences. This is so important in business. Standing still means you remain static and you do not grow or develop.
Our negative behaviours in business are often borne out of fear. We must identify limiting emotions like fear. Question it and find the ability to rationalise it. What is the fear, where does it come from? Fear limits us, cuts down our timeframes and options. Recognise that strong emotions can distract us from our end goal. Take a step back and don’t make panic led decisions based on fear.
Let us use the retail industry as an example. One of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic. Those that immediately poured time and finance into upping their e-commerce offering and online presence were successful. They made their service easy for people to use. They were visible to their customer base. They pivoted and created a successful online experience. Many of these retailers have accepted that the industry has changed and been forced to move in a different direction. Their core values remain the same, they are still putting the customer at the heart of their business.
Focus on you and your business. Social media is a fantastic marketing tool but it is important not to be drawn into the successes of others. Those successes can often be magnified on social media and transparency is a problem. In times of change staying focused is key. Comparing your business to others can also halt growth.
Strive for a balanced mindset with your business. Be optimistic but realistic for the future. There will always be challenges, but how we deal with those curveballs will define our success.
Remember; failing to learn, is learning to fail.