One of the important lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has taught many business owners is that business agility is a key component to running a successful business. Business owners are challenged more now than ever to consider the obvious and not-so-obvious factors that could impact their operations. Even before the pandemic, I worked with many of my clients to discuss ways of making their businesses more agile, but with our changing economy, reviewing and rethinking business models has moved to the forefront.
I’ve outlined below my top three tips to help you rethink your business and ensure your business continuity, competitiveness and success.
Challenge the Status Quo
Innovation is a game changer when it comes to identifying new opportunities for growth. Conducting competitor research and talking to key stakeholders can provide good insight into your industry, but I encourage you to go further. Take initiative to explore beyond what is already occurring in your industry. I encourage you as a business owner to step up and be the leaders you are. Right now, remaining completely unchanged in your business operations is not an option if you are to survive and thrive in this “new world”.
In business, making informed decisions is paramount. Before considering your options for changing your business model, take some time to do a little investigative work to find out what is happening in your industry in Canada, and also around the globe. Factors that influence the success of your business can extend far beyond your immediate surroundings as we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself during your investigation:
- Have your customers expressed a want or need for change?
- Have your competitors changed their business models? If so, how?
- Are you able to respond to changing demands?
- Will your products or services remain the same or will you diversify them?
- How are you monitoring and evaluating risks?
- What capabilities are needed to support this new business model?
Implementing a new business model doesn’t happen overnight, nor should it be done on a whim. I encourage you to bring the conversation of business agility to the forefront of your annual strategic planning sessions with your team. By discussing possible new business models with your team, you’ll be sure to get the valuable feedback and other opinions that will help guide your decision. When you think you have a new or enhanced business model that makes sense, I encourage you to pitch it to your key customers to help you determine the potential success of your new business model, or whether you need to make further changes.
To stay relevant for your customers and the changing times, you’ll need to consider making changes to your business, even for the successful business that’s been running the same way for 30 years. I’ve been working with business owners for almost 40 years and never have I seen a greater need than right now for business owners to take the time to consider how to make your business more agile. This includes considering new models for how to operate your business.