Power of Positive Planning
Three Strategies to Re-Focus on Growth by Nicole Sahin, Founder and CEO, Globalization Partners
When new challenges stand in the way of progress, businesses that are already strong will continue to find new and innovative ways to get stronger. In the same way, leaders with a clear vision often find a renewed sense of purpose to work through adversity to build a better and more unified team.
But, in any unfamiliar situation, we all need ideas, options and thought provoking starting points to help move forward. While some businesses are using this time to consider new international opportunities, others are refreshing and optimising their processes to build a competitive advantage and improve customer relationships. Here are some ideas to incorporate into your strategy:
- Consider new opportunities
Despite the challenges and stress caused by the pandemic, there has also been an outpouring of positive community spirit, energetic business agility and a willingness to explore new opportunities. Where one market may be slowing down (or completely coming to a halt for the time being), another may be emerging from a downturn. Business leaders should be looking to consider diversification, either as a short term stop-gap, or as a potential permanent shift in strategy.
This includes looking at new international opportunities. From a business perspective, market diversification can be one of the keys to operational stability, especially in times of adversity. When doing so, it’s sensible to begin with small, manageable steps — perhaps by experimenting with a few sales team members in a new geography at first. The benefit of starting with a few key people is that the business can quickly learn how to communicate and interact with different cultures, helping to create a sense of unity and dedication.
- Prepare for an economic rebound
For those currently experiencing a market downturn, it’s also really important to prepare for a market rebound. For some businesses, that could mean adding an engineering team to accelerate the next product feature build, or it may mean letting internal specialists focus on developing a new marketing campaign with a future launch date. Those businesses that are able to build a competitive edge now will be in a great position to stay ahead of their competitors in the future.
When lockdown eases, confidence returns and a rebound begins to arrive, it will bring with it an intense period of activity and businesses won’t then have the chance to sit back, identify gaps, and fill in what’s missing. Take advantage of the opportunity that exists now to build ahead of the curve as much as possible.
- Build positivity and goodwill
When your team becomes remote and distributed overnight, all of a sudden, every person is an island. It’s a situation that has forced everyone to communicate in a different and often unfamiliar way. While business leaders will be concerned about keeping up morale during the short term, it’s also useful to think about this forced separation as an exercise in learning and development.
For instance, what can leaders and management learn from their teams while all facing this situation together? Are the current changes in communication offering any lessons you can take back to the office when regular business operations resume? Besides being useful for your team and your partners, thinking hard about how your business communicates could offer a boost to long-term productivity and effectiveness. And don’t forget, everyone will remember how they were treated in times of crisis, and this is a great time to be an even better organisation for your clients, employees and business partners. Give extra, wherever you can.
Any leader that comes out of this situation with a clearer understanding about their business, people and processes will be all the better for it. The end result will make your business stronger as we start to move forward with getting back to normal operations.