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Re-invent, hibernate, or close

In this article, Nancy looks at businesses that are in 'hibernation' mode and slowly working on improving their business model as restrictions ease.

I walked past a local massage therapist earlier this week and noticed that they converted their space from a row of massage chairs to a shopfront selling, hand sanitiser, massage equipment and oils. It looked rough and ready, but they had a healthy number of paying customers. Similarly, local coffee shops and restaurants are selling gourmet goods and giftware to add to their take-away menus. These are some of the many examples of business owners adapting to the market, determined to survive or even thrive.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industries CEO (Paul Guerra) commented to its members via webinar, that the choice for business owners who have experienced a significant downturn in revenue due to Covid19, is to either re-invent themselves, hibernate or make the difficult decision to close.

Businesses who have successfully re-invented themselves or adapted to the changes to the market (e.g. distilleries making hand sanitiser) have been praised and presented as lessons for other entrepreneurs on how to do the same. The option of hibernation is an interesting one. Qantas is effectively hibernating stating they can ‘…weather the storm for a year’ and at the same time working hard to maintain their fleet and look for efficiencies.

For small businesses who can afford to hibernate, this can be a time to have a well-earned break or pursue personal interests.  Alternatively, business owners can use this time to step back and work on their business.  It is an ideal time to make changes and develop, refresh product /services or look at process improvements and efficiencies that have been on the back burner due to being too busy.  Business owners and leaders can also take advantage of the time to expand their knowledge by completing online learning, listening to podcasts or catching up on business reading.  This is still re-invention! It’s a slower, considered approach, preparing for and anticipating the changes in the long term.

Here are some tips on using this time to make changes and innovate within your business:

We are seeing many examples of businesses working to make the most of this time and environment and hope they come out of hibernation to be bigger and better than before.

References

Deakin University Webinar series – Leading Strategic Innovation

Adapting your business in a pandemic Webinar – Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industries March 2020

Australian Aviation news

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