Ever notice how the greatest sportspeople always seem to be in the right place? Whether it’s returning a 120 mph-plus serve at Wimbledon, receiving a 40-meter cross-field punt to score at Twickenham, or heading in the ball from the far post at Wembley, the best are there. Consistently.
Why? Because they keep moving their feet.
They’re not watching where they are, or where the ball has gone. They have been coached to watch where the ball will be and they’ve worked out how to get there.
They keep moving around to get into position, always trying to create an opportunity. The successful ones actively anticipate where they need to go, because that’s where the next play will be.
It’s the same for business. Now more than ever.
That’s because businesses need to market their way out of this economic pandemic. And business owners need to be looking at where the game is going and get there fast.
I’ve been saying for months that once you have prepared your business to survive, ‘pivot’ is the next strategy. Over the previous months, a lot of my coaching clients launched their pivot strategies – whether it was changing their delivery and distribution model, expanding their market place, re-purposing and re-training their teams or developing new services and pricing models to help solve their customers’ new challenges, they’ve all moved their feet.
So here are just a few thoughts that will help you establish where the next play will be, and how to get yourself there:
- Help. How can you help others selflessly? Give value away to help people – free trials, free consultations, free advice, free product to frontline workers etc. People will give you valuable feedback as a result. Feedback that will help you work out where the next play will occur.
- Communicate. How are you going to market your way out of this? For example, paid ads are becoming really, really cheap. And more people are online than ever so the ROI of paid ads post COVID-19 is increasing. Offer a range of messages, review their performance and use this information to pivot your business.
- Assess. What does the market need and how can you offer it? For example, educational courses will be in large demand right now as many people will be looking to improve / change their careers as we come out of this, and whilst they have time on their hands, they’ll be looking to upskill where they can.
- Listen. Ask your clients and your team what they are thinking and what they need. Use social listening to monitor online conversations relevant to your brand. Interpret what people are saying and work out how to pivot your business to deliver it.
- Anticipate. Change means you will need to assess and anticipate operational impacts – for example, capacity, delivery, pricing, service enquiries etc. Ensure you don’t over-promise just to win new customers – set and deliver on realistic expectations.
- Adapt. Especially the marketing plan – ramp up your digital delivery, get really good at optimising communication channels – zoom, text, video, WhatsApp etc. It’s not only marketing – look at all parts of your business: cash flow pricing, product etc.
- Knowledge. Improve your team’s knowledge. Invest in preparing them for the new normal so they keep moving their feet.
We have also pivoted our business. We’re offering 30-minute brainstorming sessions for free with business owners. Because that’s where the next play will be. The more businesses we help survive the faster all our lives will get back to the new normal.
So I’d offer this up – don’t spend too much time just observing what’s going on around you. Instead, keep moving your feet. See where the ball is going, and produce the activity necessary to get there before the ball does.
Innovate consistently and you’ll do more than survive, you’ll thrive.