This coronavirus situation is a challenge – but it’s also an opportunity. Indeed, it’s a land grab, a race! It’s time to get super busy and stake out new territory for yourself and your business. Play aggressive offense, not just defense. We can help.
We said in our last newsletter that “the impacts of social distancing and work-from-home are a hardship but also an opportunity.” The hardships are obvious. Many businesses cannot deliver their primary product or service. What are the opportunities and how do we find them?
Life goes on, but in different ways. Commerce goes on. Demand that dries up in one place pops up in another. For example:
- Restaurants are slow, but grocery stores are running at double and triple speed. Think about the trucks coming in and out with everything people need to live and work from home. Trucks are pulling in every hour in the back of these grocery stores. They get unloaded, the shelves get stocked, and they get emptied almost immediately. Think about the providers at the originating end of those goods and services, trying to keep up with this sudden surge in demand.
- Retailers are slow or closed, but companies that sell online are booming – including the online component for those same retailers! And we’re not just talking about Amazon, here. For example: my wife and I are involved in triathlon. Because the pools are closed, we’re going to swim in open water. She just ordered a wetsuit from a specialty retailer.
- Delivery services are up. In fact, Fedex, UPS and the USPS have experienced a renaissance over the last 20 years because of online marketing. Who would have imagined postal workers showing up at your house with packages on the weekend? Already booming, package delivery just got another huge boost.
Get creative, get aggressive
But how does this help you? My point in giving just a few obvious examples is to try to change your thinking. Now is the time to get creative and aggressive. I can’t say this emphatically enough (but I sure do try in the attached video!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMhr7_-fyiE
On the health front, we have to hunker down. As a business owner, marketing director, or division leader, you have to do the opposite. You can work from home and still be brilliant, start with a blank page, and get to work on making this an opportunity.
- what can you do to help your customers with the resources you have available?
- how can you redeploy your constituents – your direct employees, your customers and suppliers?
- how can you shift your business to these new realities? How can you put yourself on a “war footing?”
- what are the opportunities? Should you feel bad about “turning on a dime” and actually doing well in troubled times? I can tell you that Amazon doesn’t feel bad about its (yet another!) boom in business.
I am not in any way advocating immoral profiteering. What I am saying is that you can be an excellent capitalist, find the opportunities, help and please a lot of people, and increase your profits. Consider these noted business thinkers:
John Templeton, founder of the Templeton Funds, and widely considered one of the most ethical business people in recent generations, advocated “buying at the point of maximum pessimism.” (And although I’m not talking about stocks, or buying, the principle is the same – go on offense when others are on defense.)
Warren Buffet (I’m sure you know who he is), also considered squeaky clean as far as ethics go, said “be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” There’s a lot of fear right now, so get moving and earn some market share.
The most extreme language on this kind of thinking is attributed to Baron Rothschild of the British banking family. “The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets,” he is reported to have said. He made a fortune buying in the panic that followed the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon, according to an article by Daniel Myers of Investopedia, March 9, 2020. But that’s not the whole story, says Myers in the article. “The original quote is believed to be ‘Buy when there’s blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own.’ “