Authors: Ali Lajevardi and Christopher Sklad, BDC Advisory Services
“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” – Winston Churchill
It’s hard to think of a more relevant quote for today’s world than Winston Churchill’s famous words about finding opportunity in crisis.
Rapid disruption has turned society upside down during the pandemic. Some businesses have had to drastically revise their business models. Others are so swamped with orders they can barely keep up. Still others are struggling to survive.
Some have even experienced all of these conditions one after the other.
We at BDC have had the privilege of supporting business owners and seeing first-hand their perseverance and creativity. Those who have weathered the pandemic well and are finding opportunity often do two key things.
- Proactively review business strategies
These entrepreneurs are carefully updating their strategic planning. Instead of bobbing about on the seas of change, they proactively prioritize opportunities, then develop strategies and an action plan to achieve their goals. Good planning answers these questions:
- What should we focus on more?
- What should we stop doing?
- How can we align teams, partners and clients with expected changes?
Planning also involves studying new trends and opportunities, including changing consumption patterns, a highly informed customer base, distributed work environments, climate sustainability, and diversity and inclusion.
- Adopt innovative new business models
Entrepreneurs are also finding ways to build new technology-centric business models. In the age of Zoom and remote work, the big story of course is technology. Digitization has moved from the sidelines to the core of strategies and innovative business models.
We advise businesses to review how they use digital technology in three crucial areas:
- Customers: What systems can you use to make it easier for customers to do business with you?
- Employees: How can technology help you boost employee productivity and engagement and reduce wasted effort and resources?
- Data: How do you harness and protect business and client data?
The same kind of rethinking and repositioning is happening right now at organizations at every scale worldwide. To seize the opportunities in today’s changing landscape, it’s well worth doing the same thing in your business.
Ali Lajevardi is Regional Director of BDC Advisory Services in Ontario. Christopher Sklad is Senior Client Partner, BDC Advisory Services in Mississauga. See bdc.ca for free resources on strategic planning and business model innovation.