Time pressure is something all business leaders experience. Pressures of the day job eat into the time available for more important issues, like strategy, thinking about where you want to take your business, building team skills to boost long-term competitiveness, or developing smarter and more efficient ways to work.
Well, we may not have asked for it, but many of us now have time on our hands - or will once the immediate steps to ensure survival are in place. How will we all use it?
As the old saying goes: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Difficult times pass and the businesses that emerge strongest will be the ones that are best able to adapt.
But remember this: things will never go back to exactly the way they were before Covid-19. Your market place will be different.
No Going Back?
Having proved that it’s possible to be productive working remotely and flexibly, are we really going to subject our teams to long commutes and rigid working hours? Only time will tell. Once we are used to collaborating with clients remotely and using virtual teams, why would we change?
We don’t know how long travel and social contact restrictions will last. But at some point contracts will still have to be tendered. How will this work when social isolation means you can’t physically get bid teams together? Will the quality and relevance of written tender submissions and supporting evidence become even more significant?
Build for a Stronger Future
The upturn in economic activity will come at some point and may well be rapid. What will you be doing in the meantime to build a positive image of your brand and your business that will place you in a stronger position to win future work?
This isn’t a good time for your business to go into its shell. Unless you are selling something highly relevant that will help people in the current crisis you certainly don’t want to be overtly selling. But you can still be visible, supportive and maybe helping your clients and prospects to plan for ‘the new normal.’
You can’t meet prospects or potential supply chain partners in person but you can connect and communicate through LinkedIn (which was possibly something else you always intended to get around to) or through webinars and platforms like Zoom. You can publish blogs and be active on Twitter (as long as you block the bots, trolls and idiots).
Communication, with your team, clients and suppliers, is vital at times like these when there is so much uncertainty around. I’ll be saying more about this in a future article.
Situations are situations. How they affect you in the longer term is often a case of the story you tell yourself - and whether you are open to seeing the opportunities.
I have many years of senior sales and account management positions.
This experience taught me how to interpret exactly what clients are seeking, and what they need and expect to see and hear from the successful bidder. We draw on this experience to give your team an additional competitive advantage by building on their existing strengths while improving their team-working and self-awareness.