Edition 227 – Uplifting
I’ve been saying since COVID 19 changed our lives way back in mid March that I’m incredibly optimistic about my clients, their businesses and the chances for all of us to emerge out of this period stronger, wiser, kinder, less wasteful and more resilient. Most people I spoke with during that period would often respond with “I hope so”, but without, necessarily a degree of conviction in their voice.
Today, let me share the story of just two clients where “I hope so” has been replaced with an emphatic “I know so”.
One client in the food industry admitted to me that, during the four weeks of the lockdown period, things were very quiet. They weren’t nervous, though they were concerned and they hoped that things would improve at some stage throughout 2020. Sometime after that initial four weeks, an identifiable shift happened. The level of enquiry picked up, but not just any form of enquiry. This was “qualified enquiries” – customers that had a genuine interest to purchase. No longer were the tyre kickers making nuisances of themselves. Instead, these enquiries were from businesses that, in the middle of their own lockdowns, had been mulling over the direction of their business and had decided that, post COVID, they wanted their businesses to look, feel and perform differently to the way they did pre COVID.
In that business, we’re seeing a strong finish to the 2019/2020 financial year and a bright start to 2020/2021.
Another client, in the allied health space experienced a significant hit during the lockdown. Their business was turned upside down by the restrictions, limiting patient traffic and increasing their workload in between appointments to ensure their business was properly sanitised and cleaned.
The owner and key management team of this business have worked long and hard to change the way they’re doing things, so much so that it forced them to fast track an element of patient care that is not only revolutionary, but proof positive of how strong their intellectual property is.
When I met with the owner and manager of this business recently, their overwhelming message was that COVID had been good for their business. Yes, numbers were down and revenue had taken a hit. However, it had galvanised them into making dramatic and positive changes to their business that will alter the way they deliver their service to their patients. They were very positive about the next 6 months and what those changes would mean in terms of revenue potential, patient care, health outcomes and the training of employees in their system.
Whilst two swallows don’t make a summer, I am seeing this trend across almost every business that I work with. Family businesses can change when owners and managers are confronted with a once in a decade tsunami in their business. It’s been incredibly uplifting to observe what is happening as it has not only proven to me the resilience of family business, but also how powerful a contributor it truly is to economic change and growth in a time of disruption.
Take a moment to consider, what is at least one thing you are doing differently (or, perhaps, doing for the first time) now that you weren’t doing prior to COVID 19.