Watch for New Opportunities During the Recovery
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As the coronavirus crisis subsides and becomes little more than a memory of a very difficult time for your business, I would encourage you to enter into a new way of thinking about how your franchise will not only survive but prosper.
I would never downplay the reality that this has been a terrible time for our country, for its citizens, and possibly for your business. But where your franchise is are concerned, things will not necessarily be bad in the future. They will certainly be different, but not necessarily in a negative way.
In fact during the crisis, your business might have changed in ways that could offer you opportunities that you might never have had before.
Have You Added New Lines of Business or Products that You Would Like to Keep?
Panera Bread, for example, began to more extensively deliver meals to customers during the crisis. Then at a certain point, Panera recognized that as long as they were delivering meals, they could also deliver groceries. So they opened up a new line of business. Have you done that too? Would you like to keep that activity in the future?
And here is another example. A restaurant near where I live began to offer packaged parcels of all the meats, vegetables, and other products that customers can use to prepare specific entrees at home. Each prepackaged meal-prep kit comes with a recipe and instructions. And I believe that restaurant will continue to offer that kind of option to its customers.
An Explosion Is Taking Place
Still other companies have begun to offer classes and instruction online. Yoga studios have done that, as have personal trainers and other fitness professionals.
In the medical arena, a variety of health care providers have started to offer telemedicine services to their patients. Instead of traveling to a medical office for a doctor consultation, patients can log on via Facetime or Zoom, and have virtual checkups without leaving home. I believe that those health care providers and their patients will recognize the convenience, time savings, and overall value in that.
What Has Happened to Your Competitors?
The competitive landscape in which you operated before the crisis will have changed, and those alterations could result in certain competitive advantages and opportunities for your enterprise.
What will that mean for you? And perhaps more importantly, what can the advantages be for your customers?
Can you offer them greater convenience, products that are safer or more appealing, a more convenient way to exercise, or something else that will help them recover from this very cataclysmic time our world’s history?
Chances are that some of your competitors will have closed their doors and gone out of business in the past, very difficult months. I would never feel good about that. Seeing businesses fail is a terrible thing.
Also, some advantageous new locations, possibly occupied by businesses that did not survive the crisis, might have become available. And they might be available now at lower rents or purchase prices than they commanded only a few months ago. The eagerness of landlords or sellers to move you into their available properties can be a force that can work for you.
As I noted above, things will be very different. But different doesn’t necessarily equate to bad.
With the right kind of positive mindset, the new business climate can offer a true win/win proposition for you and the customers you serve.