I recently had a conversation with a business owner who had lost 80% of his business due to the covid-19 pandemic shutdown.
About 2 years later, his post-pandemic business exceeds his pre-pandemic business!
Even though his sales to his pre-pandemic customer base are still below what they used to be, he was able to adapt to the challenges his business was facing.
For him, it was time to innovate!
He changed how he operated his business, added to his product line and was able to increase his customer base because of it.
When things are going well, we tend to become complacent. Business is good and we tend to keep doing what we have been doing. Why change things up?
Until one day, when we wake up and realize sales are down. Either due to a drastic unpredictable event, cyclical economic change or for other reasons.
Whatever the cause may be, “What are you going to do about it”?
How can you innovate so that you can address your clients changing needs, generate more sales, and remain competitive?
These three suggestions will get you started on your path to innovation:
- Question how you operate your business – Look at your operation from your customers perspective. How are your customers feeling about doing business with you? How easy is it for them to contact you, get their questions answered and order from you? What sets you apart from your competition and why would a customer choose to do business with you over someone else?
- Question your products/services - What additional products or services can you add so that you can sell more to your current clients and diversify your customer base? Have you ever asked any of your customers this question: “What other products/services would you be interested in buying from us”?
- Question your sales and marketing – What channels are you using to promote your products/services? How are you engaging with prospects and nurturing them? Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, it is vital that you connect with your customers by addressing their needs and wants. What “problem” is your product/service solving for your customer and how are they benefiting from doing business with you?
Be creative and innovative in your thinking. Do not just accept the status quo - challenge yourself to come up with new ways of doing things that will improve your business.
"In order to change our business, we must first change our thinking." - Hartmut Eggert