What really changed with your business during COVID. Most of you are probably saying EVERYTHING changed. And for many of you, a tremendous amount did change. Maybe a better question might be, What changes should I have been making all along the way?
Let’s face it, If you are in the Restaurant business life is totally different. However, if your business model was take-out only then, you are probably busier than ever. If your business was office cleaning, the same may apply. My point here is that if your business model was to serve in a more hands-off environment, your business may be thriving.
Companies that offer sanitation and cleaning have never been busier. Now there’s no way that anyone would have seen this coming. For other businesses, the harsh reality is that without customers coming in their doors, they were and are quickly going out of business.
Our company works with property investors and retail real estate professionals. When the shut-down first occurred I heard two stories. Story one, ” The End is here” Story two, ” I’m going have to adapt and change if I am going to continue to succeed”. So which story were you telling? Both of these stories have a reality. Like virtual reality, you create your life through your thoughts.
Is It The End or A New Beginning
Most of the agents that I spoke with were in camp one. ” This is the end” and those that quickly adapted are still going strong. Recently I heard a Realtor tell me that they have 5 offers on one property. Now if the world was coming to an end why would anyone want to buy or sell a home? This brought me to the conclusion that people were wanting to continue their lives. They have goals and dreams that virus or no virus they were going to continue living. So why are many businesses not adapting to the change? It’s a huge question.
Let’s face it, all this ” New” technology didn’t just change overnight. It’s been here all along. Zoom and other conference calling tech have been available for a minimum of 10 years. Of course, it has gotten better, but none the less, there’s nothing new there. Video and virtual tour software though have dramatically improved have been on the market for a few years now. Email, digital photos, and all the other tools we use to market our products, services, and real estate have been here for many years.
Here’s the bottom line. ” We Failed To Use The Tools That Would Have Prepared Us All Along” Again, there is no way that any of us would have seen this coming. However, with all this tech, wouldn’t we have been a lot more productive if used properly? Yes, we would have been. But, most of us do not like change. Well, now you are forced to change or find something else to do for a living.
So with everything that has happened what really changed with your business?
I see the COVID Virus as a tragedy. One of the most awful things that could happen to a society. But with that being said, it’s important to note that when we face things like this we can get stronger or wither away. I like to think that we get stronger. You as a business owner can adapt, be flexible, and thrive going forward. One of the companies that I worked with came out with a new mantra ” Be Agile”. I think many companies adopted the same manta as I looked around I saw more and more companies professing agility and flexibility. There are resources. For a small business, this may be the best one https://www.sba.gov/
Be Agile and Flexible
You as a business owner should take on the same mantra. Agility and Flexibility can and are good things. In Late 2017 I was attending a conference with one of the largest Life Insurance and Investment companies in the world. During the conference “Wrap-Up Speech” the CEO of retail sales expressed his vision for the future. It was simply that we as a company needed to adapt to the ways that our customers were wanting to transact financial services. Not how we wanted to transact, but how they (the clients) wanted to do business. He also went on to say that the era of BIG Buildings and offices where people would come in is quickly becoming obsolete.
As I reflect on that speech I realize that we “ARE THERE” we have been thrust to a place where business must adapt to the way people want to and to do business. When I look at the evolution of the Real Estate business, I see the changes that are not quickly adopted by the industry as a whole. Survey after survey it is disclosed that buyers want to shop online for a property. This is the first line or where 90 + percentage of persons start. But, a large percentage of Realtors and their agents don’t use a professional photographer to promote their listings.
I see this very thing with For Sale By Owners. (FSBO) Post a property up with photos that have no real pop and will be past-up by most buyers searching. There’s 360 technology that will allow a potential buyer to get a must better feel of the space. ( most marketers don’t use it) There’s a video ( can be expensive) Not getting used. I only point this out to illustrate that all of these tools are available. However, it has only been in the recent past ( since COVID) that we have seen a dramatic uptick in the use of these tools.
It’s About The Customer Stupid
Bottom line ” It’s a change in the way our customers and clients want to conduct business” With that in mind, take a day and think about how your customers want to do business. Take a survey, make some calls. Find out how your clients want to be served and you will find success. So What Really Changed With Your Business”? I say Everything but Nothing.
At the end of the day, it’s about them. The customer is the one that drives the market. We are here to serve the needs of people and in turn, we are able to feed and house our families. I truly believe that as a community of business owners we can adapt and thrive.
Until next time, Have a Successful day! Feel Free to reach out.