The pink chameleon in the picture is a master (or mistress) of disguise, adapting to new surroundings quickly and effortlessly. Can you adjust your business model to survive and, perhaps, thrive in these difficult times?
The coronavirus is disrupting society and the economy worldwide. The effect on small businesses in the UK is massive and the government’s advice and support seem to miss entirely for microbusinesses that don’t pay business rates (full advice https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19)
This advice will create a couple of win-win opportunities. People are advised to work at home if possible and companies told to facilitate this. Not a problem for IT-savvy organisations but, for companies that are not it presents real challenges. If your business offers goods or services, this is an opportunity for you to help them meet these challenges and grow your business at the same time.
It looks very likely that people of more mature years and those with underlying health issues will be advised to “self-isolate” for three months. Previously these people bought products and consumed services through shops, salons, health centres, nail bars, beauticians in public. If you have a business affected, how can you support these people over the coming weeks, and perhaps longer?
Some business models are easier to flex than others. Pubs, cafes and restaurants are more difficult than service-based businesses that can deliver on-line. That said, I heard that one pub is offering a “pub in a box” to their regulars.
A business model canvas is an excellent way to find out how adaptable your business is. I have attached a template (here) to help you. Use the template if it suits you, I find the best way is to use tiny post-it notes which you can move around as ideas grow.
Look for the areas of your business that drive most profit for you. Is it a customer segment, a proposition, channel or activity? If the answer is yes, start there and work your model through. Now consider is this going to be disrupted, and how can you adapt to overcome this?
Channels may need to change; perhaps you generate your sales through networking. Most face to face networking groups are suspended now. What alternatives do you have? On-line networks? Email? Warm calling? Lead suppliers?
Key activities, especially those that involve groups of people, may need adaptation. If your business includes workshops or seminars, you can move them on-line?
Will your value propositions need to change? Perhaps there is no way you can deliver them all through the revised activities and channels but can still provide something of value to your key customers.
I hope this helps a bit, good luck with your business in the next few months and beyond.