Perhaps it would be more appropriate for ‘BAU’ to rather stand for ‘Business as Unusual’ at the moment? To analyse this further, let’s take a quick look at some of the changes from usual to unusual;

  • Culturally: The etiquette around engaging with people has changed. In recent times society has moved away from their cultural greeting norms to a 2-meter safe ‘social distance’ or total isolation. As businesses we have transitioned from handshake to elbow bump, to all interaction being undertaken remotely via digital means, this changes the way we do business.
  • Geographically: Since the ‘WFH’ government mandate, many have found themselves working from home or in isolation and so may find it harder to forge and maintain connections with colleagues and clients through digital channels.
  • Economically: The by-product of this isolation is that many businesses will fall on hard times as income falters and trade is disrupted. Buying behaviour has thrown out of balance expected supply and demand which businesses base their strategies on and grow their profit margins by. Ultimately peoples bank balances, consumption rates and fear of the unknown will affect behaviours until we can return to ‘usual’.

The big question

The question in these uncertain times is what should we be doing right now? It is likely true that our ‘pre coronavirus’ strategies may be largely inappropriate for the current times. Where previously teams would usually be making calls and attending meetings, it may be difficult to reach those working from home, and even a virtual meeting may seem inappropriate given the demands on their time (also considering the potential for them navigating life with children at home/in their now work place). Your contacts are also likely to be suffering from the paralysis of the unknown, with an aversion to spending in a season of uncertainty. So, what can you do?

The options are simple;

  1. Give up, with no hope or vision for the future
  2. Dig in, hunker down in a bunker and wait for it to pass
  3. Get creative and find innovative solutions to get you through and set you up for future success (often times helping society and the greater good).

In order to do get creative and innovate our way through, we need to see beyond the parameters of ‘what we do’ to identify possible opportunities. Some of the examples we’ve seen in the last week include;

  • Recruiters offering free webinars interviewing candidates and placing them for no commission
  • Online fitness and education classes and resources being offered at no charge
  • Restaurants, cafes, pubs and coffee shops offering take away (both cooked and ingredients) to minimise wastage, increase awareness, retain custom and their kitchen staff
  • B2B food wholesalers/distributors opening up online ordering to B2C customers, offering home delivery or click and collect services
  • Charities increasing their marketing efforts across broadcast media (especially social) as they realise people are spending more time there, want to help humanity, and for the fortunate (as they’re not going out) may have more disposable income to channel to charitable causes.

These organisations are evolving their strategies and approaching things from a different angle, potentially making significant adjustments to their organisations to not just survive but ultimately thrive. It takes out of the box strategic thinking, a bit of creativity and bravery, but they who dare, generally win. We’re going to continue looking at these strategies over coming days and weeks, writing more insight articles on this, and hosting some online discussions. Please keep an eye on our social channels or contact us to keep informed on these. If you’d like to throw some ideas around with our Head of Client Strategy simply let us know and we’ll be happy to arrange a complimentary video call.