As we move further through the COVID-19 lockdown, we see many things happening, both internally and within our business community. Our management team and support services are adjusting to work/life being within the confines of their homes and the dynamics which affect that.
- Can they focus while being in their home life surroundings?
- Are those that thrive on personal interaction able to satisfy that need through Teams, Skype, Zoom?
I have personally found that keeping my normal business routine works best for me – breakfast, business clothes, scheduled breaks (no water cooler so a sipper bottle out in the garden has to do).
Our trades are supporting essential industry as required, whilst others are facing that frustration of being very active, productive and essential members of our business who are confined to their neighbourhood surrounds.
Like all businesses, we are focussed on the dilemma of staff welfare whilst balancing business continuity and all the fears and uncertainty which come with that. How we do business as an industry and a country will change irrespective of the timeframes or outcomes of COVID-19.
While things will never be the same, different has many positives. We are all engaged and focussed on our business models, our clients and examining all areas. Invariably, it is about costs and cash flow and as part of that analysis, we should be asking – WHY?
- Why do we do things this way?
- Is there a better option?
- Are our suppliers changing their models too?
- Can we work together as business clusters to improve purchasing power, shipping and freight efficiencies and economies of scale?
What will our clients’ business model look like, and will our current offering still be valid/relevant? Or will the change that the client now needs, actually be a very good adaptation for our businesses going forward?
If we look at timeframes, production schedules and things like late delivery penalties on current projects, can we leverage off each other’s capacity and capability to meet these? The upside is that we will flatten out each other’s peaks and troughs until the markets and clients settle, and a new landscape reveals itself.
Our doors might be closed, but let’s open our minds to the possibilities. Ultimately that is why most businesses and their leaders have been successful in the past. Let’s leverage off that and minimise the pain, maximise the gain.
Mere survival in this environment can be the immediate focus for a lot of businesses, and rightly so. My challenge to you is that as a combined business community, we can thrive going forward if we throw off the shackles of traditional business. New Zealand Inc., or perhaps Bay of Plenty Inc. could be a much stronger player than individuals – especially on the international stage.
Peter Swan | GENERAL MANAGER – SALES & MARKETING