Inc. Magazine recently published an article titled “4 Things Businesses Can Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.” In it, author John Hall makes two fantastic statements:
First, most companies slash budgets and stall plans during times of hardship, but the ones that rise from the ashes won’t be the ones that hunker down and wait for clearer weather.
Second, the companies that take this opportunity to push forward and explore new ideas will come out on top after the quarantine has lifted. When so much is unsure, the best way to plan for the future is to try things you might not have otherwise.
The Inc. article continues on to suggest four areas organizations should focus on during times like these.
WHAT IS YOUR INNOVATION ENGINE?
A company’s product strategy can be plunged into chaos during times when information — especially correct and timely information — is scarce and ever-changing. What was once viewed as certainty based on one market’s conditions can quickly become obsolete in another. During these times, a company’s innovation engine should kick into overdrive to help the business understand what new or changed customer needs exist; this ensures the viability of existing offerings and understanding what new opportunities may exist to bring to market.
Having a formal, repeatable process — such as projekt202’s Revealing Reality — that leverages both quantitative and qualitative data points helps provide the types of insights required to make key business decisions.
If you can find other services to offer, do it. Instead of maintaining current systems and drumming your fingers, think about which features would help your product sell more or create a better user experience. This may be the only artificial lull your company sees, so don’t waste the opportunity by taking a partial vacation while other products make yours obsolete.
— Mark Cuban
PIVOT TO ADDRESS A CHANGED WORLD
Companies must adapt to change at a pace like they never have before. If ever there was an opportunity to get agile, get digital, and get informed by customer insights and survive (or even leapfrog) a rival, now is the time.
Despite the bleak outlook, there’s a massive opportunity to look forward. Whether you have to pivot to offer digital services, like gyms, or become takeout/pickup only, there’s an opportunity to continue growing and diversifying your offerings. Think about how your business could take over a new kind of market and develop a strategy around that concept.
— Inc. 500 company Hawke Media
Recent pivot success stories include:
- Airbnb launched what they call “Online Experiences” offering a diverse set of classes such as cooking, exercise, history, and gardening to offset loss in room bookings.
- Loll Designs, a furniture manufacturer in Detroit, has designed a hospital field bed out of recyclable, easy-to-clean and hygienic High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), using leftover material from its outdoor furniture line.
- AirGarage, which provides solutions to manage parking lots, is leading the way in a new pop-up drive-in movie theater market across the nation using parking lots to host the events.
LOOK FOR PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
One way to insulate yourself is through agency partnerships. Even in tough times, it’s possible to find helpful companies and build long-term relationships.
A recent success story in partnership has been between General Motors and ventilator company Ventec Life Systems. Ventech helped GM alter production lines at plants in a matter of weeks to produce much-needed ventilators.
INVEST IN PEOPLE
If anything, the pandemic has demonstrated that buildings and physical locations are not nearly as important as previously thought. People are the greatest asset. The companies best positioned to enable their people to succeed with the right tools and practices will win.
As you invest in your business and workforce, keep in mind that the best changes to come from this pandemic will likely become permanent. Building better work-from-home systems may empower your company to employ more remote workers. Developing new products could introduce your company to new markets. Respond to adversity by looking beyond it to anticipate and prepare for the changes ahead.
THE PROJEKT202 METHODOLOGY
To say “We are in unprecedented times” is a bit of an understatement. We understand every organization is struggling with the same set of core issues right now:
- “How can we increase our top line via new offerings, features, or markets that create new revenue streams or provide a lift for existing ones?”
- “How can we protect our bottom line by eliminating overhead and operational costs?”
- “How do we protect and support our most valuable asset — our people — through these times?”
While no one has a clear picture of what the future will be, businesses should prepare now to set themselves up for long-term success.
Are you are struggling for answers to questions such as:
- What do our customers believe we are doing well and not so well?
- What undiscovered or under-served opportunities do we have that can be turned into revenue?
- Can we provide solutions to serve these opportunities?
- Do we have the ability to get something live and generating revenue in a timely manner?
projekt202’s extensive integrated process between research, design, and development is purposely created to uncover the insights required to answer questions like these. In addition, it provides validated solutions for uncovered opportunities and helps you get them to market as fast as possible.
Customers rarely know the entirety of what they need and are even less able to clearly articulate those needs. Additionally, there is often a large difference between stated reality and observed reality. Our Revealing Reality offering, based on industry best practices, is specifically designed to elicit these types of insights. From these data points, new opportunities are uncovered to better serve your customers via new or augmented solutions that will drive revenue. Learn more
Once we have generated customer insights, we are ready for Focused Innovation — specifically designed for converting opportunities into viable solutions that can be built within your organization’s capabilities. These solution designs are validated with your customers before any software development efforts and expenditures start. At the end of this phase, you have a clear picture of what opportunities exist, the solutions that can actually be built, and reassurance via customer validations that solutions are sound and meet customer needs. Learn more
Building & Evolving
Building and Evolving, that’s where solutions are realized. We are a technology-agnostic, full-stack, web, mobile, and cloud delivery partner. We use Agile-based delivery methods that provide quick and constant feedback loops with our customers, allowing consistently demonstrable progress and pivoting as required as new information is revealed.
We have helped billion-dollar companies modernize their stacks and delivery capabilities, and we’ve helped startups take back-of-napkin concepts to app stores backed by scalable cloud-native architecture.
Now, the question is: