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Whether your business is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, is grappling with a supply chain crisis or is struggling to keep up with new consumer demands, a key component of longevity from a business perspective is adaptability. Being able to remain flexible, to anticipate the needs of the market that your business serves, and to find innovative solutions to obstacles are all key to making your business successful. It will also position your organization as a thought leader while setting the stage for your customer base to look to you to solve future problems.
2020 brought unprecedented challenges not previously experienced, flipping peoples’ lives upside down and forcing businesses to re-evaluate everything from their day-to-day operations to revenue streams. In order to remain competitive, businesses needed to shift from thinking about ways to make money to thinking about strategies to survive through and beyond a global health crisis. While some organizations hunkered down with plans to ride out the storm, our team recognized the challenge and saw an opportunity to use our knowledge and expertise to serve a greater worldwide purpose. To accomplish this required us to venture into unknown territory. Below are a few tips for business leaders on how to respond to urgent market needs without fear of jeopardizing customer loyalty due to a lack of organizational focus.
Related: A year of pandemic: learning for entrepreneurs and SMEs
Assign a task force to identify a marketplace gap
In order to determine a marketplace opportunity, it’s essential to have a team dedicated to keeping a pulse on the industry and then provide them with a platform to share their findings, whether that be a standing meeting or via an industry report distributed to leadership.
There are plenty of opportunities in every industry, but the key to success is to choose one that requires minimal organizational changes in order to execute it. Our organization was built to develop and provide novel cell processing systems to organizations worldwide to enhance their cell and gene therapies. We’ve been doing that for more than three decades, which has allowed us to streamline systems and processes. But, at the start of the pandemic, we detected a new need in the worldwide market that, while not exactly in our wheelhouse, could help the fight against a new virus.
So, we made the decision to use our resources to develop a new product, Covid-19 rapid test kits. Our strong experience in the medical field, together with our ability to leverage existing equipment, gave us the confidence to move forward. We would have not been able to hop on this opportunity if our team was not on the lookout.
Related: Why Digital Transformation Is An Effective Crisis Response
Create an infrastructure to support both new and existing services
Businesses that can act quick on opportunities will no doubt thrive in the long term. However, it’s important to not lose sight of your original purpose and vision – that’s what made your business successful in the first place. It’s critical to maintain the daily operations of your business and uphold original goals while simultaneously and proactively leveraging expertise to pursue the new marketplace opportunity.
In order to do this, we leaned on the existing infrastructure and redelegated roles. Pulling from our resources and teams, we shifted on the fly to create a new structure that could pivot behind this new opportunity. Sometimes it’s beneficial to bring in an expert that specializes in organizational structure, as they will be able to move people around to serve your new goals. Above all else, the key to successfully pivoting is to make sure everyone on the team understands the goal, is on the same page, understands their role and feels supported. Your team is an asset and their flexibility will allow you to fill this new gap in the marketplace, so be sure to give credit where it’s due and keep your team engaged, satisfied and loyal.
Focusing on the goals of your organization is important but remaining flexible and adaptable will not only allow you to meet the needs of the market you serve, but also establish your organization as one that will remain vigilant and prepared to tackle whatever challenges the industry may face.