Change Begets Opportunity

I had a recent conversation with some folks from a company that’s trying to survive the pandemic. They’ve furloughed many employees and seen revenue drop by half. They’re automotive B2B, so this isn’t surprising. (You may have noticed that cars aren’t being driven as much these days.) The company has a good reputation, quality products, and a good team. They’ve just been bludgeoned by our invisible enemy.

I asked about their plans. They intend to get business back to normal by communicating more often with current customers and convincing former customers to consider doing business with them again. This isn’t much different than what they’ve always done. The strategy isn’t bad, and I’m sure their customers appreciate the extra attention.

However, as I thought about it more, I saw neglected opportunity. Instead of strategically positioning themselves for post-pandemic success, they’re banking on the future looking like the recent past. But consumer habits have changed drastically since February. To be fair, people will revert to some of their old habits when they can, but even so, a host of new habits are being formed. Businesses like this one can choose: adapt, or risk being forced to give way to new companies created for new times.  

I view today’s mass transformation of consumer and business habits as a land-grab opportunity for forward-thinking, open-minded entrepreneurs. Those who acknowledge that habits are shifting and create products and services to meet consumers’ new needs will be successful.

What new consumer habits do you predict will stay with us post-pandemic?