Adapting to New Partnerships in 2020’s Darwinism of Business

  • Develop a plan and update it regularly
  • Reach out to your network and potential competitors about work-share options
  • Never fail to know what your business’ limits are

The aftermath that this pandemic has affected businesses is being felt around the globe, and although major corporations will survive undoubtedly, Main Street will be left tattered and in shambles if people are not open to adapting into how things need to be affected by change.  A young 25-year old man kept explaining to me on numerous occasions that he had everything planned out for his schooling, when he was going to be graduating, where he was going to be moving to next, down to the year in his life he was going to be retiring.  Then all of this happened, and all he wanted was for everything to go back to normal like it was before.

Everything is about adapting for every situation, and this has been no difference.  From quarantine lockdowns, to social distancing, curbside pickups, as well as occupancy limits.  The question becomes how we learn to not only survive but also adapt to once again flourish in these challenging times.  Between PPP loans, lines of credit, personal credit cards, as well as personal loans from family and friends, you have to understand there is no rule book as to how this is supposed to work.

People who will survive through this enormity of a challenge, will stick to a written Plan of Action (POA), and keep modifying it at least weekly to make sure they are hitting their targets and goals.  Thinking about a new audience to market to, or a new product/service to develop, doesn’t always work unless you physically write it down and keep measuring your work on how far along you are making progress on it.

Not everyone believes that someone in their network, whether it’s a competitor or colleague, can be of benefit to the other, but until you actually start talking to each other there’s no option for collaboration.  I was speaking with a printer client and asked them about an industry that was booming right now which they had worked in some years back but never considered until I brought it up.  Turns out they know someone within their networking group that they have never approached about because they did not think that it would lead to very steady work.

Another option is doing work-share, in which you discuss with members within your particular chamber of commerce, association, or networking group more indepth what types of work you can offer that others may not know, and if you can possibly do cheaper for another member to sub-out to you.  This way you both can keep your doors open.

Finally, so many small business’ worry about their employees and with good reason, because they are what has been the backbone of making them successful.  Unfortunately, although this is not a popular outlook you should run your business into the ground by taking care of everyone else before your own family.  You will still have much larger loans, rent, utilities, as well as your own family to support.  It’s a difficult challenge in determining who gets paid when, and a valiant effort to consider the needs of your employees before your own, but if you’re destitute and can’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else.

Dwayne J. Briscoe

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