Well, this last year has been… something. We have seen good, bad and ugly, sometimes all in one day. Some businesses rose from the ashes to reign supreme once more (I’m looking at you Flowbee Haircutting System, meal kits and surprisingly enough, Bidets). Covid changed the game for others like salons, restaurants, and nonessential retail who struggled to survive.
Other businesses bounced between feast or famine. We work with many different businesses in different verticals and we started to see trends in those that did well and those that struggled.
The thrivers vs the decliners.
Let’s start with the thrivers (please note: these are not companies who experienced crazy market demand due to the abrupt change in purchasing behaviour, like a home gym equipment company).
The key commonalities between thrivers are solid processes. I know, sounds boring right? The companies that were able to change quickly to adapt to new realities had strong, documented internal processes. They were able to see right from the start what would work and wouldn’t work in the new environment. They updated a few manual processes (such as handing paper documents off to another person) and carried on.
On the flip side, the decliners had process gaps that were masked by hero employees. We see hero employees all the time when we are brought into organizations to help fix their broken processes. The hero employee is the one who gets the job done regardless. They have workarounds that allow them to rise above outdated processes.
The decliners were stuck in the day-to-day and firefighting before the pandemic. Their processes and systems were inefficient and hindered the capacity of the people working in the organization. Pile a massive work shift onto this daily struggle and large cracks in the business foundations formed. This was extremely stressful, soul-crushing and devastating for many companies.
As we move into the next phase of the pandemic and look to recovery, getting your business ready to scale back up, roll with the continuing changes to the business ecosystem and prepare to adapt will involve a good look at your internal processes. Map them out, document them and fix any obvious deficiencies before the cracks become canyons.