“Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” – Napoleon Hill
One thing is sure… thanks to COVID-19, and the global response to it, many businesses face colossal disruption. The hard truth is, many will not survive the challenges ahead. The good news is that there will be many who will learn to adapt, and enjoy dramatic growth precisely because of the changes taking place.
COVID-19: Opportunity or Threat?
The only question is, will you be one of those that suffer, or one of those that prosper?
The answer will largely depend on two things; the industry you are in, and the attitude you take.
I won’t lie, for many that rely on tourism, it will be very tough. For others, though, despite the current loss, the potential should be very exciting. Unfortunately, we see many businesses that could do very well, battening down their hatches – precisely when they should be ramping up.
Law firms, in particular, are likely to profit (sadly) from others misfortune. It is not hard to predict the increase in divorce, cases of domestic violence, bankruptcy, employment tribunal cases, foreclosures, evictions and the number of wills that will be written.
It may not all be happening today, but many of these legal services (and no doubt many more I have missed), will be in huge demand very, very soon. Despite this, many law firms will miss the boat due to inadequate preparation. However, those that do get their marketing and systems in order today, will eat their competition when the wave comes tomorrow.
You see, marketing takes time. Be it content marketing, SEO, Google Ads, or increasing a website’s conversions – taking action once the wave arrives will be too late. The opportunity to prepare is now.
Those who prepare correctly are those who will benefit the most. (Meanwhile, those who scale back their spending and shrink their businesses now, will lose even more later on.)
But, it is not just law firms that will either reduce or grow in size (depending on their attitude and approach to the current chaos). Plenty of other businesses are in the same position.
Many financial service providers will struggle, while others will thrive. The same is true for a great number of food companies. Even luxury items such as spa pools have done surprising well in previous economic collapses. Even within tourism, there will be those who adapt either their products or their markets, and who will outgrow and outlive their competitors.
In reference to his success, Warren Buffet is famous for saying “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.” When everyone in your industry is hiding, it is never easier (or cheaper) to get found.
There is no doubt; times are changing. Businesses that learn to move more of their products and services online, those that prepare for the next wave of demand (before it arrives), those that invest into their businesses while their competition tries to cut costs … those are the businesses we will see not only survive, but thrive while others in their industry struggle to stay open or are forced to close altogether.
I know from personal experience that a recession need not be something to fear. In 2008, while many were losing their jobs and homes, I had one of my best financial years ever. I am not saying it is easy, but it is possible. If you want to increase your odds for success, I would suggest to focus on opportunistic change, rather fear-based defensive strategies.
Most won’t though. Most businesses are afraid of change. Just look at Blockbuster Video. In 2002 they were at the top of their game with thousands of stores around the world. By 2010 they were bankrupt, destined never to recover.
At around the time of their peak, one of Blockbusters small competitors offered to sell out to them. Starting as a ‘DVD by post’ rental service, and just beginning to play with online streaming, Netflix was considered insignificant, and not worthy of acquisition.
The truth is though, even had Blockbuster bought them out, they would have probably only killed Netflix too.
It was not Netflix’s technology that was especially amazing (there were several online video streaming services emerging at the time), it was their vision of the future, and their willingness to invest into it before their competition did. Blockbuster had the money to spend, it had the brand, and it had a vast customer base that would have made most businesses jealous … yet none of this was enough to survive without change.
Their attitude was one of business as usual. Once reality began to set in, they became defensive, until eventually they were beaten and virtually forgotten.
These are emotional times. Some are fearful, some are excited. The only difference between the two emotions is projected outcome. Those who are fearful see a future of doom and gloom. Those who are excited see a future of possibility and opportunity. The question is, which outlook do you have, and which direction are you taking your business?
If you want some help in transitioning your business, or preparing it for the coming flood of opportunity, then get in touch, we would love to help. But, be quick. Once change has happened, opportunity is lost. Give us a call or send us an email, and let’s discuss what we can do to grow your business today.