Change is Inevitable- Adaptation Isn’t

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” — Benjamin Franklin. 

Covid-19 showed us just how uncertain our business plans and operations can be. This almost instantaneous change has been forced upon us. Most often, technology, regulation, competition or simply customer preference force change. The impact of the pandemic and the nationwide shut down of the economy is without precedent.  No one was really prepared although some were better positioned than others. Some will have to re-engineer their business to survive. It is has been done before and there is a lesson to be learned. 

The examples that comes to mind relate to the emergence of the automobile industry as an economic giant and the printing industry. In the 1880s there was a small Ohio company that built horse carriages owned by the Fisher Bros. They realized were in the transportation business not the carriage building business. They evolved into the Fisher Body Company a massive supplier to the automotive industry. The other example is the printing industry; realized they were in the multi-channel communication business not the ink on paper business. Unstoppable change was coming to both business models. The choice was stark adapt or else.

What does this mean for your business impacted by Covid-19? Look at the areas of your business that suffered the most and determine what can be done to mitigate the damage. Look at the big picture of what business you are in. Retail, hospitality and recreation, for example, are large categories with many sub-categories. Can your business fit into one of them? Has your customer base changed the way they buy, can you change the way you sell? These are but a few of the actions companies take when confronted with change on a large scale. The bottom line is that if there ever was a time to take a long hard look at your business and its operations now is that time. 

No business can change the circumstance that Covid-19 has placed them in. That is beyond control. What you can control is your response. Believe it or not, there once was a time when no business had a computer but ran on paper and pen and then everything changed. My guess is that businesses change in incrementally all the time. As Covid-19 has shown that can change.

Written by Blog Contributor: Brad Lena