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opportunities in a crisis

Finding Opportunities in a Crisis

It is no secret, our thoughts, discussions and the media is filled with talks of recession and the debilitating effects of the virus, government’s state of emergency and the subsequent lockdown. COVID-19 has already and will have a significant impact on our health, economy and how we live. Behavioural changes are inevitable and we as business owners need to adjust and shift accordingly. We need to find opportunities in a crisis.

History is filled with success stories of companies who not only survived but thrived during tough economic times. Research has proven that there are three traits these companies share:

  1. These companies met a clearly defined need
  2. They adopted new ways of doing things 
  3. They listened to their customers – they communicated and connected.

Meet the Need

Albeit slower, financial wheels still turn in a downturned economy. People still spend money on things they need or want. Depending on how badly they need or want it, it will determine how much they are willing to pay for it. Your challenge is to determine where your products or services lie on the need/want spectrum and adjust accordingly.

Define Clients Needs and How your Products Meet It 

Roadmap prospects’ needs for your product or service – now and post-pandemic. This way you can determine why and how they will need you, and how best to connect and communicate with them. It will help you write your message to them.

This might also point out how you can expand your core products or services, maybe there is something you can do that they will now need more than your core product. 

How do you solve their problems and how do you do it better than your competitors?

What People Want Post-COVID-19

Picture South Africa a few months into the future… 

How will this pandemic have affected us as humans, neighbours, employees and businesses owners?

For starters, this virus has made us acutely aware of the thread viruses hold and will make us vigilant in fighting the onslaught of future viral “attacks”. Some new habits will now become the way we live, for example, heightened hygiene at home and work.

Health Economy

We are entering the age of a health economy, people are acutely aware of their mortality, health and safety will dominate for some time to come. When making a purchasing decision people will put far more thought into the health benefits of everything they buy, from air conditioners to workbenches.  

What health benefits does your product hold?  How can your company contribute to this, think of how you can create peace of mind for clients.   

Virtual Shift

Social interaction will change, handshakes are replaced with elbow pumps and meetings are replaced by video chats. All things that can be done virtually, will be. People will ask ‘Do we really need to meet in person?’. 

As a service provider, how will you answer that question?  

The challenge is to find equally effective means of connecting with your prospective clients. Now is the time to test different types of technology you can implement as tools of your trade, for example, Zoom consultations.

Reconsider how easy it is for clients to pay you. Explore new payment options, make it easy and safe.

How does the virtual landscape affect your product or service? Does your product meet a clearly defined need in this new virtual world?

Country Life

The newfound capabilities of working anywhere anytime will spark people to reconsider densely occupied cities. There will be those who decide to opt for country life, answer to the call of the platteland, with its lure of better quality life and more affordable housing options, with the only possible limitation being the area’s connectivity.

This opens a wealth of new opportunities. Don’t get stuck in your way of thinking. Consider widening your work radius and offer your quality service to a migrating prospect base. 


COVID-19 made us realise that we really are one and that “I am because we are”. There is a much stronger sense of community. Neighbours are talking, referencing and referring. You want to make it onto this reference network. How? Deliver exceptional service! Your work needs to be reference worthy.  

Tap into this, not only for current but also for future business. Consider giving a referral discount to clients who tell their network about you. Trust is a valuable new commodity, now and even more so in future.

In our new reality, risk will be less tolerable to some. People will rather go with the tried, vetted and trusted.

Local is Lekker 

People will want to buy and support local service providers and products. Show them you are part of their community.

Together We are Stronger 

There is no better time than now to use this newfound sense of community to join hands in collaborations with like-minded business. Reach out to service providers whose products and services compliments yours. Together you will widen your nets and achieve more.

The Importance of Home

Home has become our epicentre of life. People will spend more money on their homes, not only to create workspaces but also to increase their comfort as they will be spending more time there.

People will have a higher need for individualism. As we are treated with a herd-like mentality, there will be a bigger need to show “I am different” and it will become even more evident in our homes. Cultural influences will be seen more in our homes.

There will also be a need for more FUN in our homes, this could vary from gaming rooms to health equipment, cinema rooms or entertainment areas.

Remember, if you work in people’s homes explain to them how you will minimise possible infection threats – remind them that home is where the threat is least and they want to keep it that way.

In this exciting and daunting new world, our business survival pivots on our ability to listen, learn, adjust and connect. Tough yes, but not impossible. The opportunities in a crisis are there, let’s find them. 

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