Necessity is the mother of invention. This adage applies to how businesses adapt and undergo metamorphosis during times of crisis, and we’ve seen prime examples from Texas businesses this past year in terms of how they’ve been able to weather, adapt, and change—both during the COVID-19 pandemic and during the most recent Texas snow freeze.
This past year has taught business owners about their own resilience and ability to pivot quickly in order to survive. Ready or not, business leaders were forged by fire. They found that they can adapt and identify solutions, even when the problems seem insurmountable.
Even as models change and mold into fresh forms of business through times of crisis, there are three core pillars that serve as the foundation of business success, even in times of crisis: location, creativity, and focus. Each of these has been critical to Texas businesses that have found success through recent adversity.
Location, location, location?
One of the most important factors for businesses has always been location. For both product-based and services-based businesses, location can be a pivotal way to attract relevant clientele. As a real estate lawyer and investor myself, location, location, location has always been the number-one rule to my success as well.
However, during the onset of the pandemic and the continuing social distancing restrictions, the concept of “location” changed. Savvy business owners realized that “location” still matters—it just means something a little different now.
The primacy of business’s online real estate has grown in recent decades, but COVID-19 accelerated it like never before. Businesses that relied on a physical Main Street had to quickly become part of a digital Main Street. Business owners learned they have to be accessible online and allow their target clientele to find them easily. Successful businesses found ways to leverage multiple touchpoints across their website, social media, digital events, and more.
Does your digital “location” offer your customers a seamless experience? If not, now is the time to reduce friction and make your business as accessible as possible.
Creativity is the new experience
Although nothing can replace the well-applied experience of a business owner, in today’s environment creativity has proven to be just as important to providing a successful service or product. Many companies are finding better and more creative ways to offer products and services than ever in the past. For example, the number-one provider of COVID-19 vaccinations in the country is in Amarillo, Texas. This provider began administering 3,000 vaccinations a day when vaccines initially became available, even though they had no previous experience in administering mass vaccinations. They found a creative solution to make this happen.
Business is not static—it’s about taking the resources you have available and molding them to create something new. For instance, look at the contrast between two retailers, Sears and Target. As the physical retail industry was compressed during the onset of the Amazon age, Target thought creatively and quickly, implementing extreme adjustments to its business model and, as a result, seeing expansion. Sears on the other hand, along with many other retailers, did not pivot and create something new—and unfortunately failed.
Focus first, then spread your wings
Businesses need to focus on the specific areas they succeed at rather than just focusing on selling or providing general services. Today, when digital accessibility is the new norm, businesses are at risk of losing clientele by wanting to do too much and losing recognition among a sea of competitors. You can’t be all things to all people, so you need to focus on what you do well and why clients pick you over others. Texas businesses should focus on the niche that gives them an edge over competitors, highlighting the quality, character and uniqueness of their offering. Whether you’re in the sporting goods industry or running a law firm, it always comes down to the differentiated quality of the service or product you provide. Once you identify your niche, you can then cast a greater net of influence thanks to the modern digital landscape.
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This past year put Texas business owners under considerable pressure. However, just as diamonds are formed under pressure, those owners who realized how to take the core pillars of business success—including location, creativity and focus—came out of the crisis transformed for the better. Change is inevitable in the business world, and will continue into the future. However, those who are willing to embrace change and make it their own will continue to thrive as the world evolves around them.