No one has to remind you that the world is upside-down and inside-out. It no longer turns on its axis like a proper planet. It is spinning on its head like a drunken break dancer. In the process, everything has become mixed up, topsy-turvy, and altogether catawampus.
The key to surviving such a time as this is flexibility. You have to be more than just a little bendy. You have to bend it like Beckham. You have to be prepared to utterly break the rules you learned in business school because business school didn’t prepare you for what we are going through right now.
Consider the major changes in the world just over the past few years. Brexit, President Trump, race riots, Catholic Church scandal, record-breaking storms, unquenchable fires, oh, and did I mention the pandemic? Let’s not forget about ebola.
Did anyone think we would live to see the day where it is hard to find an open restaurant in New York City? Good luck finding a dine-in Chicago pizza place in Chicago, a Philly sandwich shop in Philly, or Buffalo wings in Buffalo. We are all sporting pandemic hair and wearing pandemic pajamas as if they were proper pants.
You can’t keep running your business as if it were business as usual. It isn’t anywhere near the zip code of usual. Here are some of the ideas and practices you might want to give a long, hard, rethink:
Move Your Business Overseas
It might be time to consider Mexico manufacturing. Here is a take from one of the companies that specialize in such transitions:
Manufacturing in Mexico is a viable option for companies exploring ways to cut production and labor costs while maintaining a North American manufacturing footprint. Some of the manufacturing benefits include capitalizing on NAFTA (North American Free-Trade Agreement) and the IMMEX Program (formerly known as the Maquiladora Program/Industry), energy cost savings and a highly skilled and productive workforce to name a few.
American pride is meaningless if you lose your business. That just means there are a lot of people you will no longer be able to employ. There are options. You can move manufacturing while keeping other assets in-country. Apple: the most valuable company in the world, makes very few products in the States. Yet all of those products are still labeled, “Designed in California”. Apple doesn’t have to be the only company that can survive by thinking different.
Get Rid of the Office
There are a lot of small businesses paying a small fortune for office space. And it is killing them financially. There is an unspoken rule that real professionals work from an office. The canonical symbol of corporate success is that you are awarded the corner office. It is time to find other symbols of success.
Consider making your home office your actual home office. There is a good chance that you and your employees can do the job from home. Believe it or not, people can and will do their job without a corporate watchdog hovering over them every minute of the day.
Even large companies are coming around to the benefits of having their employees work from home. Since that model has proved so successful during the pandemic, many companies are making working from home a permanent thing. There is also the fact that many accountants are showing owners just how much they can save every year by closing the office and making all work homework. If it is good for enterprise, it will likely work for you, too.
Take It Online
For ages, we have been told that the three most important rules of business are location, location, location. The perfect location will do you no good in a time when people are sheltering at home. Right now, and for the near future, the perfect location is a mouse-click away. Make your physical goods deliverable via delivery. Let browsers use their browsers to browse your wares. This is a difficult transition. But it is certainly doable.
Don’t allow a commitment to the old ways obstruct your path forward. All businesses are having to make adjustments they never dreamed of making. The ones that will be ultimately successful are those who are not tied to the past.