There’s No Toilet Paper

Author: Hamish Nuttall

Mar 22,2020

The border is closed. For 12 weeks or 12 months is unknowable. We are largely at the mercy of events outside this country.

Will the US and Europe get the pandemic under control? Will a vaccine be found? Will overseas travel restrictions be lifted too early?

I like to say that if a problem is insoluble, it’s not a problem, it’s a fact of life.

Some of those facts of life:

  • The border is closed; technically we can come and go, but we face a two week stand down if we do, and there are likely to be almost no flights after March.
  • We don’t know how long this will last. If efforts to contain the infection are effective, it could be a relatively short, sharp shock. But it is equally likely that infection and/or economic disruption will spread around the globe in waves every three months or so.
  • A significant amount of money has left the local economy, particularly in certain sectors (transport, tourism, hospitality, to name three). On the other hand, the Government is pumping money into the economy, and more will be required soon.
  • There has been a huge shift to remote working. Public transport usage is down 20% and continuing to fall, car journeys to work are clearly down in our major cities, and domestic air travel has been decimated.
  • Fans of exponential numbers are having a field day: confirmed infection numbers are quadrupling every week (what does that mean in real terms? Well, in the UK there were 267 confirmed infections 3 weeks ago, over 1,000 at the start of last week, 5,000 by Saturday, and there will be 16-20,000 by the end of this week – and that’s only the ones they know about); revenue in certain sectors is falling by 20% every week.
  • There’s no toilet paper.

So, they are the facts of life. You can’t change them (but maybe we don’t need to panic-buy toilet paper). And many businesses are fighting to survive.

But what can you change?

What we know is that people still need to buy things. They still need services. And at the moment, most people still have the money to pay for them.

The way they will want to (or maybe have to) do those things will change – and rapidly – more rapidly than anyone could have predicted 3 months ago.

Questions you might want to think about:

  • Have you analysed how consumer behaviour will change? Do you have the capability to sell your products or services online and/or remotely? Be creative with this one. There’re more possibilities than you might think.
  • Can you conduct business online without meeting clients?
  • Can you automate your processes to strip out unnecessary costs?
  • How do you build trust that you are putting the health and wellbeing of your clients and staff first?
  • Do you have the capacity to act quickly? And by quickly, I mean having a solution (MVP, partial or whatever) live in a matter of a few weeks?

It’s uncertain times and again, speed will determine whether you’re going to make it or not. Speed to get a live solution that is earning you money.

This situation is making businesses think harder and act faster.

Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why” says:
Innovation is not born from the dream; innovation is born from the struggle.

So, what to do now?

Book an online meeting/ phone call with us and let’s talk. Know that we can help you to figure out how to respond, or actually build the solution.

This is when agile and lean really come into their own.

Let’s get through this together.

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