One may be forgiven for being despaired, during these trying times. But there is always a silver lining in the darkest of clouds. Needless to say, your entrepreneurial spirit to survive and fight is perhaps the best arrow in your quiver.

In your quest for support, you may have already been advised obvious actions, such as reducing costs, which are no doubt of immense importance.

I attempt here to stray away from the beaten path and urge you to consider five simple tips that I recommend to ‘convert adversity into opportunity.’

Reconnect with your customers and suppliers:

Online meetings are the trend these days. You can meet more people in one day, than what you could do when personal meetings were the norm. Turn this to your advantage. Connect with all your customers, present and past, and your suppliers.

Your customers are the best critiques as well as cheerleaders of your business. Connect with them to explore new opportunities to expand your product or service and generally to get ideas for improvement in service levels and move up the value chain. Getting connected with your past customers, with whom you have not transacted recently, may offer opportunities that would have gone untapped.

Your suppliers are also a valuable resource pool that you can tap into. Explore new product ideas, markets and opportunities. This will keep you ready when the tide turns.

Re-evaluate your value proposition, reinvent your business:

In the everyday rat race, how much time does one have to slow down or stop and ponder? Use the situation as an opportunity to rethink your business model and your USPs. How do you fare in comparison with what you had originally planned? Has the market changed? Do you need to redefine your business?

They say that businesses will not be the same after Covid. Is your business agile enough to benefit from opportunities that would manifest in the future? Re-think, re-evaluate, re-invent.

Challenge your processes:

This is probably one of the most important things that you can do, when you have time on your hand. Sit with your finance manager and draw out all the process flow charts that defines every aspects of your business. Every one of them. Do not omit any part of the business, thinking that you already know about it.

Analyse them for insights that can help you improve productivity, reduce costs and establish controls. You may be surprised at the outcome.

Develop synergies:

Collaboration, not competition. That should be the spirit. Explore opportunities to collaborate with your competitors by exploiting key strengths of both. You may even consider merging together to form a bigger more formidable entity. Look at forward or backward integration possibilities in your supply chain.

Increase your digital footprint:

Now is the time, more than ever, to make your presence felt. Be active on social media channels, participate in webinars, hold webinars of your own. Make your presence felt.

I hope the tips above will help you build a bigger and stronger business that will not just survive but thrive during these difficult times.

At Pinetree, we are committed to support entrepreneurs through this process as they find their way to prosperity. For more information about us, feel free to visit www.pinetree.hk