Anticipate threats to your business development

Welcome back to the next stage for helping your business to continue to thrive after disruption.  By now, I hope that you’ve planted the seedlings which represent your new ways for moving your business forward post-disruption. This week, it’s time to nurture them with care to give them the greatest chance for success. This means that you must protect them from any potential threats which might damage them. Thinking of all that you’ve discovered with your tools in previous weeks, I expect that you’ll find it easy to write a list of events which might pose a threat to your young idea.  I’ve listed a few options on  Consider for example:

  1. Competitors
  2. Economic downturn
  3. Freak weather/health or infrastructure event

Each of these might feel overwhelming or beyond your control.  However, the trick for a business-owner with a marketing mindset is to anticipate each of these and take steps to minimise their potentially harmful impact. This week’s image shows young plants protected in a polytunnel which prevents birds and other pests from harming the young plants.  Gardeners know that there are a range of predictable threats to their seedlings against which they take steps to mitigate.  For example, common garden challenges are: birds, frost, and insects.  A responsible gardener will prepare to combat all these potential problems.  You must take steps now to protect your business  in its current stage of development.  Do not assume that the threats are too big for you to address.  You have more control than you might think.  For example, a gardener cannot control the weather to avoid late frosts but he/she can be ready to take action with horticultural fleeces to mitigate the damage from late frosts in Spring. I expect that like me, you feel disheartened by the forecast economic downturn in 2020.  Think of the economy as unwanted frost.  What steps can you take immediately to have a fleece ready to protect your business?  I suggest that you might take time to consider your fixed costs and your pricing model with a view to offering a solution to customers who have little to spend.  You can take the initiative by approaching your suppliers to agree some favourable terms to tide you both through this year’s rocky patch. The poly-tunnel protect young plants from birds which want to nibble the leaves for food prior to the arrival of nutritious fruit.  Birds can represent your competitors in this analogy and the protective canopy is your chance to block invasive attacks.  For example, you could:

  • Password protect your intellectual property
  • Reinforce the aspects of your brand which differentiate you from your competitors, thereby creating your own space to operate in your marketplace untroubled.

You might encounter some pests which are specific to your industry. These will need to be addressed individually, a little like a gardener takes time to manually remove slugs and snails from a vegetable patch.

Whatever steps you take, be sure that you continue to act within your brand values and your established strategic approach.  This point can be illustrated by thinking about pesticides.  They might be an effective treatment for protecting vulnerable plants, but not if you’re committed to growing organic produce.  Don’t allow your fear of a potential threat  to lead you to take steps which are inconsistent with your values.

This week’s actions to help you to ANTICIPATE threats, a short list of suggested tasks:

  1. Create a table with two columns to list your threats in order of priority
  2. Next to each threat write an action which you can take to prevent its damage. Do drop me an email about these if you’re stumped finding a solution to neutralise your perceived threat.
  3. Next week’s Memo will focus on how to encourage maximum growth for your young plants/ideas.