Commercial offices are shut down. Entire industries are being decimated and one quarter of our nation’s workforce is currently unemployed.
How do you keep your security company alive through this pandemic and come out stronger on the other side?
As you probably suspect, there is no magic solution. This will take introspection into your customer base, reporting structure and KPIs, and portfolio of products. It will also require a deep dive into what’s happening in the world around you for insights into new business trends and opportunities. But, if you are able to make some changes now and build on them later, you will make your company much more durable in the face of unexpected disasters, and much more profitable in general.
Step 1: Face the Music
The world is different now and priorities have shifted. This doesn’t mean doom for your business, on the contrary, it could mean opportunity. However, it is important to understand what is happening in the market in order to adjust to meet new needs.
Your customers are facing new realities. In a recent Information Week article, new statistics on CIO priorities show that 77% plan on reducing budgets due to the crisis, but at the same time 74% are prioritizing initiatives that drive operational efficiency. People in charge of reopening offices and buildings must meet new requirements and they are realizing their technology and security shortfalls in the process.
As an expert in the field of physical security and access control, you can help them solve these new problems. Position yourself as an expert and make yourself aware of CDC and OSHA guidelines so you can give them valuable advice and information. Your expertise is desired and needed now. Rise to the occasion for the good of your customers and community.
Step 2: Take Stock
Take stock of where your business stands today and what you need to change to make sure it can survive tomorrow:
Customer and Industry Diversification
Ask yourself, how attached are you to certain industries?
We have seen that some industries like apparel, automotive, airline and fitness have been severely impacted by this pandemic. Others, like food, construction, and real estate have only experienced minor impacts due to COVID-19.
If a large percentage of your business depends on the health of one industry, now is the time to diversify. A great way to get started is to understand who your current customers are. Run a report of your top 50-100 customers by revenue and categorize them. That will illuminate your industry splits.
Do you know what markers to look for to gauge when business is returning to pre-COVID-19 levels?
It’s important to create reports that measure the important KPIs for business health and growth. For example, tracking call volume might uncover emerging patterns about when people are reaching out and for what. That can signal when businesses and industries are opening again and buildings are in use. It can also mean that they are ready to spend money on their security infrastructure.
A complete set of metrics that are reported on regularly can keep you from looking at things in the rearview mirror. Rather than reporting on activities 15 days after the fact, keep your reports up to date so any patterns that emerge aren’t missed. In order to best understand where your business is now and where it is going, work on creating the right reports to figure that out.
How is your customer base using your services and what are your most popular offerings?
Take this time to understand what is important to your customers. You can glean insights through conversation and virtual engagements. Find out if they have new hurdles they might need your help to get over. Now is also the time to talk to them about the solutions they already have and how they might be able to help them in new ways with social distancing and contact tracing, for example.
Step 3: Think Outside the Box
Once you have taken stock of your business and identified what you need to do to create a more stable and profitable business, think outside the box to achieve your goals.
Take inspiration from business all over the country who are reinventing themselves to meet new customer demands:
Milk delivery is back after a decades-long hiatus.
Former sit-down restaurants are transforming themselves into take-out and delivery kitchens.
How can you pivot your business to stay relevant and in demand?
Find new blossoming industries
Some of the businesses to take inspiration from are the same businesses who will need the physical security and access control technology you offer.
Consider what new businesses and/or entire industries are evolving and then consider how those businesses function. For delivery apps like the ones mentioned in the article pictured above: where are they housing their merchandise? Is it safe from theft?
As e-commerce grows, warehouses that hold high-demand consumer goods, including everything from alcohol to exercise equipment, and all the other “sold out” commodities that the entire country is hungry to get their hands on, will need access control technology.
There are two types of markets to go after now. The ones that were minimally impacted by the pandemic and the ones that are thriving because of the pandemic. It’s up to you to do some due diligence to understand where to focus your efforts and how to pivot your offerings to suit new needs. The good news is that there is opportunity out there. Now is your time to go after it.
Watch our recent webinar with SDM, No More “Business as Usual”: How to Succeed in a New Security Landscape, to get information on how to pivot your old business strategies to adapt in the new way of doing business.