The Melbourne-based business mentor and trouble-shooter discusses strategies for future planning in the face of uncertainty.
Emblazoned across David Lennon’s LinkedIn banner profile are the words ‘Business Turnaround Specialist’. It’s a bold title, but befitting of someone with 25 years’ experience in the business strategy game, including owning several companies in Australia and the Middle East, and playing a pivotal role in the successful launch of eight start-ups. He’s also had Business Development and R&D management roles for such national companies as SKM, KBR, Amdel, Consultation Manager and Gale Pacific, where he helped win back major accounts, expand business into new territories, develop and launch a range of different products and services and win overseas contracts.
Specialising in the “four Ps” – product, pricing, promotion and people – his days are now spent assisting businesses navigate their way through the many layered challenges of COVID. We caught up with David on Zoom – where else? – to chat about strategies for SMEs in future-planning despite future uncertainty, being flexible, embracing short-term opportunities and continuing to address core customer needs in the current climate.
David's Six Mindset Strategies
It’s important to accept this is the way things are as the way things will be for at least the next year; it’s not going away and it’s not going to be the same again, but it doesn’t mean it’s not good – this is actually a time when lots of businesses are doing significantly better.
Use it as a catalyst
Use it as a catalyst to improve your business in some way. Perhaps there’s extra time now to build something, to develop processes, procedures or marketing collateral. Aim to find ways to be generous and to be of more service; to serve, serve and serve some more. Be green and growing rather than ripe and rotting – always be learning.
There is opportunity
Have the mindset of knowing there is opportunity rather than doom and gloom. Research and read online success stories from Australia and overseas of how businesses are adapting and winning.
Seek ongoing customer feedback
Find out what your customers actually want. It’s so important now more than ever to be in touch with your customers and see the trends in their thinking and the changes they may be looking for.
Ask the question with your team – how can we add a quantum leap in value during this period? What might an “ideal solution” for the customer look like? This gets everyone thinking outside the popular doom-and-gloom at present. Sure, some ideas will be impossible, but some will have merit.
Save cash where possible
Put a percentage of each sale and contract into a separate account, because we don’t know what’s going to happen. But don’t skimp on marketing. It takes six to nine times more time to get back into the customer’s mind if you stop your marketing.