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Adapting Your Practice During Covid-19

Leo Manzione

How can I pivot my business? This is a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately as we navigate the trying times brought on by the Covid crisis. What was working (or maybe only barely working) before, may not be any longer. You’ve invested a lot in your business, but where should you go from here? How can you adapt and, if necessary, pivot?

I recently shared my thoughts on this subject at an Attorney Action Club webinar. You can watch the whole presentation below.

I cover the importance of optimizing what you’re already doing, and looking for opportunities to adapt these practices to our new environment. If that can’t or won’t work in your situation, a pivot might be worth pursuing…

You are only as strong as your weakest part.

To be sure you’re optimizing your operations, it’s helpful to look at your business through it’s 5 interdependent component parts that… 

It’s important to look at each of these parts and make sure they are each performing as they should in a balanced way. If one or more is trailing behind, your business is hobbled as you are only as strong as your weakest part.

Below, I’ve listed key questions to ask and actions to take when performing this examination:

  1. Create Value
    • Questions:
      • Is what you’re selling profitable?
      • Is it the best use of your expertise?
    • Actions:
      • Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
      • How can you do what’s already out there better? (Keep in mind that “better” doesn’t always mean your competition is worse. It usually means “better calibrated for your target market.”)
      • (Following these steps will help you increase the value you provide, and help you hone your unique selling proposition relative to the other providers in your market.)
  2. Market Value
    • Questions:
      • Do you know who your ideal client is?
      • Do you have a flooded pipeline of potential ideal clients?
    • Actions:
      • You need to be able to answer this first question. So take some time to reflect on who your ideal client is. Who stands to benefit the most from what you’re offering? Who do you enjoy working with? Why?
      • Then ask yourself, who can send you this client? Where are they? If you can clearly communicate these things, go start telling people.
      • (These efforts should help you flood your pipeline.)
  3. Sell Value
    • Questions:
      • Are you making it easy for people to buy?
      • Do you have a sales checklist
    • Actions:
      •  Pretend you’re a potential customer. Go through your own process and see how many steps it takes so sign up. ALL of it: Contact to Contract.
      • Is it standardized? Do you have a checklist for each stage?
      • (You want your sales process to be as seamless as possible. The less friction a prospect encounters, the better. Documenting and standardizing your process will ensure that each prospect experiences your best – increasing the number who will ultimately make the call to work with you.)
  4. Deliver Value
    • Questions:
      • Is your delivery process consistent?
      • Do you know and track your capacity?
    • Actions:
      • Step back into the “potential customer” shoes and go through your product delivery process. What are the steps?
      • Create checklists for how you deliver – Iterate, refine, and incorporate proven tools.
      • (By doing this, you’ll get a better understanding of the demands placed by your offerings, in terms of your time and other resources. This information will help you calculate your capacity and how much you can reasonably handle.)
  5. Support the Process (a.k.a. “Finance”)
    • Questions:
      • Is your day-to-day sustainable?
      • Is the business’ day-to-day sustainable?
      • Are you earning enough to support yourself?
    • Actions:
      • If the answer to any of these questions is “NO,” look closely at your life, your business, and your finances to figure out why. If you can’t figure it out, start asking the difficult questions:
        • What skills am I missing here?
        • What do I need that is lacking?
        • What does my business really need that is lacking?
 

Once you have examined/optimized your current operations through the 5-Parts lens, it’s possible that pivoting your business may still be your best solution. If that’s the case, it’s important to recognize that there are actually 12 forms of value that businesses can provide. Your pivot opportunity would therefore lie within one of the following arenas:

  1. Product
  2. Service
  3. Shared Resource
  4. Subscription
  5. Resale
  6. Lease
  7. Agency
  8. Audience Aggregation
  9. Loan
  10. Option
  11. Insurance
  12. Capital
 

For more detail on each of these 12, you can refer to the following: https://personalmba.com/12-standard-forms-of-value/.

You would want to list all the possible directions you could pivot to in these different categories. Then, list all the requirements that a new opportunity would need to meet to make it worth pursuing (e.g., you have the necessary skills, it would be a good income source, etc.).

Once you do that, examine each potential pivot in terms of the requirements. If one doesn’t meet a requirement, that option is off the table. While some will certainly be eliminated, you will hopefully end the process with at least a couple potential opportunities that do meet all the requirements and would be worth researching further.

I hope this overview was helpful and got you thinking in new ways about all the possibilities out there.

With that, I’m going to leave you with the wise words of Garrison Wynn. They feel more true now than ever – “Action and adaptability create opportunity.

Talk soon,

 

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