The road back
Back to where? A valid question although is it back we need to go, or forward? Those answers depend on the person being asked I suppose.
The world has always been a fickle place with certainty being more an ideal than a realistic concept. Things change and sometimes those changes aren't positive for everyone, or anyone. I think the recent changes through the Chinese virus from Wuhan, China highlights how mercurial life on this planet can be.
Today my wife and I sat down to throw down some ideas around about our business; I say our however I have zero to do with it besides a little planning here and there, and spending the money of course.
I have a corporate job elsewhere which helps our income, however it's our business that means the most to us as it has been built over twenty eight years and my wife has put a lot of work into it.
Thanks to the unpredictability of the world around us, and those idiots in China who covered up their virus situation causing it to spiral out of control, our business has declined rapidly.
Government restrictions have forced us to make changes to how we do business and those same restrictions have caused job loss and income-cuts across the country; This means her clientele are a little thinner on the ground. This means less revenue and the possibility of losing clients altogether.
After the initial shock of the new reality settled upon us we started thinking about the future...Sort of working ourselves back to where we were prior to the corona-debacle. Of course though, one can never go back in time so what we really mean is where we will go from here forward.
With that in mind we decided to sit down and brainstorm some ideas and thoughts as a starting point to formulating a plan.
Of course, one can't think clearly on an empty stomach so we enjoyed a hearty breakfast of poached eggs on rye toast with a side of crispy bacon, field-mushrooms, wilted baby spinach, avocado and fried tomatoes. Not really...We had cereal and milk with a coffee which is as exciting as it gets these days.
We took our places in my office and started work developing a list of what we see as the key elements to our businesses survival and that will carry it forward in the next several years. You can see them below.
- Focus on and increase client-retention rate
- Increase referral business and client leads
- Increase conversion rate of new clients to regular clientele
- Improve transaction value across goods and services
- Increase transaction frequency
- Reduce the cost of sales
- Reduce overheads
Our discussions and ideas all boiled right down to these seven elements and if we were able to execute all seven perfectly we would be very happy. That's not going to happen of course.
I won't go into numbers or any great detail however these components all got broken down into sub-components with associated complications, benefits, and challenges we may face; A SWOT analysis as such. We ended up with a lot of scribbled-on paper however after a couple of hours felt pretty good about what we had achieved.
We had essentially developed a roadmap from which we could plot our course, identified challenges and possible ways to overcome or mitigate them and coalesced a lot of random thoughts into something tangible, ordered and digestible. I think if it was a fruit it would look a little like a peeled orange...A whole made up of more easily dealt-with segments.
We're very clear about the road ahead; It will be long and difficult with many roadblocks, twists and turns but we straightened it out a little today, through our mini think-tank. We feel a little better about the future, more in control, but still concerned about what may come next as we understand that the world won't stay still or do what we want it to do. A little better is indeed better so we'll take it.
The images above show a section of Australian scrubland burned out in the recent fires. It'll be greening up now with the trees sprouting brand new leaves and the scorched earth giving way to lush vegetation. That's the way of it here in what could only be described as a rather brutal country, certainly as far as the environment goes.
I chose this image as it feels congruent with where my wife and I are at currently. Sure, things are a little bleak and there's no real end in sight however we know that with some effort, a little luck and time we can move forward on the road to recovery aided by that little list above.
I'll leave you with a quote I think is quote apt:
“Amor Fati – “Love your fate, which is in fact your life.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised.