If

If you kept your focus when all about you

Were losing theirs and blaming it on COVID,

If you pivoted when others doubted change,

But made allowance for their doubting too;

If you’re waiting for normal and not tired by waiting,

You are a business in our new world

A ‘sticker’ who held a steady course and never wavered

Or an ‘innovator’ who pivoted in weeks

Or one of the ‘undecided’ who are waiting to stick or pivot

 

If you can plan—and not make the plans your master

If you can pause – and not make the pause your life

If you have met with Triumph and Disaster

And treated those two impostors just the same;

If you can keep your focus on the business

When everything is pushing you to work in the business

And have watched the things you gave your life to, broken,

And are now building them back with a furloughed team

 

If you are making one heap of all your reserves

To risk it on a pivot to a new future,

Knowing you may lose, and have to start again

And never breathe a word of your fears to those about you;

If you have forced your heart and nerve and soul

To serve your business long after you are done,

And are holding on when there is nothing in you

Except the voice which says to you: ‘Hold on!’

 

If you can talk with customers and keep their attention,

Or work with suppliers—to keep your supply chain alive,

If neither competitors nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all people count with you, but none too much;

If you can still fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you are a business leader my friend.

 

Inspired by Rudyard Kipling , Be the Business and our fellow Guilders at the Guild Carlisle

If you’re ready to talk we are ready to listen at

Thomas Jardine & Co

 


ON IT Club

So, what’s this all about?  Well we started the ON IT club with the awesome Guild Members in Carlisle.  We are now excited to announce we are introducing it to the wider business community.

ON IT is a way to bring together business leaders from all sectors to work ‘ON’ their businesses.   We all know it’s all too easy to be sucked into the ‘day to day’ and start losing sight of where you want to be.

An example of how ON IT is effective is how well it worked during the lockdown. Like the rest of the country our Guilders were split between those flipping their business model, those waiting to see what happens next . The ON IT club allowed all of us to share our hopes, dreams and worries through this really difficult time.  It helped keep us focused on where we were taking our individual businesses.

Take the current situation….business in the UK is currently in 3 broad camps:

The ‘innovators’ those who have taken action.  They flipped their business model.  Adopted new tech, went for new markets, new products to serve customers in a whole new way!

The ‘stickers’ those who are either confident or defiant, waiting for normal to return!

The ‘undecided’ those thinking hard about bold steps, but not quite ready to commit to a new business model

Where are you?  Where do you want to be? Who can help you get there?

All of us (innovators, stickers or undecided) need to know how our business is performing in relation to the general market. With all that has happened, we all need time to take a moment to check we are still heading to a ‘place’ in business we want to be.  We all need somewhere we can go to where we can get honest opinions on the help available out there.

So if you’re an innovator that wants to keep on track. Or a sticker who wants to check if normal has returned . Or an undecided that just wants to unscramble the noise.  We believe the ON IT group will genuinely help you with all of this.

The ON IT club is designed purely for business and its leaders, it’s for people who run their own thing and want to talk business with other business leaders, those with a different perspective, different ideas, different ways of solving challenges and scoping new opportunities.

This is a monthly virtual peer group of business leaders where we bring business tools to life to get YOU to where you want to be.

Leading any business or organisation can be a lonely place, join the monthly virtual ‘on it’ club and make that change!

How ON IT Works:

  • Peer to peer problem solving with other business leaders – unscramble!
  • Peer to peer opportunity scoping with other business leaders – save time!
  • Business talking to business about business – keep on track!
  • Interactive masterclasses throughout the year from active business owners
  • Business tools brought to life to help your business move forward.
  • Build your business toolbox!
  • Monthly 90 min sessions via Zoom

Click here to get ON IT

Thomas Jardine & Co working in partnership with The Guild, Carlisle.

 

 

 


Have customer needs changed?

We all need to focus on what our customer ‘needs’.  Strategyzers Value Proposition Canvas is the best tool for this.  This tool works because it identifies what will improve the customers life.

Up until COVID, we assumed that customer ‘needs’ change as their individual circumstances change.  This made  our job as a business fairly straight forward.  We identified a customer type and targeted our services towards them. The assumption was that even if some customers needs change, on average there will always be a large enough segment of this type to keep our business busy.

In the UK  we always assumed we would be mainly dealing with peoples higher needs such as  products or experiences that were to varying degrees designed specifically for them.

From basic needs to self fulfilment

In the 1950’s a phycologist called Maslow captured peoples needs in a pyramid.  The base stage covered basic needs (food, safety , warmth etc.), the next stage was the psychological needs of belonging and self esteem and the final stage met self fulfilment needs.  Anyone who has done business studies at university should be aware of Maslow.

The use of Maslow led to an  assumption in modern business teaching. This  was that  the majority of the developed world were satisfied in the basic stage of food and safety. Then those in employment had to varying degrees met their needs of belonging and self esteem.  Finally those with financial stability tended to aspire to achieving self fulfilment aided by all sorts of services designed specifically for individuals.

The assumption was always that individuals would move up and down these stages as their circumstances changed.  Academics implied that economic blips such as recessions might mean that over a period of time larger groups of individuals might refocus on lower stages of needs.

COVID has led to a dramatic shift in these assumptions.  Now we have seen one event leading to a hopefully brief global change in societies needs.  And businesses have to now deal with the new normal.

Three stages back to normality

We suggest three stages of COVID for business.

Before COVID (BC) was the old business normality.

During COVID (DC) is the stage we are in now. Our current business normality has changed, sometimes on an hourly basis.  This is  because scientists, politicians, the media and economists cannot yet agree on how to control COVID.  More worrying still, no one can predict what the eventual final impact of COVID will be.

Post COVID (PC) has still to come.  One day we will be over this. As business we will adapt and we will thrive in a new normal.  We as individuals will fulfil the needs of our customers.  Eventually the experts will catch up and new models will evolve.  Until then here are some quick thoughts.

Before COVID

So before COVID (BC) we were all solving customers needs that were relatively stable. We focused on adding value by catering to their self esteem and ‘belonging’ needs. We were able to charge a premium if we helped customers achieve self fulfilment.

If we didn’t do this directly we were involved in a supply chain that catered for these needs.

During COVID

Pre lockdown we faced some uncertainty but not many of us changed our business model.

Lockdown saw the whole of the UK focus on food and toilet rolls.  Up until that point we hadn’t heard many experts predict this. Lockdown also saw many of us closed by government action.

The first few weeks saw society as a whole value their personal safety.  During this time many essential businesses continued to meet basic customer needs at a time when the advice on how to operate safely was still been developed. Others pivoted their business to meet new customer needs.

As lock down eases many of our businesses are reopening.  All those who are consumer facing are focused on the basic need of safety.

The next stage will be to satisfy peoples need of a sense of belonging.  One hundred days of lockdown means we all want to feel like we belong to society again.  Business has a huge part to play in this . We work in supply chains that now more than ever have to look after the weakest business in their links.

Whilst we live with COVID we will have to support each other.  We need to belong to positive groups.  we need to work with our peers to develop a new normal.

Then we can work on each others prestige and feelings of accomplishment as we bounce back from the brink.

Post COVID

This will end .  Hopefully we will have all learned something from the experience and our businesses will be more in tune with our customers and suppliers than they were before.

Actions for now

Work on your businesses future (even though currently  you are probably back to the floor working in it).

Take some time to stand in your customers shoes.  Really consider what their current and near future needs are.  Make sure your services/products meet these needs.

If you need someone to work with you on this.  Give us a call at Thomas Jardine & Co. We will help unscramble the noise and this will save you time.

Link to our video on changing customer needs and COVID here.