Did COVID-19 Break Your Business (Model)

The most strategic decision you make is “What business are we in?”

Before you answer that question, there are two other questions –
Is there a market for that business?
Is the market big enough to sustain that business?

COVID-19 wants to break your business (model)
Is your business considered an essential business?

What else changed about your business model (forever)? Most of these issues are fixable, but you have to adapt.

  • Channels you use to market to customers. What are your customers currently paying attention to? What are your customers rejecting related to marketing messages?
  • Customer interface. Is the face-to-face interface currently not possible? If face-to-face is necessary, does that interrupt your business model? For you to succeed, what has to change?
  • Texture of the customer relationship. Is the relationship transactional? Are you a trusted advisor (thought leader)? Are you customer intimate? How does your business model create that relationship? Has COVID-19 interrupted that relationship? How will you adapt?
  • Value promise. What is your value promise? Has COVID-19 interrupted the way you deliver that promise? How will you adapt?
  • Price. As you adapt your ability to deliver that value promise, does it impact the price your customer is willing to pay for that value promise? Will you adapt your price? Will you find another way to maintain your price structure related to your value promise?
  • Resources. What resources do you need to fulfill your value promise? Are those resources still available in the volume you require? Has the price point changed for those resources? Do you have to bring some of those resources in-house? Are there internal capabilities that need to be out-sourced?

Has COVID-19 interrupted your business model? Is this only temporary or is this forever? Can you adapt in the short-term? Might you have to adapt in the long-term? How will you re-think your business model?

These permanent adaptations will seem clumsy at first, but permanent nonetheless. And the clumsiness will become practiced, and those among us who practice will become competent at a new way. And the new way will improve on par with the old way. And, we will wonder what took us so long to get over our resistance.

2 thoughts on “Did COVID-19 Break Your Business (Model)

  1. Joe Tomaselli

    Tom, you offer great insight that’s timely, ccomprehensive, and provacative. I think sayiing more about managing and leading teams and ideas/strategies to support people during this crisis, will add more value, and the need that must be met to pivot to virtual where essesntial.
    Thanks and Warm regards, Joe Tomaselli

  2. Justin Salisbury


    Fascinating you should post this. As the COO of my organization, I’ve worked diligently to develop systems to be followed to strengthen our brand over multiple locations. I study change-management with our team closely and as I navigate COVID-19, there are:

    1) Changes that are imperative to make out of necessity and temporary
    2) Changes that are imperative to make out of necessity and permanent
    3) Opportunistic changes that will be easier to implement now under social pressure
    4) The undoing of the temporary changes and disruptions on the backside of this

    In summary, I see this as an opportunity to strengthen operations, leadership and front lines.

    -Justin Salisbury


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