• Rowan Norrie

Finding new opportunities in times of crisis

Phase 2 – Building Resilience

For some entrepreneurs, a time of disruption is a time of opportunity. Successful companies spot opportunities early and mobilise quickly to meet new demand, or even create new demand where it did not exist previously.

But how to spot opportunities? The matrix below helps structure thinking and brainstorming for new ideas. Each quadrant represents opportunities from the perspective of the Consumer or supplier of Products / Services and whether it is supply or demand that is disrupted. Demand for products or services is the flip side of supply to the consumer but looking at the situation from a different perspective.

The process for identifying new opportunities is to:

  1. Take each quadrant in turn

  2. Identify the Consumer or Product/Service in question

  3. Brainstorm examples of how supply or demand is being disrupted. Note that: disruption might mean that demand exceeds supply (for example, lack of PPE) or supply exceeds demand (for example, there is excess milk which is not being ordered by restaurants and cafes)

  4. Explore each topic further, for example:

  • a. Adapting current product to meet new demand?

  • b. Finding new customer base?

  • c. Creating new channels to market?

  • d. Finding new partners for collaboration?

  • e. Changing basis of competition?

  • f. Changing the business model

  • g. Finding new uses for excess supply

  • h. Finding new sources for products in short supply (new suppliers, refurbish, remanufacture)?

5. Develop list of concepts

6. Prioritise and select option for further development.

Organisations who emerge as winners from times of crisis are those that demonstrate resourcefulness, flexibility, spot opportunities and stay closely connected to evolving customer needs.

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