Why omnivores prevail

Date: 20th November 2020


History has proven that long term survival depends upon being able to adapt quickly in the face of change.

‘The year of change’, could be an apt title for 2020. Looking back on my previous post, ‘Staying relevant in a changing world‘ the primary concern at the beginning of the year was the longer term issues of pollution and climate change. I didn’t quite see the pandemic coming, which was already looming on the horizon at the time.

Depending on where you are in the world, COVID-19 has had either a disruptive or all destructive effect on business as usual.

Here in New Zealand, where an early lockdown was heavily enforced, the health effects of the pandemic have been light. However, with borders completely closed to international travel, it’s easy to imagine the negative impacts on the tourism industry and all other businesses dependant upon it. The ripple from this impact is still making its mark.

Elsewhere in the world, the story is similar; with various waves of lockdowns and general disruption to daily life, movement between cities and countries, all affecting how businesses operate.

Speaking with many of my own clients, a clear pattern has emerged in terms of what makes for a more resilient business…

Being able to adapt – when one market suddenly dries up, being nimble and able to pivot to cater for another market is essential. This is often easier said than done, especially with larger and more established businesses, which is often why smaller, opportunist businesses can disrupt a market quickly.

Spreading risk – the old ‘don’t have all your eggs in one basket’ adage is as true as ever. If all of your revenue is tied up with one client, within one market, then your level of risk is hight. Having a diverse spread of clients, occupying different sectors means you have a better chance of survival when times are tough.

Size matters – there’s a reason why businesses down-size during recessions. Unfortunately for the staff involved, the cost savings of operating with less people often outweigh the ongoing risk of retention. With or without a government subsidy programme, sometimes businesses have to make the tough decision of letting people go, with the hope that they can rehire when the outlook improves. Small businesses with lower overheads are better placed to tough it out.

Seeking opportunities – being able to turn a crisis into a potential opportunity is an important business skill. Although a global pandemic may seem like a dark time to be looking for business deals, there are many genuine opportunities being presented. Healthcare, safety, digital communications, food deliveries, transport, news & media… the list of services that are required more than ever is huge.

It will be interesting looking back on 2020 – hopefully from a safer world. I can bet that many businesses will be forever changed, hopefully with future risk and resilience in mind.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re safe and well. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss anything, whether it’s a new business opportunity or just to check in and say hello.

Kia Kaha (stay strong)

Posted in: Graphic Design Blog