There are silver linings in even the most unsettling market conditions, one of the biggest is that it presents an opportunity to think with a clear head. It can be a chance to reflect, plan, strategise and prepare.
My wife, for example, sent me this photo yesterday, feeling very pleased after clearing all the out-of-date spices and sauces at home. This particular cupboard was stacked to the rafters when I last opened it, and you couldn’t find anything.
A period such as the current COVID-19 crisis, provides the opportunity to do the same thing with our businesses. We can clear away the mess and clutter and have a close look at what is really going on.
Ask yourself these questions;
- Are our systems all running smoothly and efficiently?
- Do our employees like using our systems? (Be honest).
- Are we happy with how much we are paying for our current systems?
- Have our current software providers stepped up to help us in this crisis?
- Are we in great shape to explode and scale after this is over?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions then you have work to do, and this is the perfect time to do it. (If you answered “no” to 3 or more then you really might need to get cracking).
Here are some great reasons why this is the perfect time to upgrade your software systems.
You have the time and the headspace
When you are extremely busy it is nearly impossible to take the time you need to pause and to see the trees from the forest.
To implement a new software system you need to spend an appropriate amount of time analysing your current processes, challenges, and opportunities. It should never be a simple matter of “replacing what you have now”. You should start by looking at where you want your business to be going and what opportunities you see ahead. Then look at the challenges you face today and the problems you have with your current systems and processes. You are then in a much stronger position to start looking at what the market has to offer.
Vendors will bend over backwards
Software providers are finding this market just as tough as you are.
You will find that many are doing the deals of a lifetime to win your business. They will almost certainly have more time and people available to spend time with you to help assess, evaluate and implement your new system.
Help is everywhere
If you need help with your project, then now is the perfect time to get it. There are incredible people available to you right now who would never normally be available (or perhaps affordable).
For example, if you are implementing new recruitment software. I know of half a dozen fantastic recruiters who are between jobs and have experience rolling out new systems. This will be true in all markets right now.
Your users are not hammering the system.
When implementing a new system it can be a huge advantage to have a short period of time where the users are not adding new data while you are cutting over from the old system to your new one. As an example, we often conduct cutovers over a weekend for this reason. Right now you can take whatever time you need to do this smoothly.
There aren’t too many chefs in the kitchen
Selecting and implementing new systems can get spicy when you have a lot of different opinions and emotions coming at you from all angles. I have seen many projects fail or not even get started because all the differing opinions have created decision paralysis. It can sometimes feel like the easier option is to simply do nothing.
Unfortunately, doing nothing can be a disaster when you know full well that your systems are not giving you the competitive advantage they should be.
You will be in the best position to accelerate out of the corner
This lull is the perfect time to be creating the very best, most competitive, scalable business so that when things come back to life, you will be in the best position to move quickly. It will also create a sense of excitement and a fresh new beginning when you start bringing people back to work.
Your competitors are probably not doing this
This point needs very little explanation, other than to say there is a very good chance that your competitors are paralysed right now, either through fear, lack of experience, or sheer lack of ability to implement change. Take full advantage!