While the world seems to have ground to a halt and is awaiting further development of the crisis, it is a good moment to make an observation. In laboratories, the best observations are made under extreme situations because that’s when something you observe shows its true nature.
We are in such a lab right now, and the conditions have changed to an extreme. Our true nature is showing now more than ever. There are many business owners in panic because of obvious cash flow problems. Insurance agencies see a steep decline in pedestrian traffic, restaurants are not allowed to offer dine-in, bars and coffee shops are forced to close. Non-essential businesses are starting to struggle, because…well….they are deemed non-essential. When something is non-essential, it basically means that it is not needed.
Even during “normal” times, there are a lot of non-essential businesses out there. We just don’t see them because we are so used to having them around and have built a certain level of acceptance. Every business should be essential during normal times, that way it can secure its right to exist during the dark times, and after. It will be hard for some businesses to pick up when we’re beyond this period because people will have learned to focus on what it is they really NEED.
Here is the big takeaway: In times of freedom of movement and abundance, we feed our desires. It is easy to satisfy our wants. This allows for non-essential businesses to offer their services because they create and satisfy a desire. But a crisis of this dimension makes a re-assessment necessary. And there are currently millions of people at home doing that assessment: What is it that we really NEED? The compassionate response of millions of citizens is currently demonstrating some of those needs. There are reports of neighbourly love, community support, online advice groups that would also be needed in times of peace, but only now are they really standing out.
Once we are allowed to leave our homes and go where we please, we will step into a new freedom. We will realize that it is now a time for NEEDS, not WANTS. People will turn their consumer attention towards entities that can offer something they need. This is where businesses that offer transformational value flourish because their nature has always been about providing what people need.
This is an important and unique time of consideration, for both business owners and immobilized customers at home. When we are on the other side of this, our language cannot be about mass consumption and satisfying WANTS anymore. We must find a common understanding of transformation that serves human needs.
Please use this time to consider how you can extend and improve your offering for this brave new world that awaits. Email me if you want to talk it over, or to share some of the changes in people and businesses that you have already noticed.