As our society continues to face health, economic and social crises throughout the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the need for prudent business decisions is paramount. I have always recognized the need for sound strategy, even while being anything but risk averse. However, for Anthem and every other business, the stakes are higher at the moment. This rings most true for small businesses and those with incapacitated revenue streams.
I’ve been known to work on the philosophy of saying yes to most concepts until there is a reason to say no and move on. I have found great success with this explorative mindset. It does not mean that we launch every new company or project, but it does mean that I am receptive and willing to evaluate. My team is also renowned for typically sharing that same curious and positive outlook.
But this is anything but a typical point in history. My caution for any revenue starved business, and in particular the sole proprietors and small businesses, is to put extra consideration into each decision. I’ve heard greatly creative solutions to generating revenue, maintaining brand awareness and solving other organizational challenges. Conversely, I have heard ideas that fully take the business’ eye off the ball.
The prospect of new revenue can tantalize any businessperson to jump at any prospective opportunity. When there is no cash inflow, businesses can make desperate moves. Sometimes that dire challenge forces the right decisions that enable survival.
But you do not want to waste time and limited resources on slow or low-return projects when time and whatever resources remain are so important.
That is not to say that innovation ceases. Now is the time for everyone to be entrepreneurial, even if they never have before. The key is to recognize and weigh the balance of chasing opportunities that may take too long to develop, versus ideas that can provide much needed and immediate relief.
In essence, it is absolutely the right time to innovate, create and be revolutionary. But keeping your eye on the ball is equally as important to ensure that you prioritize and solve the immediate challenge. In the end, you may emerge stronger from this crisis in the long run with new and inventive skills and ideas.
By Chris Sinclair
Founder, The Anthem Group