During a recent Her Corner peer group meeting, one of our members, Heidi, said something that really hit home for me.
She said: “It feels like we are in a season of transition.”
All of a sudden, multiple unique conversations clicked into place for me:
- The numerous conversations I’d been having with business owners about how to re-open, offer hybrid, navigate mask wearing, and address the changes they were facing.
- The many personal conversations I’d been having with women about how confusing things felt right now: a return to Spring sports, events, going out, travel, and how to process the emotions around whether or not, or even how much, we wanted to participate in those events.
- My own personal feelings of unease. I like to know how things are going to go, in order to prepare and plan. But right now, things feel like they’re in flux again: are we truly back to ‘normal’ now? What is normal anymore?
I’m no stranger to transition. And I know that transition is a process that you cannot force and you cannot control. But simply knowing we have a season of transition ahead of us made me feel a little better. This was a defined time frame, something I could work with, and something I can help others work through.
What does it mean to look at this late Spring and Summer as a season of transition?
And how can we make this transition as smooth as possible?
Here are a few ideas, from a business perspective.
- Go back to the concept of “minimum viable product” – meaning, whatever you’re trying with customers, try to do it at the least cost to you. Not forever, but while you find out what your customers decide they want, because they may not know yet! Many companies are trying to meet new customer demands (e.g. ‘I want in person Yoga again, but I’m travelling next month, and kind of still want to be able to do Yoga with my favorite instructor while I’m gone.’) Right now is the time to try to offer customers what they want, without reinventing your entire service offering, while gathering as much data and information as you can about who actually bought what. (Just because someone thinks they want something does not mean that they will actually buy it when presented with the option!)
- Be open and transparent with your customers. Tell them honestly that you’re trying to figure this out. Over communicate, and ask them to share as much feedback as they’re comfortable with. The more customers see you trying to accommodate them, the more grateful they will be. And the more willing to help you try to get it right!
- Take the time over these next few months to define what you want your business and your life to look like, especially by September. Because if there is one thing we can count on, it is that this Fall will be intense (assuming no more unexpected pandemic changes)! The sooner you can get ahead of what you will say yes to, and what you will say no to, the sooner you will feel more in control of what you want your life and your business to look like!
Lastly, remember that transition is hard, and we have all been through a very intense experience together.
No one has all the answers and we are all just trying to get it right.
Let’s also enjoy this season and have fun!