The Hybrid Rethink

If you have a traditional brick-and-mortar business, you might think that you’ve got everything all figured out. However, in this day and age, that assumption may be the exact thing that is chaining you down and making success difficult.

See, it’s time to rethink what’s possible — and that includes reviewing what your business could look like hybridized and evolved with the times. 

In this post, you’ll learn how to rethink what’s possible, reimagine your business, and evolve your business to serve your customers better and generate extraordinary profits. 

Out with the Old

As you’ve probably noticed, crises interrupt all patterns. And if you throw out all that is no longer working in your business — which you should, and fast — you must rebuild, reinvent, and create what will work moving forward.

So, where do you begin?

It all starts with WHO. Who do you want to be a hero to? Who do you want to impact positively? This is your target audience, and whether you’ve been in business for 1 year or 100, this is something you should often revisit, and especially after a crisis shake-up.

Then, whittle down the WHAT.

What are you creating for them, and what’s important to them?

After that, it’s the HOW. And this is where it gets good when it comes to this concept of the hybrid rethink. 

How are you increasing accessibility, availability, and relationship? How do you rethink what’s possible to get your solution to your customer better than ever before? 

Your Store As Your Anchor

Your brick-and-mortar store is the anchor of your business. It’s what positions you firmly in your community and allows for a home base for operations and service. However, it isn’t your entire business anymore. 

I’ll say it again: Your store is the anchor of your business, but it is not your business. 

Your business is to provide a solution to your customers. Although beneficial and valuable in its own right, a brick-and-mortar must be hybridized to maximize its potential and profits. Depend solely on your brick and mortar and you risk falling behind as the rest of the world — and your competition — evolve with the times.

What you sell isn’t your business. And your storefront, where you sell, isn’t your business either.

Your business is your solution, and the magic is in the value you provide. 

The Danger of Stagnation

What happens if you choose not to rethink, not to reimagine, and to simply hold on to things as they are and hope for the best?

I’ve got an example, and I’m sure you could quickly come up with some of your own! 

My local tack shop has a poor website with an inadequate search function that deters customers rather than supports them. Having spent resources and energy on building the site already, they’re set on keeping it as-is and continue to rely largely on in-store sales.

The result?

They’re hurting, yet they’re not doing the “rethinking” necessary to do anything about it. They’re not active on social media and are completely missing the opportunity to reach their customers, discover what they need, and provide solutions. 

Examples like these are all too common, especially in crises where the speed at which we need to rethink and reimagine is known to increase exponentially.

An Example of a Hybrid Rethink

When you think about reimagining your business, think about what your customers need right now. Are they tight on time? Spending most of their time in front of a computer or phone? Concerned about safety and the transmission of COVID-19?

This might be the time to ramp up social media communications and support, email reach-outs, easy online ordering, and curbside pick-up, as my friend has done with her boutique pet store. Complimentary delivery or shipping is also highly valued. Reimagine this even further and perhaps a subscription model (read this post to learn how they work for any business) would be beneficial for customers to have a standing, auto-billed, and auto-delivered order that requires minimal effort.

Business owners and entrepreneurs must constantly be re-evaluating the way they do business to thrive. In a crisis, this is necessary to survive. Just look at the numbers of permanently closed businesses since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The hybrid rethink essentially shifts from an exclusively in-person, in-store model to one that incorporates strategic online efforts and outside-the-box, outside-the-store solutions.

To drive this idea home, check out this article, which talks about Foxtrot, a contemporary convenience store, and how they’re reimagining the typical convenience store with an elevated digital strategy, artisan goods, private label products, and 60-minute delivery guarantees.

Another example of a hybrid rethink is not simply rethinking the way customers purchase your product, but their experience. 

A client with a pharmacy saw a rethink opportunity when customers would congregate outside the pharmacy doors, waiting for their prescription, during a time in the pandemic when group gatherings were discouraged. To solve this, my client offered calls to inform when prescriptions were ready and a phone number to inquire about prescription pick-up. That way, anyone approaching the pharmacy knew that their prescription was ready and waiting for them ahead of time. 

Because she did a hybrid rethink, the pharmacy experienced heightened sales and increased new and happy customers.

Your opportunities are in your rethink. So, what can you reimagine?

Want to learn more about the hybrid rethink and how you can reimagine the way you do business through the crisis and beyond? Click here to join our email list (we carefully guard it and never abuse) and receive your free copy of the Never Waste a Crisis ebook.

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