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Will this be the year that time forgot, or the year you reinvented yourself?

There’s no need to rehash that this has been a challenging year for business. And not just for business. It’s been a challenging year from every perspective, both business and personal for most people.

But it has also been a year of opportunity.

People tend to approach challenging times like those we’ve been going through in one of two ways. They either kind of give up, complaining about how bad things are, or they find ways to work through it, improving themselves in the process.

We’ve seen a lot of amazing ways that business owners have rapidly pivoted in 2020. Moving to virtual meetings for example. A lot of companies had never even considered such a thing in the past. Now it’s so commonplace it will be an acceptable way of doing business permanently. When this first started, one client told me, “our clients need our services now more than ever before, but in a format (digital meetings) that we had never been set up to offer.” They are now masters of virtual meetings and have converted in-person seminar programs to very successful digital formats.

Other businesses found new opportunities to generate new revenue. One company I know quickly bought up most of Canada’s supply of plexiglass within days of the shutdown this spring, and set up Covid-19 protection screens for thousands of businesses across the country. A photographer I know very quickly pivoted to doing virtual photo shoots. I didn’t even know such a thing was possible until I saw her do it. The results were amazing. Some experts in their fields pivoted to becoming experts at teaching their knowledge to others through online membership programs and webinars.

Dance studios and teachers, who suffered tremendously this year for obvious reasons, quickly pivoted to teaching dance through virtual lessons and video. While they’re not exactly the same as teaching in person, they are still effective and a great way to keep the business alive at a time when many others gave up.

The thing is, despite what’s going on, people still need to live. They still need food. They still need transportation. They still need their health, relationships, clothing, a roof over their head and the other things that are a natural part of modern life. Businesses still need accounting and legal services, advertising, websites, offices, HR, technology, and more. None of this has inherently changed. We’ve just needed to change how we deliver those things. In general, that’s not really too hard. I found a way to restructure the cost of some of my services that makes it easy for clients to pay without negatively impacting my bottom line.

As the year comes to a close, ask yourself if you’ve done what you need to do to reshape yourself and your business.

We still have a year of difficult times ahead of us. The fact that we now have vaccines does not mean this pandemic is over. So we need to continue to focus on how we can grow our businesses through these challenges.

As the year comes to a close, ask yourself if you’ve done what you need to do to reshape yourself and your business. Have you explored all the possibilities available to you to create new opportunities for revenue growth? Have you looked at new markets that may be opening up because of the pandemic, or the way that people are now expecting to do business?

Human beings are remarkably resilient to difficulty. We have a tendency to overcome challenges. In relation to times such as the Great Depression, this pandemic has been relatively smooth. We will come out of this challenge with positive energy just as we moved beyond all the other difficulties the human race has faced. Generations from now Covid-19 will be a minor footnote in textbooks.

As we start 2021, take a look at yourself and how your life and business are structured. If you haven’t done enough to change yet, see where you might be able to make adjustments or create new opportunities. I am convinced that even better times lie ahead. I hope you are too.

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George Pytlik

George Pytlik has been involved in the advertising industry for over 30 years and designed his first website when the Internet was one year old. He was an internationally recognized speaker on advertising and branding and served on a number of communication committees at various times throughout his career, as well as writing a regular column for Marketing magazine.

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