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Creativity in the Face of Adversity

I started this blog in January 2006 and after three years and more than 650 posts there are some days when I struggle to come up with a relevant topic ... go figure!

Today my good friend Jim Stechyson, a fellow business owner who is also suffering through the OCTranspo strike in Ottawa came up with some help! I have been known to use other people's "stuff" before, I often refer to Kit Grant's work or John Izzo or Pat Katz to name a few. What I really liked about Jim's message is that it is positive, even though the bus strike is have such a negative affect.

Thanks Jim ...

If there is one thing any entrepreneur has learned, it is that change is the one constant we can always count on. Change in business can be proactive or reactive but usually comes about as a result of business conditions that more often than not are out of our control. Strikes, recessions, currency fluctuations are just a few examples.

So if these changing conditions are beyond our control -- how we respond to them is clearly within our control and often presents valuable opportunities for innovative thinking and action.

Take for example the current OCTranspo bus strike in Ottawa. While the negative economic affects to local business are obvious, it's also the opportune time to step up customer service efforts and differentiate your business from the competition.

For the local shop owner perhaps its time offer a delivery service (paid or complimentary) for customers who are unable to access your store.

Maybe its time to finally launch that online store you've thought about?

Or offer taxi "chits" to customers for purchases over a certain value.

How about offering complimentary services for clients who offer to car pool a group to your company (think Bingo Halls)

I heard a radio commercial yesterday with a local "restauranteur" offering packaged services to Sens games that included dinner, tickets and a free shuttle to and from the game. It's been done before, but I bet its paying dividends right now.

When changing conditions present negative consequences to your business your opportunity is to respond to it with positive and innovative change that improves your customers' experience.

Perhaps the bus drivers don't care about their customers ... but yours will surely remember that you did!