Tips for Tech CEOs to grow their business in uncertain times - Part 7: Free up resources to lay the groundwork for your next big thing

This is the seventh in a series of short inspirations to help tech-entrepreneurs weather the uncertain times and come out stronger as a consequence. 

Value PropositionIn the previous posts, we’ve discussed five core criteria to make an impact in uncertain times. In a nutshell, there were – sniper focused segmentation and positioning, a strong ability to cut through the noisemaking your offer a no-brainer, do the unexpected, i.e., surprise, and last but not least, prioritize the long-term nature of your relationships.

 However, – remarkable software businesses don’t stop there. They realize what made them remarkable won’t last forever. And that’s a key mindset. As we all know – what appealed to us two years ago doesn’t necessarily appeal to us today. That’s the same with our customers. And here’s where the problem often lies. Let’s face it: in times where we have alternatives, when things go well, we compromise instead of commit. Complacency creeps in. Offering solutions that people find worth making a remarka about is a stretched goal – and that makes it both fun and an opportunity. 

 What complicates things is the question: How? Not only how do you become software business people are talking about, but more importantly, how do you stay one? It’s a topic I talk about at length in chapters 4-7 in my book ‘The Remarkable Effect.’ And for this post, I want to dig deeper into a couple of principles.

 The art of noticing

It all starts with facing reality and a willingness to step up. It doesn’t matter if that comes from the realization: ‘What happened to us so suddenly? This should never surprise us again!’ or if your sensors tell you, “The accepted reality has changed and will never be the same again – let’s leverage that to transform the experience.” If you look around you, you can spot numerous small and larger innovations pop up everywhere. Just check out this website with literally 100s of examples from around the world. All inspired by the crisis, all smaller and larger opportunities to come out stronger altogether.

As Winston Churchill once said, ‘Never waste a good crisis.’ 

Either way, you have an opportunity to change the status quo and come out stronger as a consequence. It’s a choice, however. A choice to not age ten years, but instead, grow ten years in one year.

So what if you’d ask some basic questions like:

  • What did this crisis reveal amongst your customer that’s truly broken – things that were ‘OK’ yesterday, but shouldn’t have been in the first place?
  • Where, if you look at your customers critically, is value being destroyed because of the way they used to work prior to COVID19?
  • Where and how did the current crisis reveal areas where people are underutilized?
  • How are working relationships changing (forever) for your customers as a consequence of this crisis?
  • What are moments of truth in the process you automate that suddenly became moments of suffering as a consequence of this crisis?
  • How is this crisis impacting a shift in job profiles for your ideal customers?

What’s next? An ability from you to accelerate, be resourceful and take this opportunity to solve the cases that are most valuable and critical – in a way that exceeds expectations. The question is, how?

The art of becoming more resourceful so you can act

Here’s a secret: From the insights you got from the previous posts in this series, one thing you have gained is: Focus. Focus where to target your arrows, and where not. Focus on how your messaging cuts through the noise. Focus on cutting the barriers that accelerate the deal cycle instead of delay it. Focus to do the unexpected and surprise, rather than do the expected.

A big part of this is about freeing up precious and scarce resources. Another part of it is about providing you with insights about ‘What you are really for, and who you are really for?’ 

This is a gift – a gift of clarity and articulating your north-star. It sets you up to create more alignment in your business, remove silos, and with that create velocity. Not only now, but far beyond the crisis. It establishes the resourcefulness that will help you accelerate when others can’t. And what better time to start now? 

 Here’s where your entrepreneurial mindset can start to flow again: Exploring the opportunity and knowing you have what it takes to make meaningful change happen. 

 So over to you: How will you leverage the downtime? Are you going to be passive or take control and do the things we’ll be proud of in 6 months because your customers rave about it? What’s keeping you from planing a date in the nearby future to celebrate with your team how you came out of this crisis stronger than ever before?

 Do you want more challenging? This is why I established the Remarkable Effect tribe for Tech-Entrepreneurs-on-a-mission. If you are such a tech-entrepreneur, on a journey to do something significant and meaningful: you’re invited. Here you’ll find your peers, explore new paths, test your assumptions, and sharpen your thinking. You’re one step away from becoming part of something larger than yourself, surprise more often and weather the storm together.