Beyond the Blunders and Mistakes


Lessons Learned and 7 Opportunities to THRIVE


Over the last two months, we provided our top-level perspective about the impact of blunders and mistakes in an unprecedented economic environment. We examined a specific set of circumstances; made recommendations about how to avoid them and wrote about fore-planning and strategic decision-making and how they impact future success.

In addition to the brief  recap below of the 7 Blunders and Key Mistakes businesses make during a crisis, we now introduce our next series: the 3-step process of Assessing, Designing, and Evaluating key opportunities to create a more sustainable future and to give your company a competitive advantage during the recovery.

Because by now, your “normal” has changed.  And one thing remains certain – your customer needs and organization capabilities will have to evolve.  This requires different thinking and a willingness to adjust.

With these 7 opportunities, we will show you how to identify, prioritize and make the most of future opportunities by repositioning your company for growth.  This requires a master strategy plan and an honest skills and capabilities assessment to ready your organization to capture as much market share as possible.

 This is the journey we will take:

Phase II: Revise in Order to Thrive: 3-Step Process to Capture New Opportunities

    1. Assess: what impacts the pandemic has had on your customers, brand, products & services, markets, channels, systems, and people; and creating the foundation to capture during the recovery.
    2. Design: create a strategy to capture market share and understand the resources required to execute successfully; and
    3. Evaluate: by testing your assumptions and modifying strategies based on feedback and analysis.


We will utilize this 3-step process when considering each of the following opportunities:

    1. Creating the Foundation – Propel Your Business and Capture the Recovery
    2. Scaling through Acquisition
    3. Positioning & Branding
    4. Products & Packaging
    5. Markets & Channels
    6. Systems & Processes
    7. Team Capabilities


Once we review the opportunities, our final series, Phase III – Thrive, will be all about implementing and capturing the growth in value, revenue, and profitability to move ahead of your competition.

If you would like assistance in any phase of your planning, implementation or recovery, please reach out to us here.

About AssayCS.  Assay’s mission is to empower business owners to achieve their destiny.  During this global crisis we are providing tools to help businesses SURVIVE these unprecedented times while also preparing to THRIVE once the crisis begins to recede.  Look for our first article in the new series:  Phase II – Part B: Opportunity #1:  Creating the foundation to capture the Recovery.



Review of the 7 Blunders and Key Mistakes

Businesses Make During a Recession


#1, Misdiagnosing industry changes

Your industry’s cycle reveals important information about product strategy, growth prospects, target markets, and client servicing. Many of these have shifted or will probably shift during a crisis. Having a good understanding of where your industry is, your place within it, and how it has been impacted by a recession, as well as being clear on where you want to be when your industry recovery happens, is key to guiding your decisions and planning for the future.

#2, Timing, missing the boat

Some people wait until they “feel better” about their future before they start planning for it. The gloom of a recession, coupled with effects of a pandemic, often creates a false belief there is no point in planning because you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel – so you wait until you know what you are facing. Don’t.

#3, Misunderstanding your personal and your company’s risk appetite

Acknowledging and understanding what risk profile you and the team have and planning for maximum impact cannot be overemphasized. If you wait until “the time is right” (i.e. more certainty), then you will miss the beginning of the opportunity altogether. Similarly, being too hasty and going “all in” without a thoughtful plan is equally detrimental.

#4, Liquidity-missing investment opportunities

The key message here is that you ensure that you have sufficient cash to invest in your future.  This means shifting your perspective from “Cutting Costs” to “Saving” – making deep cuts to allow for future investment. Keep in mind that the cost structure that got you to your last peak may look different in the future (think automation, efficiency, processes improvements, etc.). Those businesses that make strategic investments in a down cycle will leap-frog their competition and gain market-share during the next boom.

#5, Business model-lacking the understanding of your financial ratios

Properly understanding your model can help you manage more effectively, alert you to potential threats, help you take advantage of market opportunities, and masterfully navigate any economic cycle. These seemingly arcane numbers enable you to gauge the strength, profitability, efficiency and quality of your business. They make it possible to compare different aspects of your operations and how you stack up in your industry or region.

#6, Boom packaging-product offerings for the last business cycle

When a market is in flux, it is a good time to ask yourself if your client base or their needs have changed. Do you need to re-package some of your products or service? What can you do to keep your product or service relevant? In the last recession, over 90% of the innovation that occurred resulted in changing how people could buy goods and services. Even if your customer or client base has not changed, your competitors might have made themselves more attractive.

#7, Energy management-unexpected issues preventing the team to move forward

To be successful teams need to “feel good” or “energized.” Energy and emotions influence market dynamics and the way your organization operates. Economic crises are comprised of more than profit/loss, facts and figures.  Many businesses will re-emerge but mis-aligned or lacking a long-term growth strategy.  They will waste time trying to re-align the team within their business while the market is already growing. Our message here is “be aware of the effects of isolation, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty that accompany any recession and the burn-out and frustration as the recovery commences and pushes through into the next boom.” Reconnect your team to your vision and infuse energy into the organization to carry you into the next recovery cycle.  Look to the future.  Enjoy the journey.

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