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Decisions Today for Business Tomorrow

Businesses are looking at the difference between the world today plus also looking at what the impact will be tomorrow.

A period of massive transformational change brought on by an external factor, but one that is changing the outlook of the world.

How long these changes are in place will play a large part in deciding how embedded in our routine, the use of technology to communicate and the impact it will have on how we conduct business tomorrow.

At a stage where fundamentally the way people have worked in the past has changed by let's say September 2020 compared to February 2020. We can then say the way we work will be fundamentally different from before 2019 to 2020 and after.

How should professional firms be adjusting their plans for 2021?

At the time of change each business goes through a period of adapting to the change. This can start from a stage of panic, to acceptance, to changing the day-to-day work and then planning ahead.

When a professional firm is at a stage of assessing their current strategy it is important to consider how the business can come up with ways, “new ways” that haven't been possible in the past due to lack of time or resources.

As part of the service offering a professional firm has to look at digital channels as a key element of their strategy and start taking key steps to integrate it in their current business model.

A key question to ask is, how to use digital as part of the professional service offering to your clients?

In period of uncomfortable change, a strategic mindset of the business needs to discover seeds of opportunity. Each business will benefit from taking a good look into their business model and assessing: Where is the business goal? What's the strategy? And what role can digital play in extending the services?

As a professional firm it is not limited to looking at one aspect of digital. But looking at the entire footprint; website, social media what part of services, which business model is more suitable moving forward ?

How to adopt digital into the day-to-day communication, the way services are provided and in interaction with teams and clients? For businesses who are in hibernation and a period of inactivity in the short term, have to adapt to the change in mindset and set new goals in the months ahead to stay relevant.

Face-to-face contact will continue to play a role in providing services. But to enable growth and tap into greater expertise, professional firms will reap greater rewards from investing in digital now.

A digital presence backed up with strategy will help a professional firm to gain trust and build a community of people who engage with the brand online. Building digital engagement requires time and an ongoing effort. For example, if prospective clients are searching for services remotely via a browser, determining what sort of business you are and then landing on a website that hasn't been updated for 12 months, is no longer beneficial.

A good strategy will look into which digital channel your clients currently go to for information and it will help to devise a plan to build an ongoing conversation with clients around the services they are looking for.

Brand can no longer be expressed only with an impressive office lobby in a large tower block. Digital and social media presence plays a crucial role in building trust online. 

It is essential for professional service firms to be progressive and have a long-term holistic view of their digital strategy to make the right changes today.

Firms and business leaders who are able to preempt their strategic move and act before they have to, plus adapt to a efficient way of providing services will find it easier to implement these changes.

As a professional services firm there are four things to look at from where the business is at today and to enable decisions for tomorrow for your business.

Firstly, the entire business model has to change to digital. The concept of digital never works with only 10% adaptation and the rest 90% being the traditional approach.

Secondly, business leaders need to think about the opportunities that have been created out of this period of transformation.

There are some businesses which we are hearing about who have changed the way that they do business to adapt. There are cafes that are providing different services or now have takeaway services added. There are huge fashion chains who have changed their business model according to the need of the time. As a business leader right now, even in the B2B industry, professional firms have to think about where the opportunities are in this. What can we do as a business to make it possible and how do you act on those possibilities.

Thirdly, question assumptions. We all came into this with a lot of assumptions, where it was said it won't work, remote team, virtual teams won't work. My team has to be in the office when I'm there. That is the only way we can do things.

There was also this assumption about, "no, digital is not for my business". "Our business face-to-face. Well, that might have been true. But right now, it's far beyond the truth, right now it has become a digital first business because digital is the only way we are interacting with the world.

As a business there will be face-to-face meetings in the future but it will be important to understand their effectiveness and how closely that face-to-face meetings sessions enable productivity. Challenging the old mindset is not an easy task, as even in the digital environment businesses are still trying to reproduce what they used to do. For example, professional training firms are creating online training courses with the same mindset of being in a room with the speaker. To make it interesting online interactivity has to be encouraged.

Do it differently.

Take a different approach to make sharing information more interesting rather than just reproducing what used to be done in a room for an online training course.

Lastly, action is important. With a strategic mindset it is really important for professional firms implement the change. There is no time to sit and think about a digital marketing transformation project for another 12 to 24 months. Now is the time to bring that product or that service output with that strategic mindset, launch it, get feedback from clients and from the target audience, adapt and change as you go and that's where the importance of executing the new changes will help businesses to make better decisions today for being in business tomorrow.

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Decision Today for Business Tomorrow article is part of the ConFuzed podcast show -

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