Your ex-staff are your new competitors

room44 Ltd

16th June 2020

Enforced or voluntary migration puts people into survival mode and catalyses market disruption and growth in the places they go to. The job losses due to COVID-19 present an opportunity for those who have been forced to move on. Your ex-staff are your new competitors.

Companies are closing

Last week, Milton Keynes lost a significant employer. A company servicing the convenience foods market closed with the loss of 2,000 jobs across two sites, 615 of them in MK. These 2,000 people now have to hustle to maintain the wellbeing of their families. 2,000 people with skills that can be taken to a new venture, and with interests they’ve never before had the time to pursue. And if you’re in business in Milton Keynes, whether in the convenience foods market or not, there are now 615 potential new competitors.

 

New competition

This is representative of a trend you should be aware of and have a plan to mitigate against.

A good number of those 2,000 currently jobless people will find a niche in which to thrive, and to do that, they’ll disrupt anyone that gets in their way. They will undercut you, offer more than you, engage one-to-one with your customers (without a CRM subscription) and take money from your business, because theirs is a battle for survival at the micro level. 

 

Your ex-staff are your new competitors

COVID-19 has accelerated trends that were already gaining momentum: distrust of corporate reliability; growth in self-reliance; trust in the gig economy; pop-up culture; short-term business planning; rapid start-up and pivot support – these are just a few factors that are prevalent in market sectors right across the industry spectrum, from astrology to wound care.

 

A trend we’ve seen before

This trend isn’t new. Enforced or voluntary migration puts people into survival mode and catalyses market disruption and growth in the places they go to.

The job losses due to COVID-19 present a similar situation: an opportunity for those who have been forced to move on, and a new potential threat to you. Your ex-staff are your new competitors.

 

One person with one idea

New market players who can see the potential for new technology before anyone else can control a segment for a time. Look at the beginnings of the world’s biggest companies: Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Tesla. They all started with an idea. HP famously started in a garage, Spanx on a kitchen table…one idea, one or two people and the rest is history.

Established business may be able to ride out this new dynamic, but would you bet against disruption in your market? Drop me a line at tristan@room44.co.uk.

Future thinking. Future proofing. Future opportunity. It’s what we do.

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