Businesses must stay ahead in the ever-changing landscape, experts say. Jon Michail, an expert in the field, shares his insights on how businesses can remain competitive and even thrive during uncertain times. He discusses the importance of exploring new markets and products to stay ahead of the curve. Jon underscored the need for businesses to adapt to the changing landscape to remain successful. Listen now!
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Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)
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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of image group international, an award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old-school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image and reputation.
Hello, everybody, and thank you for being here today. Before we start our chat today, I kindly ask you to write our show on Apple podcasts and subscribe to receive more valuable information in the future. Once you send us an email confirming your subscription, we'll happily send you a free copy of the ebook the real world guide to authentic personal branding. So let's get started. In today's episode, we will discuss the concept around adapting to change. And of course, utilizing that change to explore new markets and products in a post pandemic world. As businesses worldwide continued to navigate the impacts of the pandemic, we're seeing a shift in how companies approach innovation, product development and market expansion. And the question I have for you is this. You know, why should companies explore new opportunities? And why even bother? And the simple answer to that one is that one lesson one key lesson from the pandemic is the importance of investing in new technologies. As we've noted, previously, companies that had no online presence, online communication channels, et cetera, suffered, and something as simple as zoom took over the world. Today, of course, it's AI. But tomorrow, who knows? Who knows what the next big thing will be? When you can guarantee this, you will miss out if you're unaware, businesses that were quick to adapt to digital tools and platforms were able to maintain operations, and even thrive through the pandemic. As we move forward, investing in new technologies will be critical to stay competitive and agile in an ever changing market. And from that perspective, you gotta be thinking where you are going to invest specifically now, from a tech perspective, if you're not 2023 current with one foot in tomorrow, potentially, you're going to be in serious trouble, you know, unless you've got a total physical business a lot. I know many businesses that just get away with that anymore, including, you know, medical firms, medical practices, for instance, even they need as an example of digital presence to attract and expand the businesses.
So there's very few you know, restaurants of course, if you look that level of the market, and of course, big corporations, including mining companies, you godsake, what's the digital around that, but of course, they're looking at technologies to at least stay on top of the market, and most importantly, then communicate their differences, et cetera. Another strategy for exploring new markets and products is by utilizing alternative forms of finance. Now, crowdfunding and impact investing are just a few examples of what certainly financing models, businesses can use to fund new ventures and products. And these models offer a way to connect with investors who share your vision and are passionate about your products or services. And why while you need to look at alternatives, because if you're looking at just the traditional financing market, I banks, potentially you can't trust that long term, especially with innovative products. Now, of course, it was Troy that we know this clearly, because you just have to ask any innovator. You know, when they're out there to attract investment, after a certain amount, as certainly they'd normally we'll be looking at the US and Silicon Valley and saw. So it's an interesting situation where you know, the great ideas or great innovations or great concepts don't always get funded in your own backyard. So you might have to look outside of your own backyard. And this is important, and it's also part of thinking outside your bubble a day said then you can strengthen your position, especially in times of challenge. In addition to alternative financing, creating unique partnerships with businesses or organizations that share similar bad news is another effective way to explore new markets, but of course, you know, to build collaborations, of course, you've got to do that by building personal relationships that we have spoken to before.
And that's where you know, your own reputation, personal brand, et cetera comes into play, collaboration. But we also now can lead to anybody but ideas and solutions that might not have been possible. Otherwise, I've noted before in previous podcasts, you don't want to operate like a lone wolf, unless that's a choice you make, that's fine. But don't then use that as a chip on your shoulder. And when things don't go your way, it's important to look at relationships as a leverage opportunity. Because without that, you're doing it the hard way. And it's important because partnering like minded organizations, businesses, and of course, the individuals, leaders, etc, can expand your reach and create new growth opportunities. Another key strategy for exploring new markets is by developing virtual business strategies, but you better do some research here, you gotta be really dedicated. This is not about, you know, putting one of your inexperienced staff members to do this research for you not really understanding what this means from a big picture and the geopolitical perspective, you got to understand the market, you got to understand the current environment that we're living in, and you got to understand also, other than your target market, your your clientele, and so on, you got to understand also, what are some of the challenges are maybe not so present, the pandemic is accelerated the shift towards remote work, and virtual interactions. We all know that the last three years have been a great example of that, of course, with that change, also, it's created other problems, especially for SMEs, because without your people close, potentially, you're not maximizing a lot of opportunities, and definitely productivity and a lot of the research, no standard, clearly showing this, it might work for big corporations or big multinationals. But when you're an entrepreneurial company, not the most effective way, long term, it's okay, if you're not for the short term. From the emergency perspective, yes, you got to do what you got to do. But one time, you know, it's it's more important, but building a culture of togetherness. And of course, you can only do that long term under the same roof, or at least more regularly under the same roof. Now, as a result of this acceleration, businesses that can adapt your virtual world will have a competitive advantage, of course, still a post pandemic landscape. And as we've noted, previously, this is the new world. So you got to basically adapt the world doesn't adapt to you, you're in your environment, you just got to adapt with that. So I mentioned before, if you got a chip on your shoulder, if you're going to chip on your shoulder, right now, you better get rid of that chip, because the world doesn't care. Basically, your life is your responsibility. You know, that includes also your career, and of course, your business. So if things aren't working out the way you'd like him to be, ideally, then it's time again, to look at the mirror and do what you have to do. The hardest thing to do is look at the mirror right now, especially if you're already successful, because what that does is reaffirm to you that you already know everything. And success is already an automatic for you. But nothing guarantees that in the future nothing. This means creating virtual products and services that meet the needs of a particular markets needs and finding new ways to connect with customers and partners on wine. And you know, from a digital perspective, there's nothing better right now, then you got the opportunity through different platforms to connect with great people all over the planet is specifically with interests that are similar to yours products that are similar to yours, services that might be complementary to yours, etc.
So the only caveat I would say is you probably don't want to put too much energy going into partnership with competitors. Because long term just generally unless you're a big corporation that then operates a little bit differently, generally, because the egos will come up. And the competition internally between similar ideas can also create all sorts of other problems, including cultural problems. So overall, exploring new markets and products is essential for business leaders in a post pandemic world, because it enables you at least to stay one foot in the future and stay competitive and get you also to diversify your operations. You know, definitely identify new sources of revenue and growth, and of course, foster innovation, and creativity. But doing so business leaders can position their companies for long term success and sustainability in an ever changing business landscape. You know, and when I mentioned changes. So before, of course, I mentioned AI. But I've also mentioned previously, the environment, climates, and the whole thing of sustainability. All of these are in play right now. So there's opportunities, you know, in a lot of areas that you might not have considered in the past as a possibility. Now, let me share with you how I helped the client think outside the bubble, and start exploring new markets and products before and after the pandemic. So let's get started. So I started client of mine, you know, and I mean, startup, I mean, a few years, so was in you know, exactly brand new, was struggling during the pandemic, especially with the physical lockdown. So other than, of course, they had no contact with clients and so on. There was also the physical aspect of not connecting with people. And from a cultural point of view being again, an SME created all sorts of challenges that they had not experienced previously. So they had been relying on a single product since inception, and the market for it had yet to accept that to its full potential.
So after discussing their options, in our coaching sessions, we came to the idea I suggested, of course, that they explore new markets and products to diversify their operations and create new sources of revenue, considering the current market was closed, and and of course, at that time, we didn't know that this was going to go on for two and a half years, we were told three months, and that's it, we're going to be back to normal. Well, you know, as we all know, that didn't happen. So we started by researching potential customers or markets and identifying potential partners. So we were very laser focused in reference who some of these potential partners can be, and even explored alternative financing options, just in case they needed that down the track, again, a very proactive approach, as opposed to, you know, reactive when you go into a crisis, and then you got to react quickly, you know, how am I gonna deal with this? Well, my advice is always be proactive. So this way, you have to be less reactive. So we're exploring the alternative finance, financing options also was a good decision. Because of course, as I'll tell you, the story helped us later, we will also develop a virtual business strategy, and created virtual products and services, potentially, that could be created and tailored to the target market. So you know, the idea here is you're selling a product to the market, this was a tech product, you're selling the product, but there was also service opportunities with that product, they weren't not certainly maximized. So after some investment, further investment in their own technology, but also technology in their branding, and marketing, you know, their positioning, again, they hadn't, it's really interesting, a lot of tech companies spend a lot of time and effort and research in building products. But then when it comes to marketing and branding there, think this product is just gonna walk off the shelf. And we know that that's not how it works. So we've got them to start thinking a little bit differently. And of course, when I say a lot of tech companies, I'm talking specifically SMEs, where the large tech companies really get this.
So it's, you know, there's a distinction. So after some investment in the technology, we're not declining prevent some of these strategies. And what happened was that we're able to increase the customer base for the current product, but also got interest for new products and services, and why that secured further funding for the growth because they needed that. Now, just another thing about funding, it's good to have access, of course, reserves. Why, because it's psychological. Even if you don't have to use those funds, it's essential that you have some reserves, because if you do go into a hole, at least you've got enough safety net there, until you dig yourself back out of the hole. If you haven't got that, you know, those sources of funding, then potentially, you can get in real trouble. Now, I've seen a lot of fantastic companies, great ideas and great people, but because they didn't have the safety net, potentially, it created a lot of promise for them and psychologically created stress and a lot of pressure. Having said that, you could argue well, not having that also can get you to push and really punch through your way to the next position that you want to be in and get on top of it. But for me, you know, having had a lot of experience in business for over 34 years, I would say no, I'd prefer a safety net as well. You know, I get that, you know, the concept of burning of boats and, and having nothing and just fighting for me is a very naive concept, especially when we talk about the current world that we live in. And if you look at that, even from perspective of The Art of War. Well, then that's a really bad, bad decision. From my perspective. In the end, what happened was with my client, they were able to successfully pivot their business and position themselves for long term success. And the result is right now they have hired 15 new employees in the past seven months. And you're gonna want to get this because prior to that, remember the start of the pandemic, there were challenges there. But in the last seven months, they've hired 50 new staff. And of course, it's been a big transformation of the challenges from two and a half years ago. So what did it well, from a personal leadership point of view, it was definitely courage,determination, and the coachable mindset. And this is important from an ego perspective, they were approachable. They came, obviously, you know, worked with them for a while, but it was like, look without know what's going to happen. We're running out our own show here. But right now, there's a few challenges, and we need some help. And now we're open to have these discussions without any ego in the way, and that's really powerful. So that opened up the space, right? When you approach it opens up a space for you to grow. That sort of energy also inspires you as a coach then to work and work harder than you normally do. Not that get our card, if they don't do that, but you know, when somebody owns the pain, you know, as opposed to you own it for them, the game changes, and then we can work together. And that's actually what happened. So it was it was powerful. Of course, they're a great client, and also a favorite because I highly respect people that are open to new possibilities. And to do that you got to open up your mindset. So with today's episode, coming to an end, I want to thank you for today's participation. Thank you for being here. I always find that helpful to do the best I can with our clients. And of course hopefully you have found this helpful and informative as well. If you're interested in more content like this, or you'd like to contact us directly with a particular challenge that you have all possibility that you'd want to create for the future please check out my social media profiles, or you can find me on Twitter as Jon_Michail or LinkedIn as Jon Michail on Facebook as image Group International. And of course you're welcome to email me direct on Jon Michail at image group.com that a you I thank you once again for tuning in, and I look forward to seeing you next time. Cheers.
Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world. To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops, please visit imagegroup.com.au or call 1800 631 311.