How to React When an Unexpected Pandemic Affects Your Business
On March 15th, 2020, CEO at 7SIGNAL Tom Barrett realized his business was in for some challenges. As a company that supports large global enterprises, hospitals, educational institutions to manage and monitor mission critical WiFi, Barrett knew he needed to act quickly, especially since his supply chain was aligned with China. As the Coronavirus pandemic spread to the U.S., Barrett met with his leadership team quickly and pivoted.
Pivoting your Business During a Pandemic
Safety and health of his employees were his biggest concerns. He eliminated travel, and he instructed the team to stay and work at home. Tom saw the opportunity to pivot his business and his product offering. It is impressive to say that it took only three days to make the transition. A customer called who had 1,000 subscriptions with one of his products, and they needed to move 2,000 people to work from home. Tom provided them free subscriptions for 2 months and then reached out to his entire customer base and offered the same opportunity. Within 2 months, 7SIGNAL had 80,000 free subscriptions as part of their COVID give back. That drove more proposals and quotes and ultimately drove revenues on track with their original business plan. This was an example of the book, “Who Moved My Cheese.”
It Takes Time
This took about 60 days for revenue to impact the business. 7SIGNAL had a company record in the first quarter. When COVID hit in March, he reduced expectations, but with pivot, he is seeing revenue back on target.
Leadership Style During a Pandemic
Yes. Tom shares that he communicates more now than ever. He had daily all-company kick off calls that would last about 15 minutes. They would discuss “what’s new, what is going on etc.” Now as we are over 9 weeks into the crisis, he communicates weekly. He provides praise and recognizes his team for their leadership and accomplishments. The topics now vary every week, and everyone shows up and is encouraged to participate.
Messaging & Value Proposition
7SIGNAL did not have a work from home product as part of their enterprise solution. The challenge they had was their product did not work with VPN’s. Tom and his team had to change development priorities. They had to work with every major VPN vendor and address the home Wi-Fi issues. The marketing messaging, product development and sales direction has all changed to focus on the remote worker.
Advice for Other Leaders
Listen, Listen and Listen! Customize your focus and messaging from what you are hearing. He also suggests looking through the correct lens. Your mindset will direct your actions.
7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise Wireless Network Monitoring. The 7SIGNAL platform is a cloud-based Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) solution that continuously troubleshoots the wireless network for performance issues – maximizing network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI. The platform was designed for the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and government agencies and is currently deployed at Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens, Microsoft, and many others. 7SIGNAL continuously monitors the connectivity of over 4 million global devices. Learn more at www.7signal.com.