Nik Ellis & Justine McLaughlin Digital marketing experts

Thinking Like A Start-Up Is Key To Lockdown Success


Start-up companies, by their very nature, are agile, risk-taking & tech savvy, which tends to be the opposite of large traditional companies. The problem with being conservative is that time is ticking and a business pontificating will soon be undermined by the incredible array of quick witted start-ups, hungry for success in the chaos of lockdown.

Whilst many start-up fail in the first year, it only takes a few with a better, cheaper, smarter service or product to usurp an established business. Take what Netflix did to Blockbuster for example.

It is therefore imperative that established businesses adopt a start-up mind set during lockdown. Less research & meetings and more action. Company principals should have strong decision making skills that need bringing to the forefront to spearhead their immediate strategy, leading with clear actions.

The Old Normal Is Gone

The market has changed so much during 2020 with digital channels taking full advantage of closed shops & businesses. Some companies have taken advantage of this and are thriving, others are waiting until we “return to normal” – about as helpful as a blacksmith waiting for people to abandon the car infatuation & return to horses. The world has already altered forever, arguably the biggest upheaval and change since the World Wars. Now is the time for a company to evolve or diminish.

The digital revolution isn’t just about selling & marketing online. Technology can seriously reduce manual labour whilst significantly improving accuracy & management information. We use Swiftcase as it allows us to work remotely & automate many time-consuming tasks, but there’s plenty of software out there. Capterra is useful to compare & review various different software applications for example.

Old Skools Get Knocked Down

As an example, I recently had the misfortune to deal with a large, well established financial institution. I received a pdf document asking me to fill in my details, name, address and so on, data they’ve had for years. Clearly they had no API to transfer these (checked & confirmed) details directly onto their form. No doubt when they receive my form, someone will re-enter my information that they already have, onto their system.

Then they needed a ‘wet’ signature. My squiggle apparently is more legally binding than a time, date & geotagged e-signature. They’re happy to wait for me to post it rather than have it instantly. I asked myself how long a company like this could survive with antiquated technology. No doubt with shareholders & a large board of directors, the relatively simple process of swapping to API driven forms & an e-sign solution would be too daunting. A start-up would have it sorted by the afternoon.

Act Now

Lockdown is incredibly time sensitive which makes it imperative to act as soon as possible. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel though; there are plenty of companies out there that can assist. A little investment in a company’s future now can make a monumental impact into the company’s immediate & long term future. A start-up wouldn’t try to build an accounts package – they simply use Xero, Sage etc. Why devote effort to something that isn’t your speciality, taking away precious time needed for your core business? Similarly, smart businesses outsource some or all their marketing & technology needs to companies like ours, with out of the box ready to roll the same day packages & humans with a wealth of knowledge & experience eager to help & prove themselves.

Nik & Justine’s Input

Justine McLaughlin & Nik Ellis lockdown success

Myself & Justine set up Revolution Four as we wanted to make a big difference to SME’s marketing & technology offerings. However, we’ve regularly gone beyond our brief where we spot opportunities, often overlooked by company owners, through no fault of theirs, it’s sometimes tricky to see the wood for the trees. Often these openings carry little or no cost / time to implement but can be very lucrative.

This type of work has led us into non-exec director style work with companies & it has never been as important that businesses take advantage of another expert set of eyes to ensure that the company evolves, becomes efficient & reacts to the very changeable market right now.

If you would like an initial chat to see if we are able to amplify your business please click here.


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