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The key it seems to finding opportunities during times of adversity is to think outside the box

Editorial – October / November’20

It was Benjamin Franklin that said, ‘Out of adversity comes opportunity’, and certainly this year has had more adversity than any other in most people’s memories. But how do you turn adversity into opportunity when you’re too busy fighting fires and simply trying to keep your business afloat?

There’s no doubt the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to the global economy. The ANZ Quarterly Economic Outlook for July made for bleak reading: “Global growth is being compromised by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is ravaging many parts of the world. The policy response by many countries has been unprecedented, but won’t be enough to stop the recession. Global trade is slowing, and New Zealand’s export returns are falling, but at a slow rate due to solid demand for basic and healthy foods.”

Being an island nation with a relatively small population has certainly helped us contain the virus, thanks to our Government’s focus on elimination, with tight lockdown conditions and border controls. “Domestically, the New Zealand economy has been able to return to something closer to normal,” the ANZ Outlook continues, “but the outlook is a challenging one. Closed borders mean a smaller economy, and recessionary impacts of this are unavoidable … Despite our enviable position, the slowdown will be large and the recovery slow.”

Some businesses are managing to find opportunities within these difficult times. For our cover story we talked to Alan Walker at Transfreight, a company that, despite the economic downturn, decided to open another branch and expand its services. We also talked to the team responsible for Fieldays, the largest agricultural event in the Southern Hemisphere, who, faced with having to shut this year’s event down completely, instead turned everything on its head and took it online, with outstanding results.

The key it seems to finding opportunities during times of adversity is to think outside the box. Reimagine your business, ask ‘what ifs’, challenge your suppliers, change the lens of your perspective. Easily said, of course, but not so easily done.

Until next time … 
Lynne Richardson, editor

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