Think your way to a better business

James Brundle and Chris O’Connor look at how businesses can integrate new ideas and initiatives into an existing business model.

As businesses begin to reopen, companies are having to make big changes to accommodate restrictions and guidance in place. For some sectors adapting has been relatively straightforward. For others, like the hospitality sector, it’s been a complicated process with changes having to be made to ensure staff and customers remain safe.

Owners also have to consider future-proofing to give their business the best chance of survival should restrictions be tightened, and customer habits fail to return to pre-Covid times.

The last four months have undoubtedly been the toughest most businesses have ever had to face. One day doors were open, offices were full, and business was booming. The next staff were working from home, businesses were locked up and many shut down as the UK faced up to Covid-19.

The hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit. According to estimates from UK Hospitality, the sector experienced a 97% drop in revenue from the beginning of April.

And only now are we beginning to see the true scale of the impact with home working leaving city centres empty and coffee shops and sandwich bars which thrive on lunchtime trade, struggling to make ends meet.

Don’t rush in, take the advice you need and most importantly, make sure the team is on board.

For these businesses to move forward introducing new ideas and revenue streams is essential for survival. A good leader knows integrating a new idea or concept into an existing business model takes time. As well as taking into account the sector you work in, it’s important to factor in the dynamics of the team.

Introduce a new concept well, and the world is your oyster. With the team on board and customers receptive to changes you’ve made, the business will develop and grow. But it does take time. Don’t rush in, take the advice you need and most importantly, make sure the team is on board.

Follow these steps to help you get started:

Start small

Introduce your new concept or stream of revenue to a small group of key people first who will help communicate it to the wider team. By building a grassroots group, you’ll have support as you introduce the idea wider.


Timing is everything. Don’t introduce your new idea or concept at the end of a busy day or exhausting meeting. Introduce simply, explain well and be ready to go into more depth later on. Be ready for questions – there are bound to be lots of them. Most importantly, make sure your team feel comfortable with what you’re proposing.

Be flexible

Your team may raise valid insights into the changes you’re making. Take them on board and be prepared to make changes to your original idea. You’ll have a much more rounded concept as a result.

Invite experts

Invite an expert or someone who’s implemented the same thing into their company to talk to your team. They’ll also be an invaluable source of advice and support for you.


Keep communication open and transparent. Be ready to answer questions, address concerns and reassure the team.


About the author

James Brundle and Chris O’Connor are joint founders at innovative London food retailer Eat17.



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