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But what does community building look like in a post-pandemic world, particularly when your business is events? “When the pandemic hit, like most organisations we were almost paralyzed with

Indecision,” says Denis. But that indecision didn’t last. In fact, it brought out his creativity.

“We started trying new things. After 25 years of doing things in largely the same way, Covid forced us to think out the box. I did a complete reset and restarted from scratch.”

New solutions for a new era

No two people have reacted to the pandemic in the same way, but what has been fascinating is how these differences manifest in a business context. For example, even though you cannot wipe out the skills and experiences that come with being immersed in an industry for 25 years (and these will be leveraged in new and unique ways), ultimately, Denis was comfortable starting over. Need necessitated it, and he rose to the challenge.

The biggest lesson that he’s carried with him as a result is that you’re never really starting from scratch – even if it feels like you are. You carry your experience, networks, brand equity and connections with you.

“Our slogan was that we bring communities together. Lockdowns and restrictions meant that no one wanted to come together, and so we had to create new content and new ways of doing things – and the result was OnlineX.”

The art of pivoting

OnlineX is a platform designed to help other businesses learn how to get online,  how to pivot and how to create value for their customers in ways that they’ve never ever thought of before. In other words, it’s helping businesses navigate a new digital reality – which is another inspiring lesson we’ve seen over the past few months through the Small Business Showcase.

When faced with a global pandemic and a business model that is no longer relevant, many entrepreneurs pivoted into businesses designed solely to help other businesses. The entrepreneurial community has never been closer or more supportive of each other!

The golden thread through many of our episodes has been value creation. Value creation is not focusing on profits or making money (although these are important if the goal is to build a sustainable business). Instead, value creation is about adding value to others – communities, customers, employees and the various stakeholders who engage with a business. In other words, value creation is external, it’s not internal.

You can support Denis’s business by:

Liking and sharing this video

Visiting his website

Following his business on Facebook

Watch the full video here:

About the Author

Elisheva Gilbert
Chief Marketing Officer, Sasfin Holdings Limited

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