Local innovation expert offers free conversations with businesses

By Roderick Benns

Local innovation expert offers free conversations with businesses
Dennis Geelen.

Local innovation expert, Dennis Geelen, is offering free 30-minute consultations to business owners to try and help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geelen, of Zero-In Consulting, says this is an ideal time for small businesses to show leadership, innovation, and customer-centric values, given there is an opportunity now for reflection and planning.

“This is a very uncertain time for everyone. In situations like this I believe that society can go in one of two ways – we can either be selfish and take an ‘every man for himself’ mentality, or we take the approach of helping, serving, and uniting,” he tells the Advocate.

“I am really hoping that we all lean towards the latter option and in the end it helps transform us all in a positive way,” he says.

The Lindsay-based Geelen says that, as a consultant he asked himself how he could best serve.

“I thought was best is to offer businesses some tips and advice on what they might be able to do to pivot during this time and make the best of the situation.”

Geelen says since he has also had to postpone his various consulting engagements and in-person workshops that were previously scheduled, he has also decided to pivot and start offering workshops online with 50 per cent of the profits to go directly to a different charity.

He will be coming up with a workshop schedule to be published in the next few days.

Before calling Geelen, businesses might first want to consider his three expanded points: 

  1. Start by reviewing your company mission and values and ask oneself the following questions:
    • If your staff is not able to serve customers directly during this time, what else can they be doing to help ensure you are living your values and adding value to the community?
    • In what new ways can you show your employees how much you care about them?
    • In what new ways can you collaborate and partner with other businesses to add value to your community and customers?

2. Look at the experience that your customers are currently having with you and your brand during this time.  You may or may not be able to serve them, but you can still ensure that they are receiving a great experience from you through various means.

      • What can you do to make sure that you are seeing this experience through your customers’ eyes?
      • How can you surprise your customers right now (in a good way)?
      • What can you do to engage with your customers and further personalize their experience with you?

3. Get your staff involved to make sure they feel valued and engaged

    • “Necessity is the mother of invention”.  Many new ideas come during times like this when restrictions and constraints are in place.  What new ideas are you able to come up with that allow you to serve your customers better (or more customers)??
    • Can you have video calls with your staff to brainstorm and get ideas on how to better serve your customers?
    • What fun and challenging games/competitions can you have for your staff to keep them engaged and come up with new innovative ideas?

Call Geelen at 705-821-1201. Or email him at .

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