Coronavirus pandemic is impacting the world, changing what we use to know and redefining business conduct. At this time, businesses are learning to cope with the risks and explore the opportunities that the pandemic presents. Whether your business is a startup or an established enterprise, the coronavirus pandemic leaves you with three options.
You can either reinvent your business, adapt to the new normal or watch as your business is left behind. The easiest option for businesses to take is to watch their business go into extinction. This will happen when business owners fail to leverage research, intelligence and market trends to reposition their business. For most businesses, however, external shocks such as the coronavirus pandemic provide an avenue for growth. Growth is the result of research, careful planning and strategizing. This is the secret of most successful enterprises including Pfizer, Amazon, Walmart and the global reputable brands that have withstood difficult times and seasons.
The current pandemic continues to affect businesses around the world and the best bet for businesses at this time is to adapt. Adaptation to the risk of the coronavirus pandemic goes beyond ensuring that visitors to your organisation wear a face mask. It is far more complicated than installing a hand sanitizer dispenser in your reception area. Unfortunately, most businesses get stuck at this level of adaptation and this could affect the bottom-line of such businesses in the medium to long term.
As business owners come to terms with the ‘sink or swim’ dichotomy, the following strategic alternatives provide a strong basis for improving the capacity of businesses to effectively adapt to the new normal. Imperatively, business owners need to learn, revisit the core framework of their business and veer into digitization. These focal points are herein expatiated for implementation.
Learn, Learn and Learn: Every crisis comes with its ordeals and there is no business with mastery of crises. As such, it becomes imperative to learn everything from changing customer expectation to new market realities. Learning becomes the personal responsibility of every business. The starting point to learning could be a simple SWOT Analysis to evaluate the strengths of the business which has been elevated by the pandemic, the weakness, opportunities and threats. This is a very good time to collect data, analyse such data and make deductions that will drive strategic decision-making processes in the organisation.
Revisit existing business plans and processes: Business crises usually call for an evaluation of the business process, structure and models. By taking a look at the business plan, business owners can reposition their business to take advantage of the opportunities that such crises present. It is imperative to identify what product or services need to be upgraded and which ones need to be removed from the list.
Find ways of going digital: Before the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of businesses were
comfortable with their traditional business models. Even if they were planning to move towards digitization, it was a long term plan. With the current pandemic, it is imperative to accelerate the digital transition of businesses. Today, business owners are realising the ease of doing business online and this includes having employees to work from home. Platforms such as Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp have made it possible for businesses to communicate in very unique ways. This is just a little compared to the huge benefits of digitalisation on business operations.
There is a tendency for business owners to think they have done enough but it is not over until it is. The researchers and medical practitioners continue to find a cure to the coronavirus disease but by the time a cure or vaccine is found, the pandemic would have changed the world the way we know it. Smart businesses see crises as an avenue for growth and this is why effective adaptation to crises is very essential.