Survival strategies after COVID-19 – Small Businesses

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    Economies across North America, Europe and Asia are reopening and are trying to get things back to normal. It is hence important to gauge the path that new normal will enforce upon us in the future. A renewed understanding of customer values, agility and speed will prove to be vital while coursing through the new normal.

    The global economies, communities, families and daily lives of people continue to experience a far-reaching effect, because of Covid-19. In the midst of a grim economic reality, corporations in response are concentrating on protecting lives and livelihood. As the pandemic is continuously disrupting lives, organizations are failing to fully realize its impact on their operations, and how to cope up with the same.

    Many companies across industries are increasing their spending on marketing and sales. However, this alone is not going to help organizations sail through the current turbulent situation. Companies need to draw out a plan of action and act accordingly. Organization can survive this crisis and thrive later on, by following a recovery strategy as follows:

    • Adopt digital technologies
    • Create a flexible ecosystem

    Adopt digital technologies

    In order to survive this crisis and lead later on after the crisis subsides, organizations have to adopt, enhance and expand their digital routes. Leaders in the market are already adopting these technologies and employing advanced analytics to merge data from new sources with their own insights. Implementation of analytics capabilities is important for organizations in order to bring about successful digital transformation. Organizations need to plan accordingly, while taking into account the scope of analytics capabilities and its benefits, to make their investment initiatives a success.

    Create a flexible ecosystem

    Creating an ecosystem which is flexible enough to adapt to any forthcoming changes will go a long way. The crisis has brought about varied disruptions across industries and is poised to bring about even more in the near future. With the recent disruptions in offline buying and supply chain channels, adaptability has become crucial for swiftly accessing new opportunities, and thus survival of an organization. Today, flexible ecosystem refers to how companies are adapting to work with partners and agencies. In the future, however, flexible ecosystem might refer to major changes such as mergers & acquisitions, and long-term partnerships.

    The Covid-19 pandemic is a once in a generation catastrophe which will most likely have a deepening impact on the organizations which are left standing after the crises finally subsides. Hence, speed and agility become extremely vital in such a situation. The Covid-19 crisis has brought in a paradigm shift in the way business are being conducted and is ushering major changes in the near future. For instance, people during the lockdown period are likely to invest less to nil in expensive products, which is resulting in shifts at both low and high ends of the businesses. Yet another battlefront is being opened, as companies are repositioning themselves by adopting digital services, products and channels. This shift toward digitalization has to be swift, in order to reap first mover rewards.

    Change is inevitable in life. You can either resist it and potentially get run over by it, or you can choose to cooperate with it, adapt to it, and learn how to benefit from it. When you embrace change you will begin to see it as an opportunity for growth. – Jack Canfield (American author)

    No matter how small or big your business is, you need to evolve it to cope up with today’s crisis, and win tomorrow’s war. Leaders, who manage the necessary operations to generate sales on a disruptive level, will surely stand out in this crisis, and thrive later on. Effective leaders have a strategy to deal with this crisis with an approach, which focuses on certain core elements.

    Enabling employees

    Organizations have to reinvent their business model to drive swift action, and build it around their employees for their optimal performance. A new set of skills and capabilities will be required to enable employees, so that they help organizations achieve their goals. These capabilities can range from providing task specific training to tech for working remotely. To effectively meet customer expectations, a collaboration of coaching between leadership and front-line sales rep has to be achieved.

    Adopting a customer-centric approach

    Once the crisis subsides over, companies will have to recalibrate their understanding of the decisions made by customers. The wants and desires of customers will surely have changed at the end of this pandemic. Hence, companies will now need to reassess the decision journey of customers and based on the insights, derive novel customer experiences and use cases. Organizations thus need to bring about a nuanced approach while characterizing customers.

    Organizations need to build a new business model, which puts customer at the center and is supported by appropriate governance and processes. Developing plans and processes for investment decision will not suffice and organization’s long-term goals. These plans will be effective and impactful, if a cross-functional team develops a growth strategy by understanding how to win customers. The aforementioned strategies are not just measure to survive this ongoing pandemic. These are strategies, which companies need to employ to lay a strong foundation for future ascend.