Coronavirus has affected every aspect of our lives, whether personal or professional. In addition to maintaining social distancing, most businesses have had to introduce some aspect of remote working to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Since the start of the pandemic, millions have lost their jobs while some businesses have struggled to adjust to the new normal, resulting in loss of profits and even bankruptcy. However, some businesses have adjusted to a certain degree and updated their working style to survive and thrive in the pandemic. With the advent of effective vaccines, there is some hope that Covid might be on its way out, which raises some questions about what a post-Covid world looks like and how you can sustain and grow your businesses in the aftermath.
How Covid Affected Businesses
The economy and its constituting businesses have been affected by Covid. Not only did travel restrictions damage the airline industry, but they limited trade and raised tax concerns which affected businesses and their supply chains. The lockdown also resulted in retail stores shutting down. Large businesses such as multinationals were able to bear the losses and create alternative revenue streams. On the other hand, small and medium-sized businesses lacked the cushion of the billion-dollar businesses, so they faced significant losses that they might not be able to recover from.
Companies have had to adapt to e-commerce platforms to ensure their continuity. Due to the infectious nature of Covid, customers have moved to online shopping, which has affected their retail presence and required a complete uphaul of their business models. They have also had to adapt their marketing strategies by getting creative since having an online presence and social media platforms now play a crucial part in determining the success of a business.
Where Does My Business Stand Currently?
To evaluate where your business stands in terms of survival and its market position, we need to see if there is creation of customer value while keeping up with current trends and the overall situation of the economy. Determining how well your company is surviving the pandemic involves considering a number of factors, including:
Some industries faced an exceptionally tough time during Covid, such as the transportation sector (airlines, trains, etc.), manufacturing sector (assembly plants, automotive industry, etc.), and service and hospitality sector (restaurants, bars, etc.). These companies were affected mainly because they either require the physical presence of employees or customers to function.
Industries that were more adaptable to remote working, such as insurance companies, technology companies, and e-commerce marketplaces, were least affected and even thrived during the pandemic. Their success depended on going virtual by incorporating the latest technology to ensure ease of communication.
It is fair to assume most businesses will be incorporating a hybrid model that allows employees to work from home and the office. Your business’ position depends on its degree of technological adaptation. Evolution is the key to success; every business needs to incorporate technology to ensure they use the most efficient processes in their operations. Covid required many businesses to rely on video conferencing and online planning to ensure the company’s survival – the more readily your business adapted to the online model, the higher chances it will survive and thrive.
Recover or Expand
There is uncertainty attached to what extent businesses and consumers will be affected by Covid. Once you know where your business stands currently, you need to decide on the next step – recovery or expansion.
Covid has required a reimagining of how companies function, and before focusing on expansion, you need to evaluate if the business is in a position to grow. Odds are you might need to ensure your basic functionalities have adapted to a post-Covid environment; this includes manufacturing, supply chain, and sales and marketing. Ensure your core departments are functioning at capacity with all process improvements in place before even thinking about business expansion.
Once the business has gone through a recovery period to streamline its operations, you can determine the scope and budget for growth. At this point, you might need some assistance from business consulting professionals who can help with evaluating your options.
If you are a small business, planning is crucial to your continued success. It would be beneficial to consider employing a virtual CFO to help your business emerge stronger from the pandemic. Covid has also impacted the cash reserves of businesses. To grow, they require an experienced professional such as a virtual CFO to evaluate your business’ financial needs and help make the loan application process easier so you can increase profitability. Outsourcing the financial aspect can provide a clearer picture of your business. The CFO can provide a custom strategy to minimize losses and run a successful business while beating the competition.
The post-Covid world comes with its problems, but there are opportunities for growth, including contactless fulfillment with the help of e-commerce. E-commerce has boomed during the pandemic, with people preferring to shop online and receive goods at their homes. An increased focus on sustainability and eco-friendly products also provide companies with the possibility of growth. Companies should also leverage their existing capabilities and expertise to respond to changing customer needs to capitalize on new sales opportunities.
The only thing certain is change, and our survival depends on our ability to adapt our skillset, product offering, and technology to provide solutions that the market demands. Covid has had a devastating impact on businesses, but it caused a major digital transformation that changed the underlying nature of how businesses function. With the incorporation of the hybrid business model, there are limitless opportunities for expanding your business through collaboration and constant digital evolution.