May 22, 2020
Managing A Business During The COVID-19 Recession - Why Going Online Is Smart?
In the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, a pandemic that took the world by surprise and has driven economies globally into bedlam, some businesses are being hit more than others. Many business owners the world over, started rethinking large gatherings, with safety concerns prompting us to begin cancelling planned meetings, events, and even closing down offices.
Naturally, those of us with businesses that were designed around technology have been the least negatively impacted by this upheaval. And no doubt, other businesses that had begun the journey towards digital transformation pre-COVID are adapting to the crises better than their counterparts.
So, by offering experiential services to customers, many are trying to re-create the experience online. So right now, the commonly thrown around words are telemedicine in the health sector, remote learning in the education sector, video conferences, and the use of social media to sustain the entertainment industry.
That being said; not everyone had it easy. Unfortunately, for those of us whose businesses that were totally dependent on physical presence, things hit harder. They have now crashed and will have to transition into the virtual space. This is a modern-day depiction of Darwin’s evolutionary theory, Survival of the Fittest, further proving his point, centuries later.
For starters, this is the greatest economic meltdown the world has seen since The Great Depression in 1929, and thus, It has become increasingly important for businesses to understand their operating model.
The threat COVID-19 poses to many businesses is financial ruin. However, there are still many businesses that are benefitting immensely from these sudden changes that gave no warning. Economic climates are unstable enough for start-ups, not to mention having to go through the rigours that this pandemic poses. Suddenly, companies have to mount their operations on the virtual space fully. You find that businesses that haven’t manoeuvred this already have fizzled out. Others are drawing their last breath before going extinct.
That said, the main questions to ask yourself are; What is the smartest thing your business can do, not just to keep head above water, but also to thrive during and after COVID? How will your business position itself for optimal output? By infusing digitalisation in your business model in order to improve overall customer experience and enhance borderless trading while maintaining minimal physical contact!
It is very easy at this point for things to become overwhelming for business leads. Pause. Deep breath. Take it a nibble at a time.
The Way Out
To plan your businesses way forward, clearly outline certain questions and think thoroughly on the answers to those questions;
To further help you answer the above questions; the following points should be considered;
Switch to remote working: Remote working will now be the norm, as many companies will have no choice but be forced to shift into this mode of working. This will ultimately mean making use of project management tools to better organise workload and team management.
Maintain the human element; Making the switch to a fully digitised sphere should not replace people, but instead, it should enhance the work that people do. This is vital, or else it detracts from the “normal” experience consumers would prefer to get. This leads us to the next, very important point. The well-being of employees needs to be treated as a priority because it is. Employees who feel like their jobs are threatened have no motivation to inject their best into making sure the business thrives.
Increase marketing efforts: Companies need to move into social marketing, content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and influencer-led campaigns. Scott Jones, CEO of 123 Internet Group, said in an interview, “We are in uncertain times, but with the increase of remote working and a collaborative approach, companies are turning to digital channels and embracing the transformation.'
Based on that, it's evident that an intuitive bunch have already embraced the change. The truth is, it has become a thing of necessity at this point and anyone not on the bandwagon is destined for doom. So, in a society where getting with the times is somewhat negotiable, it's now a high-level hostage situation.
Companies are now looking to give their websites a once-over, explore different routes in terms of social media campaigns. It's even more imperative to extend their reach to new audiences and so much more.
The Bright Side
It’s not all gloom, there is a bright side to this. More than one, if we might add. Switching to the digital space has its many perks and advantages, such as;
Things to Look Out For
Keep in mind that your business, as well as the variety of online tools available, is constantly changing and evolving and just like every territory, it has its laws and regulations. So, please familiarise yourself with these laws as they will protect and preserve both you and your business. You do not want not to be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
One other thing worthy of note in the digital space is that your business' reach is easily measured. You can note your steady upward or downward progression and make adjustments to your business strategy without losing as much money as you otherwise would have. More so, your business’ success depends on your ability to set and achieve goals. Put your business on the fast-track by applying the principles of SMART goal setting- specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals.
It is going to be a roller coaster ride towards discovery for your business and your mindset and workforce would determine if that ride is exhilarating or nauseating. Remember, technology is the future of business and this is a good a time as any to hop on this moving train.
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