Coronavirus pandemic is undeniably a human tragedy, and the global economy is traversing through the most unpredictable and perilous phase, something none of us have ever witnessed and imagined. There is an alarming shift in the focus of business owners, from plans of ‘Exponential Growth,’ to ‘Survival,’ ‘Conservation,’ ‘Cost Efficiency,’ ‘Business Continuity,’ ‘Employee Productivity,’ et al. They have suddenly become the ‘New Pain Points,’ and business owners are struggling to find a way forward.
The speed with which this crisis has hit the world is enormous, and there is an immediate and urgent need to take action and plan ahead. It is almost certain what we have been doing until now is no longer viable. The old formula for success is obsolete now, and we need to drag ourselves out of our comfort zones. ‘Think Different and Think Fast’ have suddenly become the new normal, and we need to look for solutions that we never even fathomed.
Here are possible steps to consider as a way forward as we all fight this crisis:
Repurpose the services/offerings: From production lines to RandD capabilities companies have revolutionized their service offerings to stay relevant and to make a meaningful contribution in the fight against COVID-19. Cosmetic companies are manufacturing hand sanitizers, hotels turning into quarantine centers, and IT companies offering networking solutions to hospitals and Government agencies, creating Apps to keep folks updated on COVID-19 or making work from home easier through various collaboration techniques are few examples of how companies have repurposed. The primary objective behind such profound moves is to utilize capacity, generate moderate revenue, and create a positive impact on their reputation.
Plan B in place: COVID or not, organizations should comprehend the fact that they need a concrete contingency plan that includes elements of how to ensure business continuity, keep the employee productivity uniform, and the most important is how to find, get, retain, and develop customers. A contingency plan not only helps them sail smoothly through critical phases but also makes them suffer minimum business disruption. Beyond a contingency plan, also envisage a ‘Bounce Back’ plan to return the business to a scale. Such plans assure that whenever one kick-starts again, they have the required expertise, skill, and knowledge to upsurge.
Humanize your effort: Nothing is more important for an organization than its team. Like InfoBeans, many organizations value their employees and customers, and the need of the hour is to reroute all their efforts and assume a more humanistic approach. For instance, IT companies across the globe have done a spectacular job by rapidly enabling work from home, eliminating travel, and revisiting HR policies for their teams. They have taken timely action to ensure safety of teams besides maintaining business continuity. For customers, they have extended the sphere of their services by offering super speedy response to customer queries, remarkable off-shore services, and even changing their business model to address emerging customer needs.
The right message at the right time: Communication has become crucial, and it is vital to intricately craft the message so that it reaches the right audience at the right time. Create a cross-functional team that communicates with your customers and validate that only factual communication takes place. Whether it is embracing innovative ways to communicate with customers like video conferencing through Google Meet, Team, Zoho or GoToMeeting or fun ways to interact with the team through WhatsApp, Hangouts or Zoom App, IT companies have shown the world various ideas to overcome the challenges in online teaching, conducting examination, inspecting patients, and running businesses.
Digitization and Automation: Encourage your customers to focus more on automating their back office and IT operations that would drastically reduce dependency on manual interventions. Also, suggest ways to accelerate their journey towards Cloud and digital adoption.
Besides the steps mentioned above, business owners should alter their supply chain models and assess their current resources in the light of the crisis to save them of any untimely incident in the future. The business leaders should weigh all the obtainable options and broaden their prespective on the evolving situation and implications for their companies.
COVID-19 is redefining business, and it is perfectly fine to adopt ingenious ways to attune with the changing times. Future is shaky but your ability to think radically different, a ‘Grow no matter what’ attitude and an unwavering trust in your abilities will become the key differentiators and drivers of growth in the times ahead.