“Change is the only constant in life.” – A quote by Heraclitus, a pre-Socractic Greek philosopher, that we all probably need to hear right now.
The Covid-19 outbreak has been an extremely dramatic pandemonium, but apart from that, it has been a massive reset button for the entire world. Businesses all across the globe are facing overwhelming challenges that they have never faced before, like disrupted supply chains, loss of manpower and rapidly changing customer behavior. This highly uncertain and unpredictable time has left business owners into completely uncharted waters where they have to fulfill evolving market demands while constantly finding ways to deal with the instability.
But as Heraclitus said, everything in life is changing constantly! And the one good thing about change is that it brings along a sea of opportunities with it. Those who can identify, reinvent and adapt through the change are the ones who win a competitive advantage over others. Businesses today have big challenges to overcome and even bigger opportunities to look forward to.
But if these hasty changes make you feel lost and overwhelmed, don’t worry, I’ve got your back. To guide you through these tough times, I’ve listed down some of the biggest changes in the business environment and how you can deal with them:
1. Keeping Up With Changing Customer Habits:
The coronavirus pandemic has substantially changed our experiences as customers, citizens and humans. This, in turn, has changed our attitudes and behaviors towards how and what we buy and consume.
As countries went into complete shutdowns and local businesses came to a standstill, customers were pushed towards buying online – resulting in substantial growth in the e-commerce industry. With these evolving new customer behaviors, businesses now have an opportunity and necessity to finally penetrate into the digital space and capture a new emerging market.
Hence, the pandemic has forced businesses to reconsider how they communicate with their customers and deliver to their needs while taking all the necessary precautions.
2. Reinventing Business Strategies:
Business owners are facing a besetting amount of challenges due to the outbreak where they need to support their people and keep their business afloat while aligning their strategies to identify and fulfill the growing customer demands.
While it is essential to comprehend that things might not get back to normal for a very long time, it is also crucial to acknowledge the “new normal”.Hence, the biggest challenge businesses face today is to deal with the Now as soon as possible and rapidly turn their attention towards the Next. And the journey to agility must start now!
Thus, companies need to reform their business strategies, interpose responsible business practices and renew their purpose to outmaneuver uncertainty and chaos.The biggest strategic change for companies right now – that they wish they’d invested in before – is to be more digital and data-driven and to have more variable cost structures, agile operations and automation.
3. Building the Resources to Seize New Opportunities:
During this time of crisis, leaders have had to act swiftly to optimize their company’s adaptability and restructure for risk and liquidity while identifying and adapting to new opportunities for future growth.
The current and future feasibility of a company during this time would depend on the actions it takes, including short-term actions for stability and long-term strategic plans that will create a new future for the company. Quick actions must be taken to overcome short-term liquidity challenges and solve for cost and profitability while generating funding to invest in new opportunities.
Hence, companies must take quick actions to build resources for new opportunities as actions taken now can have an immediate impact on the survival of the company.
4. Building Better Operational Strategies for Better Resilience:
Apart from the COVID-19 crisis, significant changes in the supply chain and consumer behavior are knocking companies off balance. Leaders now look forward to adopting more agile ways of working in order to subdue future uncertainties.
Organizations must outgrow into Intelligent Enterprises – shifting from top-down decision-making to a more flexible two-way structure and empowering teams guided by purpose, driven by data and powered by technology. An Intelligent Enterprise is built for agility, malleability and growth; it is capable of continual assimilation and self-management.
Overall, businesses not only have to figure out ways to overcome the current short-term challenges but also structure better-operating strategies to withstand the fluctuating future.
Now, the bigger question is: If you’re an employer, what are the immediate steps you can take right now to establish better stability?
- Get Communication Right: Something that has been way more deteriorating than the virus itself is the misinformation and confusion that came along with it. As a leader, it is crucial for you to communicate with your employees and customers more efficiently than ever and let them know that they are being protected. Doing this will build trust amongst your people and open doors for new customers who are looking for safer and more reliable options.
- Reassess Your Supply Chain: With such disrupted supply chains, reevaluating existing supply chain structures will save you from any potential vulnerabilities. You must look out for multiple suppliers for your business starting from the most critical product. This will save your business from coming to a halt in case of any future pitfalls with your existing suppliers.
- Explore Your Crisis Plan: Every well-run business has a crisis plan. If you don’t, you must invest in one to overcome the unforeseen and possibly unstable future. And if you do – nothing tests theory quite like reality – now is the time to put it into action and retailor it for the future.
- Don’t Lose Sight of Other Risks: No doubt, dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak has left businesses vulnerable and demand immediate attention but this doesn’t automatically diminish all the other risks that a business might face. Cybersecurity, for example, should always be on top of the list.
Thus, as a business owner, you must be on your toes and keep up with the changing business environment while being well-prepared for the future. It might take you months to aptly respond to the chaos but the better prepared you are, the easier it will be to recover from it.
Growth is never by chance, it is a result of multiple forces working together.
Let’s get in touch with Dr. Gaurav Dhakar to today; Whether you are starting a new business or exploring innovative solutions to current business problems, we have an answer to everything.