September 6, 2022
Posted by: DevDigital
Do you ever stop and ask yourself, “Did that happen? Did a global pandemic just gut punch the world to a practical standstill?”
Although we have been weathering this historic event for over two years, the magnitude of its scope can still stop us in our tracks. The COVID-19 virus unleashed its havoc into every layer of society from public health to public education to individuals to private companies. No one has escaped its decimating effects.
There is no denying that many businesses suffered losses as they tried to adapt to this unprecedented crisis that came with no “how-to” manual. Our economy- the engine that runs a huge portion of our everyday lives -- unfortunately almost ground to a halt. Caught off guard, business leaders had to pivot immediately into the unknown to save their companies.
While some changes were developed with urgency to keep the doors open, it became evident that long-term strategies to navigate this crisis as well as any others that may appear in the future were a necessity that could not be ignored. COVID-19 was the epitome of a game-changer and a wake-up call. Businesses never want to be blindsided again by an unavoidable crisis therefore, many have begun the process to reassess their entire model.
In the Beginning…
The year 2020 ushered in the news of a rapidly spreading virus and within a few months, the United States was reeling. Companies had to act quickly with not much of a game plan. Safety protocols were created, and many employees were diverted to working remotely. It didn’t take long to feel the squeeze of lost revenue. The rapid decline in earnings was difficult to manage at the time and has been equally as grueling to repair. But, it gave business owners a chance to reinvent themselves.
What Companies Have Learned
Many have taken a hard look at their business models and have not been shy to make significant changes. One of the main goals has been to recover lost revenue, but this could happen if pre-COVID-19 strategies were not adapted to fit a post-pandemic world. Additionally, new revenue sources had to be identified so the company did not rely too much on a few mainstays.
One strategy to achieve this goal has been to act like a start-up and reimagine the company as a brand-new business. In theory, business leaders have started over with a clean slate regarding products, services, brand awareness, and revenue streams. They have asked themselves, “If we were starting this business today what would we do the same and what would we do differently?” and “How can we create a business that is to a greater extent “crisis-proof” or at the very least, “crisis-survivable?”
Business owners have learned about the resilience and work ethic of their employees. While many workers have long sought to have remote work options to create a more effective work/life balance, many business leaders were never keen to include this in their staffing model. COVID-19 was the catalyst to shift this once immoveable way of thinking. If business owners, again, wanted their businesses to be successful and profitable, particularly by maintaining staff, they had to adopt the remote employee model as part of the new pandemic normal.
And, for the most part, it worked. Workers proved that they could exceed expectations for autonomy, trust, and efficiency. They had a vested interest in not only staying healthy but also in ensuring the viability of their jobs. This shift in the make-up of the average workplace also allowed for rethinking the need for elements of business overhead to be reconsidered. Business owners have reassessed the amount of space needed and evaluated some other expenses that could be reduced to improve the bottom line.
And lastly, business owners have found that reinforcing their digital infrastructure has been key in both maintaining the inner workings of the business, that is, utilizing the latest in technology to create products and services and improving communication and collaboration between each team and its staff members, as well as providing seamless interaction with clients and consumers. Many businesses were able to maintain their existence because the online component kept customers engaged and buying.
In the Future…
Well, we all fervently hope that we never have to endure another global crisis such as the one we have all experienced over the last several years. The human toll has been massive. No one thing can be counted to alleviate the trauma that has been felt at every level of our national and global society. To keep our economy flourishing in the event of a crisis, businesses now know the steps they must take to survive.
Nothing is foolproof, but a comprehensive assessment of a company’s business model combined with a resilient staff and adopting current digital technology will enable companies to maneuver through a crisis and emerge that much more stable and successful.