The ONE thing a business needed to do during Covid

History shows us that any crisis presents us with an opportunity to change and to grow. Whether we see the opportunity in the first place and whether we then take advantage of it, is purely up to us. Our businesses are currently living through a Covid-induced crisis. They have been in this situation for over a year now however it is not necessarily the case that they have been able to glimpse the opportunity let alone try to take advantage of it.
The ONE thing each business needed to do through this period is to introspect, take stock of its strengths and weaknesses, explore the threats faced from the changing environment, identify opportunities that could be possible then transform the business to be ready for the future. Our businesses need to recover, consider reinventing themselves, re-engineering their operations or transforming themselves to ensure that they place themselves in a stronger position in tomorrow’s business environment. As a virus, Covid is probably here to stay for a while, and we will not magically go back to the world of 2 years ago in an instant. We need to find ways of living with it and of strengthening ourselves with vaccines and various social measures while transforming our businesses to cope with these new realities. (Also refer to our March 2020 article already advocating this)
In trying to make this one change, a bit more tangible, the areas of action and focus can be summarised in 6 broad areas:
  1. Innovation – In looking internally at how a business does things and in looking externally at what the market really needs and wants, there could be ways where a business transforms itself to do things differently, to achieve more with less and essentially to find new ways of satisfying the market needs. (Also refer to a previous post of ours)
  2. Digitisation – Technology is a great enabler for businesses and has seen an even faster take up during the pandemic. Digitising processes, creating self-service features for clients, supporting the client journey with technology and even introducing newer technologies like AI and IoT are all ways in which a business can transform its modus operandi and interaction with clients in order to provide better service and possibly gain competitive advantage (Our previous post on Adapting to the New Normal in March 2020 gives insight here);
  3. Internationalisation – The pandemic has shown us that the world is smaller than ever. Many times, a country feels like it is master of its own fate and that issues in other countries are external to it. Covid has however shown us that this is not the case. An issue in Wuhan, China has spread globally at lightning speed. People have been locked inside and they have taken to technology more than ever before. Consequently, a business’ customer is today seen to be global as is its competition. Internationalising a business’ offering and reach (where possible) is a crucial transformation that can help a business survive the new realities of a Covid-impacted world;
  4. Flexibility – This is a crucial attitude that a business needs to have to ensure that it can accommodate the changing workforce in our changing realities. International workers are becoming more common and remote working or hybrid working is also becoming more acceptable. This flexibility used to be something that businesses used to consider as ‘being nice’ to employees. The reality, however, is that as a consequence of our changing world, this flexibility has become a necessity for survival, growth and staff retention (Read our previous posts on Challenges and Tips in Remote Working on an Effective Remote Working Policy and on Emerging Remote Working Trends in Malta);
  5. Agility – Covid came upon us in a flash and businesses were faced with their worst fears in an instant. Not all businesses were able to assess the situation, consider options, take decisions and continue a degree of operation. Agility to act is therefore a crucial aspect that a business should grow in order to ensure that it will be able to cope with whatever is thrown at it and in as short a time as possible;
  6. Diversification – Covid has impacted different industries in different ways. Those businesses that were dependent on one area or industry for survival are amongst the hardest hit. Diversification of business lines and income is therefore an important aspect to ensure survival into the future to reduce dependence on one business line.
There is no escaping the reality that the business environment we experience, and we will experience in future while living with the reality of a pandemic, has created new pressures on businesses, new requirements in dealing with consumers, new consumer expectations, new product and service design realities, new communication realities and new notions of competition.
The businesses who are sharp enough to do this ONE thing and to notice these changes are the ones who can consider taking the opportunity of creating the change. The businesses who are agile enough to re-shape and re-consider their status quo are those who will be taking control of their destiny and ensuring that they will emerge stronger in a market that is impacted by the new realities that we are forced to experience and live.
In summary, the ONE thing that a business should do during this period of crisis is to assess and act in one of the discussed areas above. CMG Consulta can assist a business to analyse its current situation, look outwards at the market and opportunities and build a plan of action to propel the business to a more stable, evolved, and diversified future that will enable it to better survive and grow. Please do contact us to discuss these aspects in the light of your business.