The Post-Pandemic Economy is Rewriting the Playbook for Doing Business and Here are 4 Ways to Pivot and Adapt to Change as the World Reopens.
As companies big and small shut their doors and furloughed their employees, questions arose as to how businesses would survive this unprecedented moment in economic and public health history. The very thing that kept most businesses afloat – the physical presence of customers – was now a risky and even fearful prospect. With billions under strict lockdown orders, business as most knew it changed instantly. And, bold actions are required to adapt to change brought on by this new pandemic economy.
If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, you may be asking yourself, “What’s next?” As economies begin to reopen and consumers slowly reemerge, how can you welcome customers back while serving their safety and health needs? Let’s take a look at four ways you can adapt your business model to thrive in the new post-COVID economy – starting today.
Tips To Help Your Business Adapt To Change In The Pandemic Economy
There are many ways that your business can begin to pivot and optimize adaptability to function in the post-pandemic economy. Below are adaptation examples to consider leading your company through in the days ahead:
1. Work From Home…For Good?
When the office closed, employees were sent home and expected to quickly adapt to change through a work-from-home lifestyle. Left with few options, companies did what they could to equip their staff to function from home offices and hoped for the best. The good news? It wasn’t as hard as feared for companies to operate with staff members dialing in from home. In-person meetings moved to digital conference calls, email use continued as normal, and efficiency rose as less time was wasted on fruitless meetings and office distractions.
An element to consider for moving forward is whether or not all of your staff members need to be in-office at all times. Many companies are allowing employees to remain at home to continue mitigation efforts and limiting the number of team members who are working in an office. The freedom of allowing remote work can encourage employees to work more efficiently while utilizing their available technology to work as normal.
The pandemic economy will require smart business decisions. Consider cutting back on facility overhead and investing in work-from-home technology options for your teams. As businesses find remote work an enticing option, the ability to work from anywhere will only continue to normalize across industries.
2. Adapt to Change by Going Online With Large-Scale Events
For many industries, sales and revenue are dependent on a few highly-attended gatherings each year. Unfortunately, until a viable healthcare option arises for the COVID-19 pandemic, large conferences and tradeshows are unlikely to happen. Travel will be kept to a minimum for employees, and host venues will be slow to allow events to occur at their locations. To keep their consumers engaged, smart companies have adapted to host their conferences and gatherings online.
Consider taking your sales presentations, conference gatherings, and other in-person to the digital realm through online web conference technology and video streaming. Not only will you have the ability to reach your audience on their own terms, but you can also potentially open your brand to more customers who may not be able to attend the physical conference. Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stop hosting your most significant events throughout the rest of the year.
3. Use Applied Intelligence To Compete In The Pandemic Economy
Adapting to new consumer behaviors is vital when considering how to move forward in the post-pandemic economy, and data analysis will be of the utmost importance when developing a strategy. Consider moving toward an applied intelligence-driven model as you navigate into the unknowns of the new economy. A sudden and shocking black swan event such as a pandemic has the ability to drastically change consumer behavior and attitudes toward companies. If you aren’t already collecting data and utilizing applied intelligence to drive business decisions, you will inevitably struggle to adapt to the changes that have already arrived.
Consider using available personnel budget dollars to hire analytics professionals or a consulting firm to help you analyze current trends and build a strategy to help your business model morph to fit the economy. What worked three months ago no longer applies, and data is changing by the hour as local, state, and national economies reopen. Stay consistent as you collect and manage your data, and implement strategies to capitalize on emerging behaviors from your customers.
4. Adapt Your Business Models On Trust & Employee Protection
As a national healthcare emergency swept the nation, the conversation quickly changed from “What can this employee offer our company?” to “What will this company do to protect me?” As soon as businesses were forced to change their policies and procedures, employees will be looking to reenter the job market to work for companies that put their health, safety, and employment first. As with any recession and the subsequent unemployment spike, employees will be coming back shell-shocked and anxious for the next downturn.
To battle this mindset, you need to adapt your business model to emphasize employee trust in the institution. This model can take many facets, but a simple way to start is opening up your company to employee-focused conversations and roundtable discussions. Bringing every part of your business to the table will show that leaders value their employees. This attitude will help create and implement company-wide policies that are influenced by all team members. In the post-COVID business world, employee trust and confidence will drive success.
Confident & Transparent Leadership Is Your Compass To Navigate The Pandemic Economy
The above four strategies are simply those – strategies. They live dead on paper until a leader decides to roll up their sleeves and put them in action. Regardless of your title or company size, there is no substitute for strong leadership when guiding a ship through stormy seas. However, when the doors open again, customers and employees will be watching to see if you retain the same openness and transparency. As the business models change to a post-COVID normal, you will need to adapt and pivot your own leadership to implement the necessary changes to thrive.
After the tidal wave of COVID-19 abates, the strong, stable leaders will have the unique opportunity to direct how the economy recovers and in what new directions the world moves. How will you respond to the opportunities afforded to you in this unique moment of an economic restart? Will you implement strategies that you have developed to address the concerns that COVID-19 revealed, or will you return to the same old habits? (Hint: You won’t survive long looking back to the way things used to be!)
The opportunity to adapt to change and excel in the pandemic economy lies before you – will you take it?
JOHN R. MILES
John R. Miles is the founder and CEO of OVESTO, the leading provider of on-demand executive staffing. OVESTO provides transformational leaders for fractional, interim or project assignments. Miles is widely viewed as an expert on digital disruption, problem-solving, and business transformation. He is a highly sought after speaker, consultant, and writer. Miles has significant business experience as a Fortune 50 CIO, ASX 10 CISO, and seasoned private equity leader in CEO and COO roles across several diverse industries.
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