I hope that since we last interacted through Part 1 of my Blog – “How to Not keep your Business Quarantined!”, you all might have had some insights on how to thrive in the current situation and been following social distancing guidelines and taking care of your mental and physical well-being.
Following the earlier blog, in this blog, I would like to take that forward and urge you to ponder on a few more critical pieces to ensure that your business stays afloat in these turbulent times and how to use the current adversity as an opportunity to sit back, reflect and create your “Brighter Future” business strategy .
Here we go.
5. Innovate and Adapt–
When threatened by crisis, don’t be focused on only the defensive moves. Be bold, be innovative.
Scan organic growth opportunities as well as recovery plans and develop a strategy to prepare for the shift in customer behavior. Spot new consumption habits being formed – some shifts will likely persist beyond the crisis, and many sectors will re-emerge to new market realities. You need to rapidly innovate around new needs and rebalance your product portfolio. New customer needs also create opportunities for innovation.
There should be a focused effort towards continuously learning and being better than yesterday. Even after Coronavirus passes, the world might never be the same again and might have significantly evolved. The after affects will change almost every industry across the world. Given this, it’s prudent for businesses to remain vigilant and start nurturing their core foundation to ensure that when the storm passes, they are standing tall and ready to take on the changes.
6. Prepare to service decreased demand –
Your job as a business leader is to figure out how to re-position your products and services to be helpful and address the specific pain points that your trade partners might be confronting now. There should be focus on not letting the business channels to completely de-stabilize. You should start planning how to manage supply for products that may see unusual spike in demand once things become normal. Therefore, as stated above, strengthening and nurturing existing & new partnerships is going to play a major role in how strong and how quick you bounce back.
Post Covid 19, economic recovery might be faster than we expect. If you cut back too much today, you might not be positioned to capitalize on the post-crisis recovery. I do believe that companies can take some intelligent measures today to be in place for bigger success tomorrow.
7. Ensure you stay afloat –
Also, of high importance, after ensuring your employees’ safety and health, is ensuring Financial Stability of the organization itself.
Ensure that liquidity is sufficient to weather the storm. Businesses need to formulate contingency strategies, estimate revenue decline and operational disruption costs. Companies should model their financial moves on real time, proactively identify triggers thatmight significantly impact topline & liquidity and for each such trigger define strategy to being back stability and minimize damages.
8. Demonstrate purpose and give back to the society –
Businesses are only as strong as the communities of which they are a part of. You need to figure out how to support and be with society at this point of time. It could be anything, depending on your financial health and the industry that your organisation comes from – financial support, providing equipments or expertise. For example, if possible and wherever allowed by the Government, shift production capability to create N-95 masks, sanitizers etc.
The above are only some of the top of the mind thoughts, but is not an exhaustive list of what all we can do to make the best out of the outbreak with minimum fatalities and ensure that we are more than well prepared to make up for the lost opportunity in the near future. Each one of you have it in you to be dynamic, adventurous and visionaries and add value to your work place and thrive.
The current phase is just a part of our learning curve and a reminder for us to be ready and better prepared for surprises. We shall surely become better at predicting challenges, not treat our BCP’s as mere piece of documents and hopefully, be more holistically engaged with our touch points after the current storm passes.
We need to understand that the real challenge will arise once the lockdown is lifted and reopens. In such a scenario only those who had a vision and plans would bounce back quickly. Survival of organisations will not depend on the crisis itself, but how they respond to it.
All the best to all of us!
Stay Safe and Be Prepared!!