The global pandemic has disrupted business operations around the world. This crisis has affected the population of South Africa both physically and mentally. With so much conflicting information and uncertainty about the future, it is hard to stay positive. However, even COVID-19 has a silver lining.
The crisis has been a blessing for innovative companies. For example, clothing retailers started producing face masks, while Dyson designed a new ventilator. You, too, can hack this crisis. Here are four powerful ideas that will help you find creative solutions that will benefit your business in the long run.
Look on the Bright Side
Crisis always drives innovation and creativity. For example, consider the 1918 influenza. In the US, the national disease reporting system was established during that pandemic. More cars were added to trains so fewer passengers would travel in each one.
During the Great Depression, the number of new inventions soared. It was then that the ballpoint pen and photocopying were patented. The world also saw the first working helicopter and car radio. Finally, nuclear fission was discovered.
The same was true for the Second World War. The amount of innovation was incredible. It included radars, code-breaking, torpedoes, synthetics, and even the Jeep vehicles.
After the next crisis — the Great Recession — Airbnb emerged. Meanwhile, companies like Forextime started providing Forex trading services around the world. Today, residents of South Africa can buy stocks at the click of a button — quickly and affordably.
What to Do
In times of prosperity and stability, businesses tend to become complacent. They “get fat, dumb, and happy when it comes to innovation,” in the words of Jay Rao, author and professor at Babson College. It is the turbulence that forces business people to think outside the box. Instead of chaos comes total focus. The following recommendations will help you generate fresh ideas.
Focus on the 3 Rs
In this period of trial, businesses are focused on recovering their profits quickly. “Rapid revenue response” is the new three R’s. Now, time is of the essence. Companies cannot afford to restore their profits gradually. To achieve the quickest results, they have to reinvent their revenue profile and positioning. This requires the following.
prioritizing action over extensive search — i.e., adopting the startup mindset;
creating new operating models based on how employees work best;
expansion and enhancement of digital channels, technology, and analytics;
focusing on post-pandemic customer needs and development of new tailored experiences;
adaptability and creative restoration of supply chains.
Quick revenue restoration is not merely your survival mode. It is the new normal for all businesses. Once you knock your firm back into shape, you can rebuild operations and amend your strategy with digital adaptation in mind.
Update Processes and Interactions
Now, with many processes slowed down, you have an opportunity to reinvent your team. When are your staff most productive — when they work remotely or in the office? Should you incorporate a few days of personal interaction into everyone’s schedule?
Secondly, try to identify any internal bottlenecks. These may be financial or instrumental inefficiencies. For instance, you may have been using outdated tools, a flawed strategy for your product, or a bad time management approach. Find areas to focus on, and think of ways to improve them.
Look for Support
Support for businesses on the local or federal level comes in handy. Pay attention to the available funding options. If paying the bills is a struggle, or you need to expand, these may help:
state debt relief measures;
special loans for businesses affected by the pandemic;
small business grants.
Set up a meeting with your accountants or text advisors to determine what tax relief is available. For instance, your company may qualify for payroll tax deferral or tax credits.
Be Proactive and Agile
The pandemic has given many business owners time to reevaluate their priorities and devise a strategy for the post-COVID-19 world. Use this opportunity. Ensure a prime position for your company once the industry awakens.
Do you need to rethink your business plan?
Does your online presence need expansion?
What about your capacity and interaction?
Is it high time you took classes to improve your skills?
The global pandemic will not last forever. Businesses should start developing their post-pandemic strategies in advance. While business operations are limited, you should focus on the weaknesses of your organization and brainstorm solutions to stay competitive in the long run.