At no time in recent history have businesses suffered as much as they have in the year 2020. Small-scale entrepreneurs have been the most hard-hit.
Many things make the world evolve quickly and tragedy is one of them. Occurrences like Covid have an uncanny ability to redefine business priorities for the foreseeable future and it is clear that this has done just that. To succeed in a Post-covid world, Entrepreneurs will have to prioritize some principles over others and build their businesses around these principles.
1. A culture of agility
Agility is the ability of a business to adapt quickly to change, or crises in a cost-effective way that doesn’t jeopardize the quality of their product or service. Clearly, the companies that have survived so far are those who have been able to make sharp changes in the way they conduct business in light of the pandemic.
Covid-19 has highlighted the need to build agile businesses, but more than that, it has highlighted the need to build a culture of continuous agility within our businesses. There are many ways to do this, but I often advocate a “knowledge garnering strategy” towards building an agile culture.
Knowledge-seeking businesses are often the most agile. This doesn’t end with courses and training, it entails placing a constant challenge on your staff and business to find “a better way” at all times.
Pushing everyone in your organization to challenge settled routines at all times and to seek and proffer different approaches to achieve your aspirational goals is the best way to set up a culture of agility. This challenge should cut across the exploration of new technology, new platforms, new knowledge, and strategy. I often advocate rewarding the boldest ideas from your staff.
You do not have to constantly tinker with your business, but keeping your staff in an innovative state of mind on a regular often yields fruits when the need does come to make a sharp change. It is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve and not be caught out by eventualities.
2. A culture of social relevance
It is no longer unusual to see businesses give to social causes once in a while. For a long time businesses have politicized social issues to gain relevance, profit, or just to check the CSR box. However, Covid has altered the attitude towards social issues drastically, and we now see so many businesses overhauling their operations to reflect a more socially relevant approach to business.
We now see more clearly how much we can contribute towards the society that patronizes us, but what is more crucial is that the society now looks up to businesses for such interventions as well. It does seem that for the foreseeable future businesses have to work hand in hand with the government and non-profits to intervene in social causes.
There are upsides to this though, social impact has proven to attract immense goodwill for businesses and to act as a massive tool for marketing.
In simple terms, trends show that customers tend to patronize socially relevant businesses more than others. In other words, building a strong culture of social relevance into the workings of your business is a great post-covid success principle.
3. Socially-distanced customer service
We all had to go through the agony of restraining ourselves from hugging our friends, family, and in some cases even our spouses. On the other hand, the urgent need for people to quarantine quickened the evolution of cashless payment systems. It has also expedited curbside deliveries and home deliveries as a mainstay for businesses.
The use of cash and cash machines has decreased in general as people veer towards comparatively more secure and much more convenient digital methods of payment.
FIS Global indicates how portable card machines accept payments through services such as Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Apple Pay, and can now even be connected through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. These features have only become more valuable and used now in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Human beings are creatures of habit and it is highly unlikely that people would be going back to cash transactions and archaic payment systems when the plague passes. It is a no-brainer that setting up your business to have the least amount of physical contact with your customers is now one of the best ways to retain them and ensure success. Sounds ironic, doesn’t it?
Well there you have it, Covid-19 has taught us a few harsh lessons, but there is no reason we can’t evolve positively to build smart, agile, and profitable businesses.
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