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The 1966 World Cup marked the lowest point for Brazillian soccer lovers where the star player Pelé failed to perform. Everybody thought that the glory days of Brazil were over. However, after almost 4 years, Brazil stood up again and won the game with such grace that it was regarded as the best team to own the pitch. And Pelé emerged as a hero yet again! Such turnaround of events required a lot of innovation, unique strategy building, intellectual decisions, a cohesive team to carry out the tasks, and most importantly, a significant roster change. The final result: reimagining Brazilian soccer players as stars!
As businesses are considering a return from the torment inflicted by COVID-19 on the world, Brazil’s journey of triumph from being an absolute failure provides food for thought. With COVID-19 claimed to be the “greatest test” ever known to mankind post World War II, the chances of coming out of its havoc, even after its ending, seem bleak and subdued. Nevertheless, a few glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel can be seen once in a while, especially due to the approval of vaccines and the number of active cases reducing in some worst-hit countries, somewhat “flattening the curve”.
With these positive developments and a hope to survive and thrive, business leaders are looking forward to the “next normal”. Just like World War II reshuffled and ushered the world’s global power-deck, COVID-19 is claimed to become a major setback for the global economy. As such it is vital for businesses across the globe to become torch-bearers by adapting themselves to post-pandemic reality and social landscape changes. It is both a challenge and an opportunity to come out stronger than ever in this time of crisis and imminent change.
COVID-19 And Its Ill Effects Are Here To Stay
To state a plan for the future, it is important to look at the past and determine the present reality which clearly shows that although the battle might seem to be over, its wounds may take a long time to heal.
So, COVID-19 will continue to pose a threat to society even after it has ended. How and why? The answers can be found in Ed Yong’s article “How the Pandemic Will End” which has received a lot of media traction and widespread praise from world leaders, including the mighty Barack Obama. In his article, Yong presented an overview of various scenarios and pointed out that the only viable solution to this life-threatening virus is to “play whack-a-mole” with it.
In continuation with his first article, Yong’s second article “Our Pandemic Summer” also became a hit. The Pandemic Summer pointed out thorough preparation before reopening businesses as it could lead to a delusional sense of security. He also highlights that “there is no going back” and the only way out is to pass through the turbulent sea, hoping and praying for the difficult times to end. Thus, it is imperative to take it slow and steady, rather than rushing in!
Reimagining the “New World” with New Business Strategies
Take A Shorter Route With Work-From-Home
As the unrelenting pandemic rolls on, the future isn’t what it used to be. What used to be normal now comes freighted with speculations, denials, caveats, and whatnot. The strict quarantine and social distancing orders have worsened the case. So many work-from-home opportunities are deployed to keep the operations running. Media coverage has further fanned the fire, leading to a significant surge in work-from-home hashtags trending on Twitter and Instagram. With WHO claiming to maintain social-distancing even after vaccines roll out, many experts believe that working from home is the best option. Thus, the “new normal” can be predicted as #workfromhome and #workingfromhome!
According to Global Workplace Analytics, 30% of people will opt for work from home within a couple of years. So, it is imperative for businesses to maneuver their course of action by implementing more remote work measures.
To know more about how to make remote work a breeze, click here!
Let ‘Agile’ Be Your Guide
Agile operations can act as a stepping stone in times of these imminent changes. Driven by urgency, and desperation, world leaders are embracing agile methodologies; giving solutions over video conferences. They are also giving more decision-making authority rights to their teams and employees, thus removing the cross-functional communication barriers, if any. In this sense, businesses are putting in place new and improved operating models built around the customers, all supporting the principles of “agile”.
Secure And Procure To Scale Your Business Strategy
With work-from-home implications in every sector of the economy, business leaders have no choice but to come up with new and innovative plans. Technology has replaced humans as we are stuck in our homes, waiting for the pandemic to end. Therefore, many technology-driven prospects have been introduced, to make up for the loss of face-to-face interactions while working remotely. Video conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, etc. became the common communication routes in these trying times. Zoom in particular had a remarkable boost in its popularity during the quarantine and lockdown. However, this surge led to a lot of cyber attacks on various private video conferences on Zoom because it did not provide end-to-end encryption. This story suggests that as the world is changing, so should we! Privacy and saving oneself from cyberattacks are very important for businesses in their quest to search and incorporate newer technologies in a world transforming into something new and better!
Rethink Communication And Overhaul Your Online Business Strategies
As priorities and schedules have changed drastically, the previous communication strategies now stand redundant. It is wise to rethink your content creation and distribution in the form of newsletters, emails, etc. This could also mean redoing everything in your content creation starting from the content calendar itself. So, put general content on the back burner and focus more on what caters to the doubts, fears, and interests of the reader. This is also applicable to your products and services, which should be more in line with the needs of the customers in these trying times.
In order to scale your products, invest in ads, likely on Facebook, to reach out to the tech-savvy crowd. It is this crowd that has become avid consumers of everything thrown on social media. So, throw some golden nuggets of information on social media to communicate with your consumers better!
Future-proofing Businesses With A Few More Checks And Measures
The ubiquitous facemask put on by the world has compelled business leaders to emerge as COVID-19 warriors. How? By overcoming the new challenges of the post-pandemic world! This has forced businesses to change their structure to stay afloat at all times!
Let us now study two more use cases to future-proof your business:
Digital Approach to Transformation
Many experts are of the opinion that fast-tracking digital transformation strategy is the ultimate ‘savior’. It will not only help the businesses stay ahead of their competition but also make them post-pandemic success examples, much like McDonald’s! Even before the pandemic hit us hard, McDonald’s integrated a no-contact delivery service and its hard work has definitely paid off. Its efforts to stay agile compelled many food franchises to follow its path, thus saving the world from the invisible threat. The installation of digital kiosks also helped in the reduction of person-to-person interaction in various food stores. This made the food ordering service more safe and secure for the customers. Such small measures did help in controlling communal spread to some extent when the pandemic was at its peak!
Become a caterer to new demands and improved services
The post-pandemic economy looks and feels very different for sellers and consumers alike. So the struggle to survive requires significant changes in your business model and business strategies. Lockdown has also led to a ‘change of heart’ of many consumers. They have now become very cautious about their expenditure and the products they buy. Several studies have already highlighted the sectors consumers will turn to once the pandemic has ended. For example, in Southeast Asia economists predict a significant surge in the percentage of consumers in pharmaceutical, logistics, wellness, education, and a few more sectors. Therefore, it is time to cater to new demands and make your business more customer-friendly.
One great example of this is Uber; a ride-hailing company that experienced 94% fall in its customers during the lockdown in the US. Uber introduced an alternative gig for its drivers known as “launch of Work Hub” after the sales plummeted. Through this alternative, the drivers could render their services to other Uber platforms, thus helping keep their earnings up and running to some extent. The company also openly allowed its drivers to take up gigs from other food joints. Forbes wrote that the changes in the business strategies of Uber from ride-sharing to labor-sharing could mark the beginning of its expansion and growth when the sales surge after COVID-19 bids us adieu!
Look Ahead To A New And Bright Future (Fingers Crossed)
As we consider the change that this pandemic has engendered - and we continue to battle its consequences for weeks, months, or even years, these few business strategies will come along as a ray of hope. Although we don’t know how the future will unfold and what the world will look like, these pointers offer a clear path to begin your post-pandemic recovery journey and enter into the next normal - a normal that looks nothing like the ordinary!
So, ENDURE, IMPROVE and OVERCOME with a smile on your face and these business strategies in your hand!