There’s a universal shift that has already begun taking place in the business sector, and it all began in 2019 with very little understanding. Fast track to 2022 and everyone now knows what happened and why, the only unknown thing is the how. How can your small to medium-size business not only survive but thrive in the new force majeure market? 3 words: digitization, cooperation, and organisational agility.
Understanding the 3 tools to survive in the new carved market
Whilst everybody is fatigued from hearing these words, it is the origin story of this new path that has forcefully carved its way into the business world- COVID19. Whilst it is a global health crisis, its repercussions have been felt over multiple platforms and it's the main reason why many economies have not jumped to reopen yet. Furthermore, the extended lockdowns mean a full economic recovery is not on the horizon for any time soon.
For the business sector, especially small-scale businesses, this meant customers have re-evaluated their needs and wants and have reprioritized their lists- basically, there’s been a culture shock to the supply and demand scale. However, not all businesses experienced a collapse amidst the lockdowns, restrictions, and fluctuations. Many companies were forced to rethink their marketing, packaging, customer outreach and business scales.
Here’s a look at 3 simple tools to help you stand out today’s market, no matter how old your business may be:
1) Organizational agility: As a business owner you understand the market is always rapidly changing and anything can happen overnight, so your ability to adapt to these changes and respond to them on time from a business perspective is the key to staying on top. Sometimes it doesn’t matter who does it better, but who got there first. This introduces you to the basic understanding of speed and stability. Getting younger employees, and on-trend can help your business find innovative and dynamic structures, whilst at the same time maintaining stability within the company. There must be a balance between introducing changes to stay on top of the market, whilst not compromising on the quality of your product.
2) Digitization: This has been the biggest trend for many businesses - going digital. With customers changing overnight from walk-ins to becoming masters of online purchases, this shift has resulted in many businesses creating websites, creating online catalogues, introducing online payment methods, adding delivery services, and live videos showcasing new products, reintroducing old ones, creating YouTube videos explaining how to use products, educating potential clients on how their goods are made and packaged and what to look out for before purchasing related goods. This model of going digital has merged the world of working from home with everyday lifestyle, changing the way customers interact with products and rethink their environmental contributions.
3) Cooperation: The pandemic has no doubt changed the way societies interact with each other and has restructured the need for systemic resilience. In a successful business, the key is for employees to get along as this does affect productivity, marketing, and sales, but with this comes a need for the supply chain and the business itself to get along with its various stakeholders. The key for any business to regain its capacity to operate is systemic cooperation.
What can you do to stay on top of the market?
1) Work from home: The biggest save businesses have soaked up is office space, by letting their employees work from home. Now is the time to get your business (no matter how old it may be) online. From creating an online catalogue to getting a website and upgrading your online payments and rewards systems; if you want your business to last long into the future- THIS IS IT! Because this new path opens up a new market audience as well.
2) Hybrid working: This is a model that uses a bit of work from the office and works from anywhere else like a coffee shop, garden space or any other work-friendly space. This can be seen as more of a mobile office and integrates a lot of creativity. According to a study by Accenture, employees who used this model of work from anywhere had much better mental health statuses than those who worked from an office on set regular times.
3) Creating a gap: As an employee seeking new opportunities, make sure you have a stable and strong internet connection, make sure you’re always available online (get acquainted with Zoom, Skype and other streaming platforms for meetings etc and get familiar with social media). There has never been a better time to present yourself as a social media marketer.
As a real estate businessman/woman there's a downside to hybrid working- a lot of office space now runs empty; a little bit of redecorating and remodelling can turn these spaces into “Floating Offices”. Instead of charging monthly fees which is a big commitment in these times, companies can pay for the days/ weeks they use. Alternatively, redecorate various offices with different themes and rotate the office space every week, that way you get to keep the hybrid model on-trend and happy employees are always good for your business and their health as well.
No matter what business you have, dry foods, confectionery, or selling tech online, adaptation, going digital, organisational ability and cooperation, can open a lot of new opportunities to save your current business and even lead to opening more avenues, all they need is creativity. Whilst the world was forced to embrace a change they had been avoiding for a long time, the sooner we accept and master it the better off the emerging economy will get.