We’re living in a time where business owners and leaders are experiencing an unprecedented pace of change, both inside and outside of their organizations. It hasn’t all been negative though, because more has been accomplished in the last few months than in the last few years combined. It’s true that some businesses have been brought to a standstill, but others have found ways to adapt and even thrive in the midst of all the chaos.
While we’re all being bombarded with a deluge of information on how to survive a global pandemic, savvy entrepreneurs are turning their attention to ways their businesses can thrive in a post-pandemic world. What will the world be like and where will new economic opportunities be found? Things may seem bleak at the moment, but just like crises of the past that captured our fears and attention, the present crisis will one day be in our rear-view mirror. There will be challenges to face and damage from which to heal, but it will pass.
At some point, you and your business will resume regular daily activities, work regular hours (as much as possible for an entrepreneur,) and conduct “business as usual.” The key to preparing your business to successfully operate in a post-pandemic world is to not forget the lessons you were taught during the crisis. No business was prepared for the changes brought about by Covid-19, nor were they prepared for the pace at which those changes would unfold, but there are valuable lessons to be had if you take a careful look.
Winston Churchill once wrote, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Lessons from the past may not always ward off doom, but they can certainly provide insights that can help you navigate your business now, and in the future. Here are a few key concepts that the Covid-19 crisis has revealed that will help you prepare your business for a post-pandemic world:
A Purpose-Driven Business
One positive thing that a global crisis accomplished is it caused everyone to pause and consider what’s most important. That’s as true for businesses as it is for individuals. There’s much more to life than creating and selling goods and services, and the current pandemic has spotlighted that in a big way. Many of today’s thinkers consider consumerism to be dying and that businesses built on purpose are the wave of the future. In fact, many people base their desire to do business with a specific company on what the company stands for and the purpose behind their existence. The time has come for businesses to pay as much attention to “why” they exist as they do to ways they can increase their bottom line.
A More Connected World
For the most part, the world has operated in a state of isolationism for decades. The virus has changed that by bringing about a significant increase in international collaboration. If someone had told you a year ago that in a matter of months, the United States would be working along side Italy and China on the supply of medical equipment, would you have believed them? Collaboration seems an obvious choice when it comes to solving world problems, yet it took a global pandemic to break the ice. There are many who believe that this kind of collaboration will continue after the pandemic and bring about a more prosperous world. The key takeaway is that working together with others, no matter where they’re located on the planet, is crucial for everyone’s success.
Rethinking Supply Chains
When the pandemic caused many countries to enact restrictions and lockdowns to mitigate the spread of the virus, vulnerabilities in their supply chain were immediately revealed. For years, countries have outsourced the production of vital goods to places outside of their own borders. Once access to other countries was severed, there was an immediate shortage of important items, such as medical supplies, raw materials, and even food. Now, leaders of countries and businesses are looking for ways to minimize future risk to their supply chains by moving production of certain goods back to their own countries. That’s good news for many entrepreneurs who are now looking for ways to step in and solve the problem.
The Role of Technology
If anything stands out regarding the way we humans are dealing with the current crisis, it’s how we’ve utilized technology in nearly every area of our lives. From homeschooling children, to corporations who have shifted many of their employees to working remotely, the use of technology has expanded significantly in 2020. History has repeatedly shown that companies that have invested in, and utilized technology, win over the long term. Of course, the impact of technology will affect some industries more than others, but the key is to look for trends that your business can take advantage of in order to better serve its customers and remain on the cutting edge.
Reassess Your Strategies
What better time to revisit your business strategies? The tried and true method of Vision -Strategy-Tactics, still works, so start with “Why” you’re in business. That’s your vision, and once you have clarity on your vision you can create strategies and tactics that will get you to where you want to go. The world is a different place than it was when you started your business, so now is the perfect time to assess if your current strategies are still working. Do they align with your vision, and if not, what changes need to be made in order to provide maximum and lasting value?
Are you and your business ready for what comes next? While it may not be possible to predict the future, you can still prepare your business to thrive in a post-pandemic world by observing what the current crisis is teaching you and implementing the necessary changes that will enable your business to adapt to a different world. Regardless of how it comes about, change has always been inevitable. But with the right outlook, strategies, and new tactics, your business can come back even stronger than it was before the crisis began. The market may have changed, but your ability to carve out your place and achieve new levels of success remains the same.
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