Perhaps it was just a blip on the screen. But we didn’t take notice. We thought it won’t be coming back again. But it did. And we’re practically seeing the TV dead now, dysfunctional.
That’s how the coronavirus interaction with mankind unfolded. It was in 1965 when scientists identified the coronavirus. Then it just caused the common cold. After some years, similar crown-like viruses were identified; some were from animals. In 2002, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), a coronavirus disease, came out of China. Nearly a thousand died. Then it got more serious. In 2012, MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) broke out in Saudi Arabia. It was another coronavirus strain that took almost a thousand lives. Then COVID-19 happened.
Fast forward and we have a full-blown pandemic affecting millions. While everything is pushed to a corner, businesses must adapt to survive. One silver lining to the pandemic is business processes have to be streamlined. What needed years to finish must be done within weeks. For instance, that goes true with your captive customers. You must find a way to engage the people who had faith in you before the pandemic right from the start. Or things could go out of hand.
Now that everything’s changed. Companies must bite the bullet. And that means taking a cold hard look at your business models and operating processes.
One thing’s for certain. If you don’t throw extra baggage then your company could go down under. Already, iconic brands are falling to the virus. Big names such as Ruby Tuesday and California Pizza Kitchen. But a larger number of small businesses have closed shop too. The latest count? Over 100,000 of these small businesses have closed for good in 2020.
The key to your survival is going digital. Here again, we see how the virus has made us evaluate our processes. As face-to-face interaction is no longer an option, getting ourselves a more polished digital presence is a must.
Another thing is you need to focus on your core business. That should give you your greater chance of coming out of the pandemic successfully. Noncore businesses may not only divert your attention, but it may also drain you unnecessarily of your resources.
There’s a tendency that in all the turmoil you could easily forget your clientele. Those people who have tried your brand. That should not be. Your customers are your brand ambassadors.
Right from the get-go, taking care of those who signed up for your service is paramount. It’s the reason why getting a membership engagement management team is wise. It allows you to take care of your captive clients without having to spend so much effort.
And the results say it all: satisfied clientele. By taking care of your customers right from day 1, you are fortifying your brand.
Then there is the issue of supply chain management. The shortage of toilet papers at the onset was a testament to that. Experts point to panic buying, an erratic customer behavior. It must be said that the retailers who did well in this crisis are those who have a fully-transparent supply chain. They’ve navigated a lot better than those who don’t.
Note that there are companies that scaled during the crisis. Zoom is one. It stepped up, jumping over Skype and the rest of the gang. It may seem a redundant app. Other video conferencing services were already there before the pandemic. But it was Zoom that got all the attention. See how the competition adapted. Gmail has now the Google Meet option.
Indeed, Zoom was able to capitalize on people’s need to get in touch while on lockdown. Such a glorious opportunity.
But even Zoom had to do some on-the-fly adjustments. The app had security issues. For one, as Zoom bombers multiply, the data breach was on a large scale. In one incident a bible study done online via Zoom was hijacked. Instead of prayer, each participant was given a heavy dose of adult porn.
Eventually, Zoom plugged the holes. And the issue has faded to the background.
Lastly, there’s the question of productivity. As companies find themselves losing a foothold in production, remote teams have risen to the fore. It has provided a great way to keep productivity high. And even when offices could get back on their feet, we have become more resilient.
It’s pretty simple. Adapt or die. The pandemic is teaching that unless we get our business processes streamlined, we won’t be able to keep up. Your enterprise needs a reset button. The faster you are able to restructure yourself, the greater your chances of keeping it all together.