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COVID-19: The Impact of Coronavirus on Business
While national governments are taking significant steps to combat the coronavirus, companies are adapting to the changing needs of their employe. Factories are idle, and the world is going through a storm. Whether governments' response was necessary or excessive is part of a more considerable debate, but it has already happened. As we move from a frantic pace of survival to recovery, businesses need to seize the opportunity.
Many companies are still operating, have withstood falling revenues, quarantines, and survived the initial downturn. Now they need to take advantage of this period of recovery and lay the groundwork for future growth.
And here are the top 5 reasons why companies need to invest in updating their growth strategy today:
To turn the urgency of the crisis into the momentum of the future
- To get a head start on new trends
- To adapt to a technology-driven marketplace
- To take advantage of a strong talent pool
- To build sustainability into their strategy
By taking these reasons into account and acting to update their growth strategy, businesses can position themselves for success in a recovering and post-pandemic world.
They will better understand their customers' problems and what they can do to solve them. They should increase market share, expand into new markets, and grow revenue, customers, and suppliers.
Turning the urgency of the crisis into the momentum of the future
Take the momentum, energy, and urgency invested in business survival during the pandemic and use it to grow!
Business is focused on survival. Temporary solutions and workarounds have been proposed to allow businesses to operate and serve customers as best they can. These changes range from creating remote working options and increasing digital customer service options to self-cooking at home; all implemented to ensure business continuity.
While companies used to contain the costs necessary to digitise their business further and modernise internal operations, the pandemic has forced companies to change course and focus all executive efforts on maintaining revenue.
Some businesses, of course, will reduce momentum because of the frantic pace of change they have struggled with to update operations in the early stages of the pandemic.
However, there are opportunities for other businesses that choose to capitalise on the current changing landscape and the internal momentum of existing change.
During this pandemic, everyone understands the need for transformation. And significant changes are already taking place. This momentum is something that companies must continue not just to maintain but build on. Businesses must set themselves up for future growth, as long-term structural reforms and investments.
Potentially, this could lead to significant investment requirements and significant operational changes. Organisations can use the current time of a weak economy to continue their evolution and try to adapt to the new reality.
By doing so, potentially, any company can outperform most of its competitors.
Getting a first mover's advantage in new trends
The world has changed because of the pandemic. Be the first in your industry to recognise trends and capitalise on them. The pandemic has changed society everywhere, helping to accelerate specific trends, such as adopting new technologies and digitalisation or the explosive growth of remote working. These trends present valuable opportunities for those organisations that can benefit from them.
To take advantage of emerging trends, businesses need to look at change at a macro level and from a strategic, forward-looking perspective. For example, looking at declining retail foot traffic, the rise of e-commerce, and remote working, it's clear that affected organisations must consider these behavioural changes.
McKinsey's July 2020 Global Executive Survey found that 62% of respondents believed that the changing needs and expectations of customers caused by the pandemic would continue.
It is important to note that this does not mean that all of the changes caused by the pandemic will persist. As an example, let us consider the impact of COVID-19 on the insurance industry. A recent Ipsos survey of 2,500 insurance customers shows growing consumer interest in life and health insurance products.
Access to virtual health services is considered to be more important to consumers than out-of-pocket payments. This underscores the changing needs of consumers and the different ways insurance companies can transform themselves now.
It's worth noting that, when considered in the context of other developments, the above information might help insurers decide what policies to provide and how to offer them.
Adapting to a technology-driven marketplace
Technology and growing digitalisation have been pervasive themes in the global economy. The pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in these trends. Businesses need to keep moving in that direction. COVID-19 only serves to accelerate and amplify these trends. Signs of the technology revolution are everywhere.
Whether it's tech stocks pushing the stock market up, consumers accelerating their transition to digital shopping channels, or employees being forced to work from home.
A comparison of McKinsey's July 2020 survey results with past surveys found that businesses have accelerated the digitalisation of most aspects of their organisation.
Organisations need to respond effectively to this trend by determining how they can take advantage of technology to adapt and improve their practices.
Whether it's insurance companies moving to digital policy offerings or banks moving to expand online offerings to replace in-person branch visits. Companies need to focus on how technology can help them grow.
According to the BCG Digital Strategy Roadmap 2020 global study, before the pandemic, about 50% of companies "prioritised digital transformation.
"However, that number now stands at more than 80% of companies, indicating that "accelerating their digital transformation is a strategic necessity."
The level of digitalisation can be an equaliser - levelling the playing field between competitors of different sizes and opening up new markets for organisations. Technology must provide strategy and create a solid platform for expanding the customer base.
Adding resiliency to your growth strategy
Businesses have seen how unexpected shocks can affect their industry and competitiveness. From an economic standpoint, the pandemic has shown the vulnerability of global supply systems. We saw this in the early and middle stages of the pandemic.
China, the global manufacturing hub, came to a halt, and its effects were felt by businesses worldwide. While global supply chains don't affect every business, all companies must consider the basic premise.
Companies cannot afford to rely too much on a single supplier, customer, process, or third-party technology software.
The key takeaway for businesses is that resiliency must be built into their strategic planning. Companies can't think through all the options and can't always plan for all the potential risks.
However, it is important to think through possible risks during strategic planning. Top-manager must ensure better preparedness and provide flexibility for growth strategies. A company's ability to repeat, try things, measure results, and adjust allows it to change operations when faced with sudden adverse conditions quickly.
During this pandemic, technology and the ability to scale and deploy were a lifesaver for many companies. However, it could not save others, such as event planners and hospitality businesses. Flexible strategies will be the foundation of future existence.
The time is now
The world is still in the depths of a pandemic crisis. Although the number of active cases has declined in some countries, much of the world is still struggling with the virus. Nevertheless, the initial panic and severe economic restrictions have subsided.
Governments are turning their attention to how to deal with the virus while keeping the economy active. A new reality is taking shape that is likely to persist over the next few years, as we all learn to operate under COVID-19 conditions.
Thus, it is a critical time for companies to evaluate and update their growth strategy.
Strategy is an evolution. Successful companies are constantly analysing, evaluating, and adapting it. Organisations must capture the momentum they have used to survive and use it as a springboard for growth.
As they transition to future growth, organisations can identify and capitalise on emerging trends, gaining the first-mover advantage in trends such as technology adoption and the digitalisation of global business.
To achieve this, organisations may be required to build on existing internal capabilities and find external reserves. Pandemic has given an invaluable gift: a marketplace of top candidates. When all of this is combined with a focus on stress resistance, the capacity to adapt company strategy and operations, firms will emerge from the pandemic in a stronger position than before.
About the author
Rebecca Carter works as a content writer and provides a coursework help service. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and, during her study, developed an enthusiasm for writing about the latest trends in the business world. When she is not writing, Rebecca enjoys being in the mountains and volunteering.
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If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on running a business during a pandemic.
- Creating Content in Times of Pandemic
- Trends In Covid-19 Affected Organic Search Results
- Content Marketing Strategies For A Post-COVID Future
- Your SMEs Survival Guide To Overcome The Impacts of COVID-19