The world is facing one of the worst periods in modern history. The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the global economy and the business state. We’re all waiting, and the more we wait, the clearer it becomes that if the business doesn’t adapt to this unfortunate new reality, it might face unfortunate consequences. The hardest hit is for small and medium-sized companies, especially in the travel and service sectors. Offices are being shut down and workers sent home, often without any guarantees.
It’s difficult to adapt when everything is happening rapidly and no one knows how long restrictions will last. The recent „Deloitte Legal“ survey showed that 39% of interviewed business owners don’t know whether they will make any changes in their business, and 36% stated that they will cut down on this year’s targets. Only 5.8% are planning to change their focus and expand market reach. While it’s still early to make assumptions, one thing is clear - business has to step up because, with deeply global economies, we can’t expect the situation to get to normal within a month or two.
Although the numbers of leading businesses are still low, some enterprises are paving the way. For instance, Grassroots Fitness Project - fitness and wellness company launched online training sessions as they had to suspend their physical classes. Another creative example is Horderly, a professional organizing service that helps people manage their households. In three days, the company launched a virtual organizing platform to accommodate customers’ needs online.
It’s only a few examples, but they demonstrate feasible solutions to adapt to the pandemic - use of telecommunication, remote work, and more delivery options. Additionally, business owners can apply for subsidies and benefit from governmental support.
It’s surprising how it took only a few days for businesses around the world to find a way to handle work remotely. Although the world was gradually heading that way, there was always something stopping companies to push for the remote work model. And while the remote model has ups and downs, it seems to be the main factor helping maintain the work as usual.
If you don’t have to do physical work, then you can probably work from home, this way not only the business can keep going, but owners can save up costs spent on office rent and facility management. Perhaps after the pandemic is over, the remote work model will grow to a more significant extent.
With telecommunication tools such as Zoom, Slack, Asana, Skype teams can keep working and sharing resources easily. In only a few weeks, Zoom stocks reached new heights and it’s predicted to double its revenue in the following fiscal year. Not to mention, many corporations have been trying cloud environments allowing them to allocate and share data more easily and safer. Implementing smart technologies can be a window to further business development even if the suspension period lasts longer.
At this time, the only way for catering, service, retail sectors to survive is to move to virtual environments. While most of the restaurants, clothing shops already had online shops, the ones that didn’t use online retail are moving online. Even though people are in quarantine, they still have the urge to buy, and when there’s nothing else to do, many of them turn to online shopping or food delivery.
While it sounds like a perfect opportunity to develop delivery service, it’s important to gauge consumer behavior. Millennials and Gen Zs belong to the largest online shopping demography, yet they’re also among the most concerning ones when it comes to economic consequences, making them cut on unnecessary expenses. And while Gen X and Boomers are less worried, they fall behind the younger generation’s online shopping habits. Therefore, companies selling not the most necessary products should find solutions to reach a broader demographic.
On the other hand, for some enterprises, the pandemic opened doors for business expansion. Delivery giants such as Amazon, Walmart, Pizza Hut are hiring thousands of new employees to serve the growing demand.
Large enterprises, even though losing billions, most likely will survive, the heaviest strain falls on small and medium businesses. Therefore, governments are preparing compensations, subsidies, and additional financial support for companies to survive during this daunting period. The European Union will provide 37 billion euros to help member states to endure the pandemic. Most of the subsidies will go to the health sector, and the smaller parts will be distributed among small and medium businesses.
Currently, business owners can apply for the financial grant and many of them can benefit from an exemption from taxes or postponed debt and tax payments.
Even though it’s a challenging time for business, you shouldn’t forget marketing efforts to get you noticed in the chaos. Customers need to know when you decide to make service changes and if you can serve them during this period. A compelling design can help you stand out from competitors and attract more clients.
Doctor Idea is determined to assist business needs and provide impeccable graphic design services to help you survive the pandemic. Check our plans and make your business shine in the time of dark. Only by standing together, we can live through times of hardship.