Are you another business owner recovering from the effects of the pandemic on your venture? Or are you just a stakeholder of the business world, trying to figure out the impact of this pandemic on the industry.
The destructive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have struck businesses around the world. The COVID-19 virus became the cause of countless losses of life and resources around the globe. Considering both these variables are critical for companies to function, the pandemic’s effects on the business world were inevitable. The situation involving national and international lockdowns and the enforcement of the global preventive method of social distancing certainly created hurdles for businesses. Countless companies were caught off-guard with a lack of business continuity plans in terms of a crisis.
Along with facing difficulties regarding managing their resources, businesses had to halt operations entirely and shut down. Further, creating problems for the employees of the industry as well as the economy of the country.
Several such businesses that were flexible enough to adjust their operations survived this critical period. Yet, many business owners failed miserably at trying to save their ventures because of a lack of critical thinking and planning. It can stem from a lack of knowledge about managing your business in a crisis. And although you might possess an inherent sense to save your business in some cases, it is always better to obtain some formal specialization. While isolating and working from home, many entrepreneurs utilize this time to enhance their skills and competencies. Considering you can even get a degree for a master of business online, it is convenient to pursue a specialization at this point. A pandemic is an occurrence that few people could have predicted to affect the world at such a drastic rate. Yet, after the global spread of the COVID-19 virus, the world should learn from this pandemic. Let us discuss five essential lessons the pandemic has taught the business world.
Five key lessons for businesses to learn from the pandemic:
- Always make contingency plans:
Contingency planning is often crucial for every business and industry. Many often ignore or delay drafting such plans as entities often lack experience managing a business in a crisis. Hence, they fail to recognize the importance of planning for severe contingencies that ensure business continuity even in critical conditions. After witnessing the wave of restrictions and problems for businesses to operate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to draft such plans. The closing of several companies should work as a classic example, why the surviving businesses need to plan for the future. Contingency planning helps businesses to survive in the market even in challenging conditions and continue operations smoothly.
- Embrace technology:
The imposition of global lockdowns involving commuting and interaction restrictions affected business practices. Many small and large-scale businesses, along with other organizations, had to rely on video conferencing to interact. Similarly, businesses worldwide had to rely on the use of technology to maintain business continuity. They also had to migrate their businesses online and onto the e-commerce platform entirely for the period. Such modes of business were proving to be the most feasible options to survive. Many companies that avoid incorporating technology into their companies failed to survive the challenging situation of the pandemic. It means that businesses should proactively integrate technology into their operations to perform better rather than reactive approaches.For example, when recording expenses, instead of doing it in a manual way such as keeping receipts to record expenses manually, that can be the cause of spreading viruses, businesses should try using a business expense tracking software instead that can be used by the employees wherever they are. It also helps the owners to monitor expenses real-time.
- Analyze and reserve capital flow:
Several businesses and companies that had to face indefinite or complete shutdowns did so due to a lack of capital reserves. Such is the issue of today’s businesses, as they focus entirely on profits and return on investments. Instead, they must plan to preserve the business by maintaining a capital reserve to access resources in difficult times. Companies that hold good and benefitting values recognize the importance of playing it safe through the presence of a capital reserve. Hence, businesses of the future must determine a certain percentage of their profits to maintain a cash reserve. This cash reserve helps businesses to survive critical situations in the future.
- Maintain flexibility in operations:
The flexibility in operations refers to the right mix of essential and optional practices in a business that an employee undergoes. Such various activities and the priorities set against these tasks are crucial for employees to maintain productivity regardless of the situation. Such a tactic is vital for businesses to opt even on regular days and not only in uncertain conditions. Thus, countless companies might have to alter their operations and come up with various solutions for employees. It might even prove to be the first line of defense for businesses facing a similar situation in the future.
- Ensure health facilities for the workforce:
The COVID-19 virus proved to be one of the most contagious and lethal pandemics in humanity’s history. It compelled countless people worldwide to lose their lives and countless others to remain vulnerable to this threat. This health crisis forgave no one. Thus, businesses around the world saw a lack of confidence by the employees to resume work. Furthermore, such a virus even led to several increases in healthcare expenses, leaving employees prone to being financially unstable. Hence, businesses should provide their employees with optimal healthcare facilities, protective equipment, and compensations in the future. Consequently, protecting their resources and increasing their loyalty and productivity for the business.
Conclusively, we can say that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be one of the most destructive events of human history. Businesses and individuals alike have suffered immensely from the sudden and global spread of the virus. Yet, it has also allowed us to identify the industry’s weaknesses and gray areas, to be more proactive. Several other lessons exist that the pandemic has taught businesses worldwide to survive in similar future situations. However, the ones we shared above remain to be the most critical lessons for companies.