The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the way businesses of all shapes and sizes operate. Some businesses were able to innovate and adapt to the challenges of the crisis, while others were forced to make changes that severely altered their profit margins and financial stability. The entire workforce has undergone a reset, and the impact has changed the nature of the business ecosystem.
Small and large business owners are looking at the last few months and trying to figure out how to take these positive and negative experiences into the future. Whatever they decide, it must be done quickly to develop resilience against the next wave of challenges.
Individualize the Approach.
The impact of the pandemic has varied across industries and companies, but each business owner and administrative team has gained invaluable experience from the process. For many, the changes made resulted in favorable results, while others struggled to avoid shutting the doors forever from the labor and financial strain. Going forward, these companies need to figure out how to make their enterprise successful, though it may look very different from the rest of the competition or even the industry.
Investment experts like Mark Stevens know that you don’t become successful without innovation. Allowing your business to return to a pre-pandemic state of operations and baselines is a death row choice for your company. Now is the crucial time to adapt your framework and capitalize on the lessons learned to chart a growth path for a post-pandemic market and economy. The future is still an unknown, but strategic decision making can help your company ride through the upcoming months and years with certainty.
Follow a Logical Pattern.
Your pandemic response shouldn’t be a fast-forward jump into busy operations and business as usual. No matter how great or small the impact of the last few months, your actions should be carefully planned and implemented. Your first step is making sure that all essential business functions are still operating but with extreme care to keep employees and consumers sage. Unless you already managed to secure some semblance of normal activity, this initial response could be highly chaotic as you try to stop the financial bleeding your company may be suffering. Once things are stabilized, your team can develop a plan that will restore your operations to a scalable state. This plan needs to identify and include a way to develop the capabilities needed to reopen.
This may cause you to take a look at your labor pool, your budget, and your supply chain. As these areas are addressed, you can extend your functions to address the market needs. Your entire team will need to conduct new workflows and processes according to the new strategy, but these processes should be designed with repeatability and scalability in mind. Growth and maximum performance output can be more easily achieved when you aren’t having to strategize with each new phase of development. Rely on emergent patterns and former experiences as you lay the new foundation and move forward.
Develop Organizational Resilience.
Once you come through a major organizational reset, you start to build resilience within the company. As you look back over what didn’t work during the time of crisis, you will identify weaknesses in your operating models and business practices that you can weed out or strengthen for the next major business disruption. In light of how COVID-19 has impacted the globe, there are extreme concerns that a second wave of widespread illness will occur. Should a vaccine or cure still be months or years in the making, economists fear another devastating blow to business activities should the global population succumb to a surge in coronavirus cases. It is crucial for your company to be in a place where it is able to learn the lessons quickly from the last challenges and build sustainable changes into your new operating model.
Developing resilience must start with an in-depth assessment of how the last crisis stretched or broke your existing operational strategy. These are the areas that present the most risks but also the most opportunities. Senior leadership needs to spend time with scenario-planning to pinpoint the uncertainties that jeopardized the last few months but could still pose problems in the new models. The future of the enterprise may rest upon these areas, and with extreme volatility in the market still expected, your strategy should address your greatest weaknesses. This way, your new normal is already a lot stronger than your previous position.
Accept a New Reality.
No matter how hard you may try or how badly you want it, you won’t be able to recreate life or your business operations to a pre-pandemic normal. Many of the activities that supported your operations prior to the pandemic will no longer be in great demand. Cut your losses quickly, and reinvent your future.