The spread of COVID–19 gripped the world in big sudden leaps. As the world struggled to come to terms with this change and understand the nature of the virus along with its effect on human biology, it had already seeped into local communities.
We shut down our homes and our economies to survive this pandemic. The doors to our homes are open now but most businesses are still continuing with “work from home”. The economic effects are massive and are likely to continue even after the pandemic is over. Investment in startups is likely to drop by billions of dollars.
According to the startup genome, the impact of the pandemic for just 2 months resulted in a drop of $28 billion in VC investment.
This is a troubling statistic that gives a short glimpse into the window of economic troubles that entire industries are facing. Aviation, travel & tourism, Oil, manufacturing, luxury goods, and many more have been severely impacted.
As the people come out of their homes, governments are assessing the damage and organizations are making strategies to recover and realize new scope in the post-COVID market.
5 Step Plan to recover your business from the COVID 19 impact
Popular writer C.J Redwine once said, “Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis”.
Creating a plan of action and placing the right seeds of growth can help in recuperating & even making a profit.
Step 1- Understand the financial damage & future losses
The first step is to assess the hit, to quantify losses that have happened and ones that will continue to happen.
This will help in understanding where the business is headed right now. Compare the current state of the business with 2019 to gain some perspective.
Some metrics to analyze-
- Sales Revenue
- Net Profit
- Customer loyalty and retention rate
- Qualified leads per month
- Lead to customer conversion rate
- Achieved & Overdue milestones
- Employee Satisfaction
It is important to also consider employees that lost their jobs as a part of company loss because after all motivated employees are needed to rebuild what was lost.
Step 2- Even if the battle is lost, win the war ~ Focus on the long haul
Many organizations have taken global lockdown as a time to introspect & work on building new products & refining existing work-flows.
Factors to consider in the long term planning-
- New Demand
- Change in consumer behavior
- Transition to a different Distribution channel
Some new practices to think about-
- Redefining workflow
- Building new products
- Stronger digital presence
- Ethical marketing
- Safety & Security of customers
Focus on nurturing company offerings & customer relationships because empathy is bound to be a big factor in both B2B & B2C ecosystems.
Step 3- Branch out to a feasible & creative solution
Many industries and businesses came to a complete halt due to the government imposed lockdown.
It didn’t necessarily prove to be a bad thing for many companies.
There are organizations that realized the shift in demand early on & jumped in to capitalize on that. From garment manufacturing to creating PPE kits (Hula Global), from co-working space to delivering home work stations (Workshaala), from creating kitchenware to creating hand-wash equipment controlled by foot (Shree Shakti Enterprises).
There are many such examples of organizations being creative & coming up with out of the box solutions. It is essential to explore whether such creative directions are doable for an organization.
The risk of venturing into unknown territory is always going to be present but staying static in today’s rapidly changing market can be riskier.
Mobile apps have proven to be an immensely successful medium of reaching customers & building trust. Governments & corporations released apps to help track the spread of the virus and convey critical healthcare guidelines.
Marketing has also changed drastically. Compassionate & empathetic marketing is the need of the hour. In an environment where people have lost livelihood and loved ones, brands need to be sensitive about pitching their products. A careful mobile app marketing plan coupled with compassion & empathy will help in getting through to customers in a post COVID world.
Step 4- Develop a timeline for rebuilding
Setting a time schedule for recovery will be a more directional plan for businesses. There could be a lot of things to do but attempting everything at once will not be feasible.
- Prioritize establishing a steady flow of income for the business.
- Hiring necessary people to diversify operations
- Weekly checks to understand what’s working and what’s not.
- Shift to monthly analysis once things are stabilized.
Coronavirus is a tragedy for humanity. It is also the worst economic crisis since the postwar period. The food for thought and perspectives proposed by the article for interpreting the present and addressing crucial choices that look to the future are certainly acceptable, and certainly useful for defending companies and, perhaps, workers as well.
Managers, entrepreneurs and business leaders are called to make important choices. In such a delicate and painful phase, it is necessary to take a rational, energetic approach, without losing an opportunity to leverage and reduce costs, to safeguard the relationship with customers, to extend the business into the new opportunities – which exist -, to support old and new partners. acting on the redefinition of business model, finance and supply chain through an even more decisive use of digital, with a new mindset and an increased ability to relate.
OK. There is only one real problem, judging by what is happening these days: it is not clear when it will end and we are fighting against an enemy that cannot be seen and that science cannot stop.