Schools are exploring new options for learning, places of worship are experimenting with new forms of gathering and banks are revising service-delivery processes.
We have even seen countries amending their elections procedures and for businesses, the need to rethink operations and service delivery is imperative.
While many companies are still reeling from the immediate effects of the pandemic—nationwide lockdowns, border closures and huge financial losses, they nonetheless face additional challenges ahead in the form of long term implications. Consumer patterns are changing, market factors are also being altered and the operating environment for most businesses have been transformed by new social guidelines.
How can businesses adapt? This article brought to you by Mastercard Foundation highlights three ways your business can recover from the pandemic and become more resilient. and discover opportunities for growth despite the times.
The pandemic world forced many institutions to go digital and adopt contactless solutions. For your business to catch up and stay competitive in the current times, it is necessary to consider how digital solutions can help. First of all, you need to revisit your old ways of connecting with your customers as well as offering services and replacing them with more up-to-date methods.
For example, if you relied only on word-of-mouth or physical visits to your store for you to attract customers, it may be time to make adjustments. You need to take your business to digital platforms like social media, online marketplaces or digital forums where your prospective customers visit regularly. This way, with the click of a button or two, your business can be seen by likely customers irrespective of their location.
Dig Deep Roots
Emergencies and crises are a part of life. Nobody knows when they will occur, but they do. However, if your business will outlast tough situations, you need to build resilience. Two ways to achieve this is one, by maintaining financial prudence in planning and two, by prioritizing your business’ major strengths. As a business owner, it is wise to always save for the rainy days even if the clouds do not show signs.
If your company doesn’t have an emergency fund reserve, it’s time to start building one. It is also important to be financially cautious about how your company’s revenue is used. In many cases, the areas of your business which you choose to reinvest money into may not even appear wasteful. However, if your business is spreading funds across sectors that aren’t your key strengths, you may find yourself on your back when times of business crisis come. This is why it is important to prioritize and dig deep roots in your business’ core competencies.
For most businesses that have fared well during the pandemic, the ability to quickly respond to changes is what proved to be the most profitable survival strategy. However, this great lesson learned isn’t one that should lose its relevance when the pandemic is over. The world is constantly being disrupted by new events and you shouldn’t have to wait until another crisis, before making it part of your business culture.
A good place to start is to adopt more flexible working conditions, like remote working, that can improve productivity among your employees. Next, think about the quality of your customer service. Instead of long and tiring communication processes, you can consider a Live Chat option so that your customers can conveniently reach you.
In fact, this may be a good time to start exploring home-delivery options so that customers can enjoy convenient access to your products. Essentially, the goal of being flexible is to continue to seek ways to improve and be the best at what you do.
In business, challenges only create new opportunities to grow, evolve and reimagine. This should be your mindset as you take the first steps towards business recovery.
To learn more about how Mastercard Foundation is helping communities and small businesses in Africa rebuild after the pandemic, visit: mastercardfdn.org/covid19-recovery-resilience-program.
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