An Open Business Establishment
COVID-19 has changed the world as we knew it. Every stratum of our society has been hit hard by its ferocity. A looming health emergency on the one hand and a shuttered economy on the other make it a two-pronged attack upon us. Re-opening of a stalled economy is not exactly a walk in the park. It’s tough! But the economy has to be revved up to re-generate it. Let’s dive right in and see for ourselves what the different ways and possibilities of reviving our economy are.
Since the lockdown is being lifted in phases, we can see some industries gearing up to re-open. The government on its part is offering a massive stimulus by way of loans and packages. But, the more they do the less it seems. Such is the magnitude of the disaster caused by the pandemic.
Given the enormity of the health crisis and the extreme measures taken by the government to contain it, we cannot expect the economy to come back to its original shape anytime soon.
Come out of the situation we have to, but first, we have to make a beginning of sorts.
Let’s look at a few steps for the re-opening of the economy-
- Killing the Confusion
The cloud of gloom hovering on the business horizon can clutter our minds with despair.
We scramble for solutions, options and alternatives and with no rule book to follow that is easier said than done.
So, what do we do?
Become your own teacher. Contemplate. Yes!
Take advantage of this quiet time to re-assess your life. This way you can prioritize things concerning the changed scenario. Chalk out a plan.
With high costs, dwindling demand and the challenges of maintaining hygiene and social distancing to deal with, companies will need to re-model their businesses to keep them alive.
This requires planning and you would do well to keep a few things in mind-
- Hygiene and Social Distancing
- WFH and Digitization
- Diversifying and Cost Cutting
- Hygiene and Social Distancing
With the opening of establishments/offices, the highest level of hygiene protocols has to be maintained.
The same goes for social distancing which is to be practiced in totality. Offices can call to work those employees who are required for the functioning of the office. Social distancing can also be practiced by calling people to work in shifts if it is a viable option.
A lot of emphasis needs to be laid on hygiene and social distancing. An occurrence of a single infection can lead to your office being shuttered. That too for weeks, possibly! So, take care of these two things and make them your top priority.
If these two things are taken care of, you can move forward with the operations part of your business.
- WFH and Digitization
Work from home (WFH) is becoming increasingly popular because it’s your savior in these uncertain times. It delivers!
Frankly, what better option do we have in these times of lockdown and social distancing? WFH is just what the doctor ordered for coronavirus situation and the pun is intended!
On the one hand, the employees don’t have to worry about the commute and the traffic issues and on the other, the employers don’t have to be concerned about sanitizing the workplace and put in place the necessary hygiene protocols. Talking of social distancing, WFH is social distancing at its best.
So, WFH becomes a cool option!
The companies with no WFH in place can seek help from professionals and find ways of enforcing it. It can help you revive your business in these times.
The internet ecosystem is tested and proven, hands down!
Smart businesses have thrived in the digital world. People who had dismissed digitization as a fad are at a disadvantage now.
Having said that, there is no room for resistance to digitization in the times of everything remote. These uncertain times call for digitization in a big way.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently said that 2 years worth of digital transformation has taken place in 2 months.
People are quickly pivoting to digitization.
Depending on the needs of your product/service one can visualize-
- i)Complete digitization of the supply chain
- ii)Adoption of cloud-based systems
iii) Leveraging data, IoT, AI to develop new business models
As Digitization, WFH takes the center stage, Engagement has become the new buzzword.
With the increased use of video-conferencing (Zoom and Microsoft Teams), things are becoming easier and manageable. From morning huddles to meetings with bosses and clients, a new way of doing business has come into play. Since all this is happening online, interconnectivity amongst the different layers in an organization becomes a necessity. This gap requires some form of engagement.
Video Conferencing is Quite the Rage
Now that more and more people prefer to work from home, the need for engagement management is on the rise.
Companies are using social media as an engagement platform more than ever before.
With digitization and WFH, we can expect some changes in the way companies conduct themselves.
All these changes shall lead to a crisper, more efficient and secure workflow.
Two Circles, a London-based sports marketing agency has estimated that the sports industry may lose the US $61.6 billion of revenue this year.
These are mind-boggling figures!
The Sports industry is already experimenting with holding big-ticket events remotely.
It can work like this- the broadcasters can work from their homes, while the sporting event takes place outdoors. There shall be no live spectators watching the proceedings. They can instead enjoy the game in the comfort of their home.
All this is quite challenging! I hope they pull it off!
Digitization is already a thing! It’s our future so invest in it.
- Diversifying and Cost Cutting
E-tailers, healthcare and life-science professionals are working overtime. The demand for their products and services has seen a major upsurge in recent times. These sectors are contributing enormously towards the economy.
What about other sectors?
While some sectors have partially opened others will require more time to start again. For instance, travel & tourism, entertainment and other such sectors shall have to wait for some semblance of normalcy to return, before they can pitch for business again.
This waiting for normal times can take a toll on us for sure!
One of the solutions could be innovation and diversifying.
Since the re-opening of the economy is in the interest of everybody, people can surely find ways of staying productive.
You must think out of the box to keep your business afloat. Innovation in these times can be your savior!
Smart entrepreneurs have already diversified into products and services which are witnessing huge demand. For example, companies who have no track record of manufacturing masks, sanitizers, PPE’s, face shields, ventilators are eying their share in the new market.
Some brick and mortar establishments can start taking orders online by investing in an app.
People are coming up with unique business ideas to contribute positively to people’s needs.
Since the demand for WFH and virtualization is an all-time high, some people are busy catering to that. They are for example providing background screens for video-conferencing calls and meetings and renting out laptops and furniture.
The demand for such products can only grow in these times!
One can take a cue from these smart business ideas and start something of their own.
Investing time and resources in some niches promising high growth can be a gamechanger for you! Look around and see what the consumers of today are looking for.
Our economy needs innovators and thinkers.
A by-product of digitization can be cost-cutting.
With more and more meetings happening online, there will be less business travel happening.
With uncertainty around us, business houses shall certainly be cutting corners in whatever way they can. This is no time for frills and superfluous spending. These are the times of maintaining caution and restraint.
If all these measures are taken up, they can surely help in giving our economy the required boost.
Different economic sectors have their own stories of fear and insecurity. With the supply chains having gone for a complete toss and layoffs and furloughs coming in force, there is a kind of hush descended on them.
Then there are some industries whose survival depends on normalcy. Take for example the entertainment, travel and tourism and construction sectors. These are all waiting for some good news to help them pick up where they left off.
They will surely start whenever the time is right but they will have to maintain those strict protocols.
There is no escaping the fact that a new-normal has set in, in our lives and we will have to live with that.
People want oodles and oodles of positive signs and assurances to gear up and participate in the re-opening of the economy.
All these fears and scares have to vanish!
Till then we can contribute to the economy by opening some sectors with caution.
Tenacity and resilience will make us stand tall amidst these chaotic times.
In short, there are no quick fixes in the offing, no ready answers for every sector. The crisis has impacted all of us differently.
It is a process which shall require all of us to contribute in whatever way one can by
- Staying Safe
- Opening some sectors
- Adopting Digital Solutions and WFH
- Innovation and Diversifying
Stay healthy! Stay productive!