“In the rush to get back to normal, use this time to decide which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”
Change releases inertia and saves humanity from risk aversion. We, humans, are hesitant to change, as it endangers our stability. But we don’t realize that to recover from a downturn, we need to change. We need a change. Downturns are the reason for the biggest shifts in the market and mindset. New industries and industry leaders emerge from downturns. It is the pressure of survival that drives outstanding performance. Coronavirus ceased the movement of ideas, material, profits, and progress from us. On a positive note, it also helped us understand human behavior and its wider economic context.
The most radical responses that we see today, challenge the dominance of markets and exchange value. Around the world, governments are taking actions, that in the past seemed impossible. Most countries are providing people with an income to stop them from going to work. This is a shift from the principle that people must work to earn their income.
No matter how uncertain all this is, there is an upside too. One must experience threats to recognize opportunities. Today, we don’t have social gatherings, hangouts, and parties. Hence, most of us have ample time to steer the wheel and recognize newness. The one opportunity that everyone has is to reflect and revisit all the activities we have been doing, evaluate pitfalls, learn from our mistakes, and gather insights. The new work-from-home normal allows companies to realize and digest the scope of innovation. Businesses today, are re-thinking their employee engagement process, sales & marketing channels, employee & workplace safety, and their brand personality.
Businesses are trying to offer more personalized services to customers, seizing their early bird space. Firms that can practice self-sufficiency and preservation during the outbreak can enjoy a recyclable resource utilization. This practice allows especially the small- and mid-sized businesses, to evaluate their fixed and variable costs against their actual revenues. Markets may change every week. Hence, it is imperative to assess business models and identify where the business stands as per the assumptions of senior leadership. Hence, leaders must evaluate the impact of the pandemic on sales, collections, credit cycles, and possible debts.
It is also good to revisit the sales strategy. Businesses must compare history with reality to understand all sales and marketing communication channels and practices, identify those that may fade out eventually, and build replacements quickly. The product/service strategy of most businesses that operate in the small- and mid-sized markets must be designed around niche solution offerings to avoid heavy competition. Meanwhile, business leaders must keep communication transparent with investors and employees.
Customers could be the most endangered of all in these times. Hence, it is for businesses to ensure authenticity to their customers. Sales leaders can send out friendly letters elaborating on the current situation and the measures taken by the organization to fight back the adversity. Enabling smooth communication with customers helps businesses to understand customer perception about the company, and how customers think the company may survive the oddity of the pandemic.
Not everything about adversity is abysmal. Like every pandemic, this too shall pass. Today’s times are important to our character and being. We need to stay committed to the cause, practice extraordinary perseverance, and try to seize opportunities out of adversity.