Many are wondering what a post-pandemic business world is going to look like. Federal and state leaders are eager to get the American economy back up and running, but specifics on how that will happen are scarce. Which businesses will be able to reopen first and under what restrictions? While we do not yet have the answers to these questions, we do know the post-pandemic business world will look different than it did six months ago. With this in mind, there are strategies businesses should be employing now to ensure they are successful moving forward.
The Post-Pandemic Shifting Normal
Economists agree COVID-19 has launched us into a global recession different from any we’ve seen in our lifetime. Typical recessions occur as natural, gradual “corrections” after periods of massive economic growth. The U.S. economy has been expanding rapidly since 2009, leading many economists to suggest we were already heading toward a recession. What makes the COVID-19 recession different – and its impact more difficult to predict – is its immediate onset, as the direct result of a global health crisis. Many economists have suggested we will not begin to recover from the COVID-19 recession until the virus itself has been successfully tackled. What we are seeing is a new, shifting normal that will impact businesses and consumer spending for some time.
Layoffs resulting from shuttering non-essential businesses have led consumers to limit discretionary spending. The closure of these businesses has also limited the outlet for consumer spending, leaving online or curbside pickup as the only options available in many cases. While government leaders have begun formulating plans for reopening these non-essential businesses, we do not yet know which businesses will be permitted to open first or under what restrictions. Several industries have moved their operations online, relying almost entirely on remote work where possible. Several businesses have increased their online offerings. A business’s continued success depends entirely on how it responds to the new shifting normal the COVID-19 recession has brought about.
Recognizing Your Business’s Role in the Post-Pandemic Economy
One of the most important things a business will need to do in order to thrive in the post-pandemic business world is assess where they fit into the new shifting normal. Understanding where a business is positioned will lead to a stronger strategy moving forward.
Business owners should be asking themselves:
- How have the needs of their primary market shifted?
- What goods and services are they able to provide that will meet their primary market’s shifting needs?
- Who are their main competitors and what services are they offering the primary market?
- What secondary markets can they tap into?
Answering these questions will help a business determine how it fits into the economic “circle of life.” While traversing the new challenges brought about by the COVID-19 recession may be daunting, this moment of chaos offers businesses a unique opportunity to reinvent themselves. As you reassess your business’s role within the post-pandemic world, think about what role you want your business to play in this new economy. If your business is non-essential or discretionary, how can you transform it to make it essential or non-discretionary? For inspiration, consider how quickly seemingly discretionary businesses within our economy became essential during the pandemic shutdown (Instacart, Shipt, DoorDash, GrugHub, etc.).
Make a Plan for Navigating the Post-Pandemic Business World
Necessity is the mother of invention, and many businesses have invented ingenious strategies for surviving the COVID-19 shutdown. One big question businesses need to ask as they navigate this sudden recession is which of these innovations they can carry forward into the post-pandemic business world. Gyms, yoga studios, and dance centers took their instruction online with streaming videos. Other businesses shifted their business to an entirely online model, even shifting their primary market by focusing more on secondary product offerings. Wineries and distilleries provided a philanthropic service by pausing production of wine and whiskey and instead distilling much-needed hand sanitizer. Some of the changes businesses implemented in order to survive the COVID-19 pandemic will be temporary, but some of them will be more long-lasting. Determine which changes will become (or need to become) a more permanent part of your business’s culture.
Planning now for the changes your company will see once the shutdown restrictions have been lifted will enable your business to move forward smoothly. As you consider the changes you will need to make to your business operations and culture, determine what projects will need to be completed in order to make that happen. How will they be carried out and by whom? What resources will you need in order to implement these changes?
Businesses also need to make a plan for the possibility of this type of global shutdown happening again. The COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the global economy were unforeseen, but epidemiologists agree that it is entirely possible a similar disruption may happen again in our lifetime. Evaluate how your company responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and identify areas that could use improvement. How easily were you able to continue business operations? What resources did you need in order to get back up and running?
Gaining the insight of an objective third-party can also provide invaluable as businesses begin navigating the post-pandemic economy. Net Profit specializes in profit and revenue growth, along with operational improvement, all of which businesses will be struggling with as they grapple with the long-lasting effects COVID-19 will have on our economy. We are able to gain an outsider’s perspective, which enables us to see how a company can better position themselves to thrive in this post-pandemic business world. Contact us today!