The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is not over yet. However, countries across the globe are increasingly easing lockdown in order to let the wheels of the economy come back to life and resume running.
The pandemic and its consequent lockdowns the world over caused social and economic disruptions took a terrible toll on the economies of nations and led to the worst recession highly comparable to The Great Depression. Summarily, one can safely say that COVID-19 brought the world to its knees and the struggles are not over yet.
With the gradual reopening of the economies and high hopes by the nations across the globe, a new challenge is also emerging with what is now globally termed the “new normal”. This is the challenge of maintaining a balance between the prevailing lockdowns as well as preparing to reopen other locations/branches across states/regions and nations.
While this presents a challenge to many companies, there are a few that see great opportunities and are ready to surf the tide and dominate the market by elevating their presence both at the local and international levels.
These are achievable through:
- keeping accurate and up-to-date listings,
- keeping accurate and up-to-date landing pages,
- updating business descriptions and adding custom COVID-19 messages
- updating your services to include such unique features such as home/office delivery, pick up and drive-thru among others
- managing online reputation,
- leveraging Good posts
- responding to customer feedback and relationships, as well as
- adding messaging to your local landing pages
- ensuring customers’ satisfaction and staying top on the reviews
- leveraging the analytics in the most powerful ways to inform their strategy.
- leveraging the dynamics of the moment by being up-to-date with current information on demand relating to your goods/services with a particular focus on regional trends.
Keeping the local platform open enables you to maintain a constant connection with your customers and relate with them promptly.
How do you stay afloat and attain new height(s) during and after the Corona-virus pandemic?
Asking the right questions helps you get into the right mood and create a pathway towards achieving your desired goals. Making strategic decisions requires your understanding of the position your organization occupies in the community. You must understand who you are in the market, the role you play in the environment as well as a good understanding of your competitors. This knowledge helps point you in the right direction. Consideration must be made regarding the ease of reopening business after the pandemic if you shut down and asking yourself whether you can recover lost grounds. The question of possible bankruptcy amidst these decisions must be well articulated. Can you emerge and lead the market after the lockdown based on what new strategies you should have been putting in place?
The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses as well as strengths of many organizations and many have begun to question their viability after the pandemic. While others are pushing deeper into the market as a result of high demands of their products such as those in office equipment for homes, internet communication tools, home security systems, home delivery services, etc. others whose products and services such as hospitality, travel, and events industries are going through hard times and must find other ways of staying afloat in the business or risk losing customers and total bankruptcy.
Firms must engage in in-depth discussions and consultations to determine the impact of the pandemic and how to survive. They may have to employ the services of consultants and experts whose advice can help them strategize and not only survive, but come out strong and even dominate the business ecosystem.
You must have a bounce-back plan
Having been impacted by the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic you must have a course of action to reposition your organization on the track. Detail every step of what should be done in order to take a large chunk of the market in the nearest future. Your plan should be definitive and audacious. Making a bold step to lead in your environment by first understanding and dealing with and getting through the crisis so as to resume business when the dust settles.
Without a plan you are at a great disadvantage and may run into confusion; this is not what you want as allowing that makes you give away your chances thereby giving the competition the advantage
Dealing with culture and identity changes
How the organization sees itself and the world around it (perspective) is very important. Chances are that the pandemic will cause a major shift in culture and identity. Crises have the capacity to converge the people in a bid to face a common enemy or challenge by building resilience. Sometimes the opposite could be the result as people may go their separate ways, and everyone fending for themselves, and the atmosphere is charged with tension as people distrust one another.
The perspective of your organization will certainly evolve in such situations and you must be prepared to deal with the crisis. Keeping a keen focus on the effect on your workers’ behavior and how they are coping or dealing with the situation is important. You must watch out for changes in behavior whether it’s tearing them apart or they’re forging a stronger bond to handle the challenge. How they see the organization at the end of the pandemic should also be considered as this will reflect on their behavior thereafter.
Preparation is key
Having done all, you need to make an assessment of your organization’s preparedness. You must ensure you are ready and able to execute your plans. Responsiveness is the ability to make shifts quickly and adjust the new norm and continue without the business being hindered. If your organization has adopted to work remotely it must adopt a proper and robust infrastructure for a hitch-free process, beginning from the individual to the team as well as regional and organizational levels. Resources must be tested to meet the requirements of speed and quality at the point of deployment at all points of the whole chain; this will help to identify and correct any shortfalls and technical challenges preparatory to execution
Many firms are usually tempted to raise prices of goods and services in times of crisis as witnessed in this COVID-19 pandemic. Certain considerations must be made with regard to customer’s reactions concerning such actions. Mind you those customers will recall your dealings with them during the crisis and this may go a long to affect your business relationships with them. Unnecessarily hiking prices during a period of shortage may significantly affect your relationship with them later on.