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At no point in recent history have companies suffered as badly as in 2020. Small business owners were hardest hit.
Many things make the world move quickly and tragedy is one of them. Events like Covid have an uncanny ability to redefine business priorities for the foreseeable future, and it is clear that it has done just that. To be successful in a post-covid world, entrepreneurs need to prioritize some principles over others and base their business on those principles.
1. A culture of agility
Agility is the ability of a company to adapt quickly to changes or crises in a cost-effective manner without compromising the quality of its product or service. It is clear that the companies that have survived so far were the ones that have been able to transform the way they do business in the face of the pandemic.
Covid-19 highlighted the need to build agile businesses, but beyond that, it highlighted the need to build a culture of continuous agility in our businesses. There are many ways to do this, but I often advocate a "knowledge-gathering strategy" for building an agile culture.
Knowledge-seeking companies are often the most agile. This does not end with courses and training, but means that your employees and your company are constantly being asked to find a “better way” at all times.
The best way to build a culture of agility is to get everyone in your company to question established routines at all times and to look for and offer different approaches to achieve your desired goals. This challenge should extend to research into new technologies, new platforms, new knowledge and new strategies. I often advocate rewarding your employees' boldest ideas.
You don't have to keep tinkering with your business, but if you keep your employees in an innovative state of mind on a regular basis, you will often bear fruit when the need for sharp change arises. This is one of the best ways to stay one step ahead of the curve and not be surprised by eventualities.
2. A culture of social relevance
It is no longer uncommon for companies to support social causes every now and then. For a long time, companies have politicized social issues in order to gain relevance, generate profit, or just to tick the CSR check box. However, Covid has drastically changed attitudes towards social issues, and we are now seeing so many companies revamping their operations to reflect a more socially relevant approach to business.
We are now seeing more clearly how much we can contribute to the society that supports us, but what is more crucial is that society now looks up to corporations for such interventions as well. It seems that for the foreseeable future, businesses will have to work hand in hand with government and nonprofits to advocate for social causes.
However, there are benefits to this as well: the social impact has shown that it creates immense goodwill for businesses and acts as a massive tool for marketing.
In simple terms, trends show that customers tend to patronize socially relevant companies more than others. In other words, building a strong culture of social relevance into the way your business works is a great Covid Success Principle.
3. Socially distant customer service
We all had to go through the agony of holding back from hugging our friends, family, and in some cases even our spouses. On the other hand, the urgent need for quarantine accelerated the development of cashless payment systems. It has also accelerated roadside deliveries and home deliveries as the mainstay for businesses.
The use of cash and ATMs in general has decreased as people gravitate towards relatively safer and much more convenient digital payment methods.
FIS Global shows how portable card machines can accept payments through services like Samsung Pay, Android Pay and Apple Pay and can now even be connected via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. These functions only became more valuable and are being used in the time of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Humans are creatures of habit and it is highly unlikely that people will return to cash transactions and archaic payment systems after the plague. It's a no-brainer that setting up your business for the slightest physical contact with your customers is now one of the best ways to retain them and ensure success. Sounds ironic, doesn't it?
Well there you have it, Covid-19 taught us some tough lessons, but there is no reason we cannot move forward positively to build smart, agile, and profitable businesses.