Covid-19 and Business

Covid-19 and Business

Covid-19 and Business – How to Build Value During the Pandemic.  It’s still somewhat early to predict how the Covid-19 outbreak has changed every part of our world.  It’s not too soon to pick up some early ideas that are emerging from the disruption caused by the pandemic. Smart companies will look to use the disruption to build value for customers, while taking care to minimize emerging risks.

Here are a few key early ideas we are seeing.

1. Virtualization is accelerating

With many in the country having a stay at home order, connections by livestream, FaceTime and videoconferencing became very common.  Now millions of people have gained first-hand experience with applications like Zoom.  Many businesses are now heavily relying on those tools.

One implication for many industries is that the video meeting has become much more common.   Now, technology exists to virtualize big chunks of many operations, especially if you’ve already started down that path.

2. Working from home is working out…or it isn’t.

Many businesses are now shifting much of their workload into work-at-home arrangements, even if they resisted such moves before.  In some cases, this works better than expected, because it has to work for the business to remain functional.  One takeaway is that structuring work so it can be done remotely may make a lot more sense today.  Companies with work at home options often have an easier time recruiting and retaining top talent.

3. Because of Covid-19, Business Priorities will change

Having so much of our lives disrupted is likely to cause many to re-evaluate what’s important to them.  People may be re-thinking their plans to buy new cars, take vacations or renovate their houses in the near future.  They may be placing higher value on the intangible dimensions of their lives.

When consumer behaviors are in flux, there is a great opportunity to form new habits and adopt new brand loyalties. Consider which customers might consider switching from one habit to using your product or service. Are you highly visible to those new customers?  Do you want to keep the customers you have? Take time to examine what you might do now to get them to come back when they can.

4. Distribution is essential

While many businesses have shuttered their shops due to the Covid-19 outbreak, grocery stores and drug stores have stayed open.  Many stores have had to offer significant wage increases to get workers to staff these stores.  It’s clear that businesses that get food and other vital products to consumers are a vital part of our lives. 

It’s clear that companies using alternate distribution channels have been able to generate revenue, even when other channels are closed.  If you don’t have alternative ways to market, it’s a great time to think how you might make those work.

5. The economy is taking a beating

There is no question that the economic numbers are going to look terrible for this quarter. This could likely extend to the rest of the year.  With millions of newly unemployed workers, the displacement alone will drive down demand for almost anything you might sell. This could be true even for things like face masks and hand sanitizer.  The closing of many retail outlets for goods and services means there is no functional way to purchase them.

6. Now might be a great time to make acquisitions.

With this kind of a downturn, it’s good to seek alternative ways to generate revenue and minimize expenses.  To be safe, you likely should prepare for a tough season or two.  If you have a fairly conservative balance sheet, how can you take advantage of it? If you already enjoy alternative sales and distribution channels, now might be a great time to make acquisitions. This is because selling prices of some great brands may soon reach bargain levels.

What other disruptions are you seeing from the pandemic?  Have you found ways to create positive outcomes from any of them?  Good strategic planning is an excellent starting point, and it doesn’t have to consume huge amounts of resources.

If you’d like to use Simplified Strategic Planning to create a plan that will lead to success, consider attending our next Simplified Strategic Planning seminar. If you’re like most people, you’d benefit from having an experienced professional lead you through the strategic planning process.  Then you can focus on the content of your strategies.  If you’d like to explore how you could do this, please contact me at rbradford@cssp.com. Center for Simplified Strategic Planning professionals have successfully conducted thousands of strategic planning meetings.  Furthermore, they understand how to best use your planning time.  Consider holding a one-day workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning in the next few months to improve your results.

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Robert Bradford is President & CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2020 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission

Co-Author Robert Bradford

Author Robert Bradford

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