A large part of operating and sustaining a business is learning to adapt. Adaptation doesn’t just apply to biology or the animal kingdom, for survival, but societies as well. With COVID-19 disturbing every aspect of our lives, from our health to our economy, we have to learn to adjust in the event of a second wave. But with every crisis lies an opportunity for growth in any industry and a chance to form innovative ideas and solutions. The economy is always filled with disruption at one point or another, leaving a business to either evolve its methods or be erased by the competition.
One of the biggest changes in behaviour brought on by the pandemic was remote work for employees. Since the government issued a country-wide lockdown (like the rest of the world) to flatten the curve and slow the spread, many were told to work from home. This alternative wasn’t afforded to everyone, as many businesses were forced to close their doors, some never to be reopened.
Remote work was one of the most effective and fastest ways to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and was a way to self-isolate during the height of the pandemic. During the Black Death, and other plagues that Europe endured, surviving citizens quarantined in order to survive. By working from home, cities were less congested during rush hours and long commutes, making it easier for people to get more work done or work virtually anywhere. While employers used to think that remote work would equal less productivity, they had no choice but to trust their employees and adjust to the changes.
While brick and mortar businesses have suffered greatly (many closing their doors for good, or the foreseeable future) digital services and e-commerce have benefitted greatly. After governments forced economic shutdowns globally, business that required gatherings or personal touches, had to close, losing unforeseen amounts of profits. Restaurants were one of the many examples in the hospitality industry that were hit the hardest, leaving smaller chains unable to pay their rent or employees. Unfortunately, many businesses didn’t survive the first wave and if they did, they may not survive the second.
But it wasn’t all bad news for every business during the pandemic. Business titans such as Amazon and Netflix increased profits, due to millions of people being confined to their homes. With movie theaters and malls closed, Netflix and Amazon were in the perfect position to capitalize during the pandemic.
Business Model Changes
Change is never easy but it’s often necessary, since it’s usually a direct result of companies learning about themselves. A business model change is also a result of what’s happening to the economy and how it impacts the success of your company. When the pandemic wasn’t showing signs of slowing down, many businesses needed to make a shift in how they operated. This could’ve been anything from food service apps adding more options, to moving your entire business online. It’s important to get as much feedback from your consumers and being able to work with what you have, well before you consider surrender. Refusing to adapt during any kind of challenge or turmoil, can only hurt your business.
Online innovations and apps are on the rise, but many businesses are not functioning at full capacity. With a second wave underway, it’s unlikely that many businesses will be able to survive it.
Dontei Wynter | Staff Writer