Business strategy is now evolving to help companies weather the storm, as it were, and be positioned for growth. The world has been set back for the last 200 days or so because of the unseen enemy more commonly referred to as COVID-19. The pandemic has left thousands of businesses around the world on the brink of bankruptcy. Yet hope is not lost since restrictions are slowly being lifted, allowing various types of businesses to reopen. Definitely, what is needed now is a new way of doing business that would allow companies to remain stable, secure, and competitive. These strategies will help firms, big or small, to reposition themselves in a sea of economic uncertainty:
Insisting on Quality Despite Setbacks
Almost all companies have lost money during the last few months. Disruptions in the market have severely affected the bottom line of global corporations, mid-sized companies, and even the mom-and-pop stores. Now that the government has allowed the economy to open up a bit, businesses need to take the opportunity to regain whatever has been lost in terms of profit and market share.
Losses incurred in the last few months have hurt the business sector without exception. However, now is not the time to cut corners or lower the quality of products and services. Quite the opposite, most businesses should see the situation as a reboot and a chance to prove their value to the market.
For example, a restaurant needs to keep its image spic and span even if it was closed for almost a quarter of the year already. If the establishment has a front yard that needs to be maintained, the owner or manager should not hesitate in investing in customized leaf vacuums to keep the lawn immaculately groomed. If store is known for its perfectly shaped and deliciously flavored cakes, it must not use cheaper ingredients to reduce production cost. Doing that would only turn-off old customers and lose new ones. For sure, COVID-19 has not reduced customer demand for quality and in many ways, it has even raised the bar since people want more bang for their buck during these trying times. This truism remains relevant today as it was back when it was first said: “When you are out of quality, you are out of business.”
Building Business Resilience
Building business resilience takes several steps that are all important to achieve success. One advice often given by experts is for business owners to check their insurance coverage and work with an accountant to see their cash flow projection over a specific period. Knowing cash flow estimates would inform the business owner about shortfalls and what needs to be prioritized during lean business seasons and extraordinary situations like what is obtaining now due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Developing plans for business continuity is also a necessity. For example, the pandemic has shown that the restaurant business sector needs to have a good system for food deliveries in case a public health emergency forces them to stop taking in dine-in customers. With a system for food deliveries, while the sales would definitely be affected, a restaurant could shift to a new under-served market while the situation is still in flux. In short, companies nowadays need to accept that change is the norm, and they need to be ready to adapt and respond effectively to changes in the business environment.
Moving forward, arrangements need to be made with suppliers and contractors in case a similar situation happens again in the future. As an example, a burger chain that outsources the production of hamburger buns need to have a system that will work well for all parties. It needs to check if a certain bun supplier is capable of making deliveries of good quality even when there are still government-imposed limits on travel.
More Cooperation Than Competition
The new business environment created in the aftermath of the pandemic also shows that companies need to temporarily stop overt competition and focus instead on cooperation. Since the supply chains of all businesses have been disrupted, operations of restaurants were also hampered during the height of the quarantine.
Strengthen Food Delivery System
The quarantine showed that the food delivery market is still under served in a situation when there is a mass lock down. At the height of the pandemic around March to May, many food supply chains were cut and lines in supermarkets were so long that it was inconvenient for people to go there. Some restaurants that had delivery service stepped up to meet the demand but on some days, they could not cope with the unusual demand. Suddenly, most people were at home and in need of food as the usual places of delivery on weekdays like offices were closed. Clearly, restaurants need to review and strengthen their strategy for maximizing their service reach for the food delivery segment.
Since the pandemic is not yet officially over, more lessons will be learned and new strategies will have to be developed to revive the restaurant business and other industries in its supply chain. Surely, as more experience is gained, this sector will adapt and come out stronger more than ever before.