At this point, no one knows when businesses can recover or if they will ever recover. The optimists said it will take them six months to go back to pre-pandemic levels, but the realists (or pessimists?) say that it will take at least five years before businesses can get back on their feet again and be as stable as before the pandemic. Where do you see your business going? The reality is that as governments begin to reopen economies, business owners will be faced with the unenviable position of having to navigate a strange new place.
And what a strange place it truly will be. Although mask and travel restrictions are almost off, people are still wary about spending their money. Now more than ever, they are concerned about where they put their money, so it’s not exactly easy to convince them to part ways with their hard-earned savings.
Did You Pivot?
The question here is: did you pivot? In the middle of the pandemic, did you make the necessary changes to deliver what your customers expect from you? That will be a telling point if you’re ready for the new reality or not. Of course, those who did not budge from what their beliefs are in business last year are probably closed by now. But those who learned to adjust will have survived the kind of catastrophic year that has seen families torn apart and economies shattered.
Do You Have a New Audience?
Those who started a quick-service restaurant franchise in the middle of the pandemic might be more prepared for welcoming a new set of clients. These kinds of restaurants were the ones that were able to thrive amid the health scare. After all, they started at a time when social distancing and masks are already being enforced. This is nothing new for their customers. This is as opposed to those who suddenly have to transition to implementing the minimum health protocols. Can you imagine a bar implementing social distancing?
But because you opened or made the transition during the height of the pandemic, you have surely attracted a new audience or market. This is what you need to know to determine your readiness for the new reality. Sure, you might have lost a few customers along the way. You cannot please everyone. But if you have gained a new market, doesn’t that signify your business’ preparedness for what lies ahead?
Did You Change Your Products or Services?
Did you change or add on to your existing products and services? Remember how perfume companies manufactured hand sanitizers and alcohol during the height of the pandemic? That’s a basic law of supply and demand. There was a huge demand for alcohol. There was no demand for perfumes and colognes. But they do have the supply. The pivot to producing new products and services is a genius way to survive the pandemic.
You’ve already made the transition last year, so why don’t you continue doing it this year? If you’ve created a new market out of selling new products and services during the pandemic, then why are you going to stop because things are coming back to normal? Business innovation must be a reflection of the needs of your market. You must pivot, adjust, transition, change, and turn.
Do You Have an eCommerce Site?
Believe it or not, but if you still do not have an eCommerce site today, you are going to close down your business in a few months. Food, clothing, accessories, construction… it doesn’t matter what industry you are a part of, an online presence is the only way your business is going to be ready for the new normal. Because the truth is that even before the pandemic, consumers are more comfortable transacting online than in physical stores.
Consumers have become reliant on the internet and social media. If they want something, they purchase that in the middle of the night. They don’t wait for the morning to go to the store and buy an item. They log in to their accounts and pay the necessary fees to get their hands on the products as fast as the seller can accommodate their request. The rules have changed when it comes to doing business. It’s either you have an eCommerce site or you’re not going to survive.
What is the new reality, anyway? That is something you have to ask yourself. While some parameters depend on the industry you are in, the rules are pretty much the same—elevate customer experience, have an online presence, reach out to your market, and pivot as the market demands.