Other than some businesses such aiding digital enablement, e-commerce platforms, and all things tech (ed-tech, health-tech, fintech, etc.) that have done gloriously during the pandemic, most have suffered terribly. A vast majority of businesses have been in survival mode and can hardly think about what lies ahead as they take each day and each challenge as it comes. The big question now is when do they move from surviving to thriving. Also, where does one start.
The key word here is to re-imagine. Prefix all that makes sense with a “re” since conventional wisdom is not going to be of much use at this juncture. Re-invent, re-start, re-invest! In fact, take the whole playbook and burn it, turn everything upside down since that’s when you get on to mending. At this point, it will be important to note that you need a solid strategy to help you navigate this uncertainty and come back strong.
One of the key areas that will require a re-think is the business model, how will a business get into “boosted revenue recovery” mode. That’s the question that needs to be answered first. Your plan needs to center around the following key aspects of your business and organization:
Bring in an entrepreneurial mindset within the organization – start thinking like a start-up, organize in smaller task forces with clear objectives, communicate, over-communicate both internally and externally and be on top of it. Bring in agility
Re-organize and re-structure – visualize what the impediments to performance are and remove them immediately. Forget the traditional lines and make new ones. Motivate and support high performers and out-of-the-box thinkers.
Find a purpose for the organization – and it has to be greater than just make money for the shareholders, find a purpose that is going to create a difference to the eco-system the business operates in.
Go digital! – if the business is not using tech in one way or another to operate then the future will not be easy either, use this time to go digital, reach your customers digitally, increase performance digitally and make tech an enabler in the success of the business. Needless to say, tech is just that, an enabler and not an end in itself.
Identify revenue opportunities and work very hard to convert them – if the business is not looking out for all types of revenue opportunities and how to capitalize on them irrespective of how far-fetched they may seem then there is no need to think of a comeback at all.
At Falak we have our own 3-P framework to help organizations steer through uncertainty. Based on our experience, focus should be on people, processes and platforms and what they mean to the business and how they work in tandem:
People: a lot of businesses believe that the best thing to do in a recession is downsizing. This unfortunately, is not true, downsizing leads to lower morale and ultimately effects productivity. During the 2008 recession, Costco announced it would not fire employees by saying “Our employees… deserve our loyalty”. Their sale numbers in the subsequent years proved that this was a wise investment decision. The wisest thing to do at the time of recession is to upskill your employees in a meaningful way. Focus on their personal progress and encourage them to provide deeper insight into your situation.
Platforms: These refer to the technology base of your company. Study what works and check whether you are using the best platform to reach your customers and communicate with your employees. Can these platforms be enhanced? Is this the best experience for your customers and employees?
Processes: During recession, your processes might need to shift. A good example is what Ford managed to do during the 2008 recession. They studied their processes and eliminated bottle necks, worked on reducing the number of recalls, cut high cost models from production line, etc.
So, there it is, start with a change in the mindset and move on, don’t look back as things can only get better from now on. Choose not to be a part of the massacre that the pandemic will leave behind but get ahead of it by planning ahead with the right mindset and help.