Coming with no advance warning, the COVID-19 pandemic truly turned the world of business upside down.
While most businesses were obliged to temporarily shut down their operations, others unfortunately never had the means and the opportunity to reopen once again. Those who did manage to stay afloat, however, encouraged a great deal of inspiration among other companies thanks to their ability to adapt, and still continue to set examples on how to successfully overcome unexpected challenges. To that end, here are just some of the smart, flexible, and creative ways businesses used in an effort to survive the pandemic:
Shifting to online business models
Due to lockdowns and stay-at-home restrictions, most non-essential businesses all around the globe were forced to close down during the pandemic. In turn, companies had to find new solutions in order to stay afloat, leading even the businesses that have never considered digitizing to shift to online business models.
With consumers suddenly unable to leave their homes and support their local economies in usual ways, online shopping has become the main and only viable method of purchasing goods and services. But it’s not only the e-commerce sector that was affected. From education and healthcare to tertiary services and even traditional offices, nearly every business had to move online in an effort to survive the challenges of the pandemic.
While e-commerce websites do make shopping a quicker and more convenient experience, the border closures and lockdowns still affected companies in a number of unexpected ways, mainly in terms of the supply chain and shipping and transporting solutions. As a result, businesses needed to find smarter and more reliable ways to improve logistics.
One of the most common ways businesses overcome this hurdle is by establishing certain warehouses in the areas where they operate, providing their customers with a quick and simple “click and collect” service that aims to reduce the demands on the companies’ delivery logistics. Thanks to the efficiency of this solution, it’s a growing trend that will likely continue well beyond the end of the pandemic.
Cash flow challenges have presented themselves as another issue many businesses faced during the pandemic. And these challenges only escalated when debtors were slow or unable to pay their invoices, likely due to financial issues they experienced themselves as a result of the pandemic.
To overcome this obstacle, many companies decided on efficient debtor finance solutions that gave them quick and easy access to any funds they had tied up in unpaid invoices. By delivering a cash injection when businesses need it the most, this finance option helps to relieve cash flow strain, offers flexibility to supplement existing finance lines, enables the leveraging of assets, and empowers companies to continue growing and succeeding, even throughout the challenges of the pandemic.
With a smaller customer base and fewer resources to turn to, smaller businesses were impacted by the pandemic significantly more than their larger counterparts. In an effort to survive these taxing circumstances and keep up with the bigger companies, many small businesses decided to rebrand.
Whether this means offering new products and services or even refreshing the brand image, responding to new changes and trends can be a brilliant way for companies to stand out from the competition. With the help of psychological and marketing tactics through rebranding efforts, businesses can change the consumers’ perception of their brand, and encourage customers to engage with their company more, thus allowing businesses to stay afloat during these challenging times.
The pandemic has also shown companies across different industries that they must have certain practices set in place which will enable them to cope with unexpected circumstances more efficiently. If they want to survive, businesses have to be creative, adaptive, and resilient, and one simple solution to this need turned out to be agility.
For that reason, the agile business model suddenly gained popularity during the pandemic. This strategy allowed companies to respond to changes rapidly, adapt quickly, be more creative, and encourage change, which in turn gives them the opportunity to maintain a competitive edge during crises. And when businesses can remain flexible throughout difficulties, their chances of survival and success will be significantly higher.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly presented a number of difficulties for companies of all sizes, surviving these challenges by utilizing flexible and creative methods is clearly possible. What’s more, these new techniques have also shown improvements in efficiency and overall quality of work, which likely impact the business structure as we know it even in a post-pandemic world.