Whether you’re a start-up or a well-established business, the coronavirus crisis has had a dramatic impact on how your company does business. It’s hard to know how to proceed when there’s no clear expectation on how long shelter-in-place orders or the threat of infection will last. Across the globe, economic experts are starting to theorize about what entrepreneurs should do to prepare their business for the post-pandemic era. Here are some of the questions that they’re focusing on right now:
What do you need to prioritize?
Every business will find themselves in a different position as the pandemic stretches out into the spring. Some are struggling to obtain funding. Others are changing the services that they offer to stay relevant to a changing community of consumers. Some businesses will weather this challenge just fine but would be knocked out by a second unforeseen emergency. Your business’ unique situation will determine where you put your focus as you prepare your company for the post-pandemic world.
How prepared were you for the pandemic?
Situations like the coronavirus pandemic define a generation, and once it happens, people will have “what if?” present in the back of their mind. What will preparing for the next wave of this pandemic and future crises of this kind look like? The World Health Organization and Harvard Business Review encourage businesses to plan for disruptions in early phases of pandemic tracking. That includes rapidly mobilizing your workforce and services. You also may need to plan for long stretches of reduced revenue (perhaps a year or more).
What does “bouncing back” look like?
Harvard Business Review stresses that “the lack of a plan only exacerbates disorientation in an already confusing situation.” What does a successful “bounce back” looks like for your business? Will it be back to business as usual, or will success be determined by recouping (or exceeding) your pre-pandemic revenue? Setting a clear goal for what you’re aiming for—or even just what you need to stay afloat—will make it easier to prioritize which moves to make right now.
How will you re-introduce yourself to your customers?
Every industry is different. You may be able to continue with little disruption, or you may be completely reinventing your business model. James Allen of Bain & Company points out that just as a different kind of consumer emerged after World War II, the needs and shopping habits of people will be different as they adjust to the post-pandemic world.
Are your pandemic shifts sustainable?
Economic experts worldwide are predicting a permanent shift in how businesses look as we come out of the pandemic. There’s likely to be a huge increase in freelancers and start-ups. Paying attention to trends like these will be crucial to the survival of businesses both now and in the future. Can you diversify your streams of income to take advantage of changing tides? It may be time to look at taking your business online or updating your skill set. Being creative in planning the next phase may have surprising results.