I've been freelancing for a number of businesses throughout the pandemic, across a broad range of industries, including business investment, e-commerce, finance, education, entertainment and legal. It’s been fascinating to see how business owners and managers have adapted and, in some cases, completely altered tack to survive and/or thrive during COVID.
Traditionally businesses have focused on profit, revenue and volume to grow or maintain financials (see a model from Google below). However, the drastic changes in macro circumstances in 2020, has quickly forced an even larger, total reassessment of business strategy.
I've noticed some trends in the businesses I've been working with, who are surviving or even experiencing growth, during the pandemic. Here's 11 of the success factors I've observed:
A mixture of speed and stability. An ability to adapt to the rapidly changing environment, whilst also laying down more stable foundations to ensure operations can be scaled.
Keeping an open dialogue with customers, to maintain a strong and ongoing understanding of their needs.
A ridiculously strong focus on SALES throughout the business.
Early cost-cutting to the business.
Digital transformation. I had a number of clients completely reimagine their business models, switching to virtual delivery, online events, e-commerce and digital lead generation campaigns. For some of my clients, their digitisation has now become a key business advantage.
Business owner and managers able to relinquish control and/or delegate effectively to keep all parts of the business moving.
Bold, but calculated risk-taking, rather than timid adjustments e.g. portfolio transformation, several businesses have had to weather a demand or supply shock a new product line is a risk, but the greater risk might be avoiding the latest mega-trends as a result of the pandemic.
A positive outlook and continued motivation to survive and/or grow entrenched in the business.
Multi-stakeholder collaboration and the importance of trust and cooperation for businesses to continue operation. For some clients, this has been agreements with their supply chain, but for others, this has been at an organisational level with employees.
Rapid adjustment to remote working as the new norm, with genuine care for employees’ welfare.
Continued business strategy and planning for the COVID environment now, but also for a COVID-exit strategy.
I’d be interested to know what you think, what your experience has been as a business or a supplier? Is there anything you would add?