Steps to grow a business in a period of general inactivity
Many argue that the world will be in a totally different economic, social and geo-economic state when the coronavirus battle is eventually won. The new reality will shuffle the cards among businesses globally.
Many companies have either been forced to shut down their activities or remain inactive, waiting that the situation will come to an end and the market will eventually return to its previous state and flow. But how well-founded is this thinking?
It is not common to experience periods of violent market restructuring and rapid changes in consumer habits; someone could say that it happens once every 100 years. Having this in mind, the risk of staying inactive seems much higher compared to being active during this time. This is because the situation is the exact same for everyone, however, what makes the difference is the attitude towards it. It is certain that people and businesses who remain active during the pandemic have much higher chances of succeeding afterwards compared to the businesses which do the opposite. History has taught us that brands and companies who do not reduce their speed during crisis, instead they use this spare time to organize, plan and innovate, are the ones that also accelerate their growth when things go back to normal.
The reality for many entrepreneurs includes a daily routine that leaves no room for business planning, organization, innovation and automation. The “extra” time is a unique opportunity (that may not happen again) for the strategic planning of a business. We can make a step back and see the big picture of our business, where we are now and where we want to go. What is the company's vision and how can it be developed and innovated over the next five years? These questions can only be answered through the strategic planning process.
Ideas for taking "action" in a period of inactivity
Information management & Business Intelligence
Effective information management has been proved to be one of the most effective ways to gain a competitive advantage in times of uncertainty and change.
Think carefully about what you would like to know in order to be able to organize and grow your business. What information is missing that if you had them you could draw specific useful conclusions? This can be information about either the operation of your business or the market in which it operates. This is the first important step that can be prepared in a period of inactivity for the subsequent development of an automated business data analytics system. Many companies have all (or most) of the data they need to answer such questions, but usually these data are "trapped" into corporate information systems and have never been structured in such a way to produce useful statistics and meaningful reports. There is no shortage of data on the market today and using them is not a matter of choice but a strategic decision.
Business Intelligence (BI) systems focus on turning available non-structured data into instantly accessible information & business advantage that allows all management levels to make quick and sound decisions. A BI system allows automated monitoring of business performance (operating costs, profit margins, KPIS etc.) thus improving business “reflexes”.
The development of an organizational structure with reference to the strategic plan, with clear separated responsibilities and elimination of “key” person dependencies, as well as establishing effective and automated procedures, ensures more efficient business operations. Quality of services improves, efficiency is increasing, which makes it easier to reduce costs and maximize profits. It may be time to make sure your business continues to grow even if you need to be absent for a while. Idle periods are an opportunity for training the people in new operational structures.
Online business & E-commerce
During isolation, the use of digital tools is no more a choice, with e-commerce being the protagonist, or even the only source of income for many businesses. This is the right time to design and develop digital revenue channels such as e-shops, webinars, online services, new apps, etc. On the one hand online business have much more sales opportunities than traditional trade and on the other hand this crisis mandates digital adaptation more than ever.
Consumers will continue social distancing until coronavirus comes to end. This means that they will only be shopping and served their needs online, but this temporary need is expected to become the norm for many on a permanent basis after the end of the pandemic.
Marketing & Innovation
The cost of advertising has dropped as most people believe that there is no point in advertising during this period. However, consumers stay at home without work, spending a great majority of their time on television, radio, social media and the internet in general. This greatly increases the chances of seeing the advertised companies and the companies that create digital content. It is an opportunity to communicate your business and make your brand name better known.
Nevertheless, if your business belongs to a category where advertising sounds futile, then get creative and innovative. Create smart content aiming to create new needs that your customers can consume while staying home and the competition remains stagnant.
Obviously, all the above does not come with zero cost. But how can you measure the lost opportunity cost from a non-implementation?
For all the above actions you can take advantage of open funding opportunities.
|This article intends to inform the reader and in no way substitutes the specialized consulting services.
For more information, please contact MDC Stiakakis SA (Monis Kardiotisis 49, Heraklion | +30 2810 280985)