Our director Tony Smith has been pondering what the future holds for business as we move out of the pandemic. As we start to enjoy Springtime & the Easter period, traditionally seen as a time of rebirth, he shares his thoughts and opinions reflecting the views of trusted and reliable sources: Sequoia’s latest article: COVID Accelerated The Future: Now Seize It
It highlighted their reflection on a prior post of theirs – a time when they were warning companies to prepare for the impact of COVID. Now they’ve turned their attention to the reality everyone’s facing – the on-going effects of the pandemic and the potential for new opportunities.
The Sequoia article of March 2020 warned companies of the impact COVID would have when it came to the effect on global business. They challenged readers to take a step back from their own business, to look from a new angle at the way they were doing things and recognise what should take priority.
Like an unprecedented bend in the road that you need to slow for, for countless people and businesses preparation was needed for COVID. That’s why Sequoia took action a year ago with the Black Swan Memo. They wanted people to be aware of this sharp turn ahead, and why they needed to start preparing for a time of sudden opportunity – which right now, is the slow recovery from the pandemic.
So that’s why we’ve turned our attention to what this pandemic means for business owners that we work with and the potential that there is for them right now.
As testing and the delivery of vaccines continue across the UK, new opportunities for business recovery are arising, with the number of businesses trading now increasing by 3% from January to March 2021 from 71% to 74%, according to a Government report from the ONS.
COVID has forced us as a nation to rely on technology more than ever before – developments that would have taken years to adjust to were becoming the default procedure within weeks. This then begs the question of how many of these lockdown trends will become permanent fixtures in our lives, and what others will be phased out?
Companies that have survived through these times are constructed around long-term patterns and processes, so you can benefit from the window of opportunity Sequoia have highlighted – about the importance of what we could achieve within the next 10 years.
No one is entirely sure what will happen in the future, and Sequoia highlighting how decision-makers in business need to keep their focus, while also being open to the opportunity around them was an eye-opener that extends to business owners everywhere and is key to help them achieve their long-term goals.
Identifying The “Why”
Throughout the lockdowns and sudden changes in the world around us, you and your team have had to band together to get the job done. And since March 2020, the way that you view the world, what has value to you and what you want to achieve has probably changed. In other words –
What are you preparing to make changes for?
What is driving you towards a change in your approach?
What are you doing to work towards achieving your company’s mission, and
What are you doing to make these goals a reality?
Keeping Level Headed
Throughout this pandemic, you’ve had to make some difficult decisions regarding the way your business is usually run – you’ve had to change your approach to maximising efficiency within your organisation. The way that your marketing to your customers will have changed as you had to scrap old strategies and implement new ones. Keep the systems you’ve discovered in mind as you work on discovering the new opportunities that are open for your business.
Managing The Aftershocks
With the government releasing £4.6 billion in grants to support businesses during the lockdown and help protect jobs, there is an opportunity in the UK economy to further develop and grow. This type of funding was key for helping businesses prepare for various scenarios as we all faced an uncertain future. All around the world, people and organisations have reacted differently towards COVID and the impact it had on the way they operated. So as we edge closer to opening the country back up again, that lack of certainty will remain. This is why carrying on scenario planning which helped your business during the pandemic can be so effective. By recognising the potential in the future and ensuring that you remain open to the opportunities as you tailor your processes. Understanding how to move flexibly with the changes in your industry will be pivotal to your success in the future.
Working With A New Normal
You may recognise the potential there is in the hybrid world and have been able to plan your strategy and tailor your processes from this new-found perspective, but in reality, no one knows what the world post-vaccine is going to be like. There’s going to be as many unexpected challenges and opportunities coming out of this pandemic as there was going into it. Think about how you had your finger on the pulse at the start of last year – how you paid special attention to your customers’ needs, dedicated real-time to studying their pain points and providing your product/service as the resolution to their problem. Continue with this Anticipation Mindset, be responsive to the evolution of your clients’ wants and needs.
Realise What’s Important
Pay special attention to metrics that show how well your business is performing and carry on with the plan to innovate to help your customers succeed. Work on optimising business procedures and focus on the metrics that really matter. Companies that achieve their goals focus on the important things and work to create more value for key stakeholders in their business.
Prioritise People’s Wellbeing
Remote working has been shown to have a lot of benefits for employees, however, it’s also resulted in the lines between home and working life becoming blurred and negatively affecting workers’ mental health. After more than a year of being confined to stay at home, some employees are experiencing burnout; learners continue to miss out on in-school learning. We’re recognising the impact on metrics as well as internal employee morale. It’s vital to leave an open door of communication to discuss the issues your employees face – a leadership model which puts people first is invaluable.
The last 12 months have also been testing in ways that no one could have foreseen – it has been tiring to say the least. However, the rapid lifestyle change has also introduced new opportunity and creative potential. This pandemic has forced us to quickly change business processes and procedures, diversify our offering and dip into new pools of opportunity to serve changing needs. The use of technology is bringing us together in unprecedented ways, and remote working is introducing new hiring opportunities around the world and spreading the potential of where and when people can work.
At Genius, we believe that there is always an opportunity to develop and grow, and we know that all business owners like Sequoia’s clients have the potential to rise to the challenges that face in a post-vaccine world. After all, embracing change and seizing new opportunities isn’t just a good idea – #itsgenius