The COVID 19 pandemic which has affected the entire world this year has been a completely new experience for everyone. We live in an age where almost all fields have reached a high level of technological advancement including medicine. Despite this it is strange to see that recovery from the pandemic has been a very slow process and is still full of uncertainties.
Any economic crisis brings huge challenges for businesses irrespective of their size, whether they are small, medium or large. The most crucial thought in the minds of every business owner in such trying times is “Survival”. A brand or business that adapts well to its environment has higher chances of survival than the ones that don’t adapt.
In fact, there are businesses which flourish and do exceedingly well even during an economic crisis or a pandemic. Delivery companies, courier companies, medical supplies companies and hospitals, to name a few, have been doing exceedingly well during this pandemic. Along with these companies, online educators, online platform providers and online businesses in general have done well. More and more educational items, toys, electronic gadgets and exercise equipment are being sold. The download of music, books and video on online platforms has also seen an unprecedented spike.
The uncertainty into the future and the steep fall in the revenue of other businesses is posing a big question mark on many businesses as the cash flow is severely affected and the management of the business with the existing fixed overheads is a huge challenge. Under these circumstances, when collections are delayed and expenses have to be met, even though there is reduced level of activity, it is very difficult for most businesses to manage. If the margins generated from the current level of activity is not enough to meet the expenses how long can the business owner or investor fund the losses? If the topline revenue dwindles down to dangerous levels then how to keep the lights on in the business?
Even if the expenses are curtailed and kept at the bare minimum level, how to meet the expenses? Should we dig into our savings? Will there be any support from banks, financial institutions and private lenders during uncertain times? If the markets, banks, service providers and suppliers are all unprepared to support your business then what is the next course of action? Is closure of business the only option during these uncertain times? Is survival of the business extremely uncertain during the economic crisis or pandemic situation?
These are some important questions that crop up in the minds of many business owners and managers. The continuity plan and succession plan which was drawn up during good times are not helping during these situations when survival is questioned and threatened.
The solution to this lies in conversion of the VUCA – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity – which is negatively perceived to positive VUCA – Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility.
Survival of businesses during economic crisis or pandemic entirely lies in the positive attitude and pragmatic approach. The “New Normal” and the “Change” is actually a “chance” to exhibit the ability to overcome tough challenges.
Volatility has to be countered with Vision – do you have the long term vision and are you able to envision yourself taking those baby steps towards achievement of the desired goals?
Uncertainty should be countered by clear understanding of the prevailing conditions and proper appreciation of what is possible and what is within your control.
Complexity has to be handled by clarity in thinking. A quick SWOT analysis and corrective actions with utmost clarity is needed.
Ambiguity posed by the market should be faced with Agility. Agile practices and agile movements are very important to seize the opportunity that is around. It is a question of perception and how you look at the half filled glass of water – half full or half empty.
We at Leap Excellence help companies to set themselves on a “path of excellence” which helps companies to be prepared for the worst and plan for the best under any given circumstances. We help you take that “Leap” at the appropriate time and also achieve sustained growth in your business.