In the beginning of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic pressed the reset button for the whole world. Life slowed down and businesses closed down as leaders put in measures and guidelines to control and mitigate the spread of the virus.
The COVID-19 crisis plays out over 3 phases; Respond, Recover and Renew.
“When you cannot control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you are responding to what is happening. That is where the power is”- Unknown.
The crisis poses a set of challenges as well as opportunities for businesses, big or small, as they claw their way towards recovery. The respond stage is where the company deals with a situation and manages the continuity. Most company’s response measures have been:
- Protecting the health and safety of its employees and customers.
- Adapting business model to current needs; Some companies managed to shift to remote-work.
- Investing in talent and technology.
These are more organized efforts to stabilize its operations. It’s during this phase that a company learns and emerges stronger. The main activities in this phase are;
- Create a plan and a strategy to restore to a scalable state.
- Identify capabilities you need to strengthen, reconsider, reopen, refactor and rethink.
It should be noted that recovery does not happen on a specific date but is a continuous process.
This is the final stage where a business thrives. Companies learn to conduct its operations processes and workflows in new, repeatable and scalable ways. The businesses that will survive and thrive are the ones that can be flexible and adaptable to consumers’ new and evolving needs. In order for businesses to successfully reopen, their leaders need to consider:
- Learn: There is no end to learning. Research on information from reliable sources. Check in with your employees and customers to find out what they think. Find out what is working for your company. Gauge the overall community response.
- Plan: Truthfully, not all companies will continue from where they left from. As a business leader you need to come up with a new plan that your business and employees will follow. Continue mapping your road to recovery.
- Security.: The companies that were able to shift to remote-work need to consider cybersecurity to ensure company data privacy and confidentiality.
- Safety: Lastly, the most important aspect of any business is people. Consider the protective measures you will put in place to protect your customers and employees.
Once you have established the precautions and protocols for your business reopening, assess your business operational needs.
- Adapting business model to current needs. You do not need to handle all the business operations, based on your resources and needs; you can consider transferring some tasks to an external hosting company. This will support remote work and flexibility in the event of any disruption. It will also help meet the guidelines posed by the government in the fight against COVID-19.
Anticipate and prepare for challenges and be ready to adapt to new trends.