The year 2020 will go down in history as the year that businesses were forced to adapt in order to continue functioning successfully. The Covid19 pandemic has affected organizations all over the world in many ways, creating both financial hardship, uncertainty about the future, and encouraging greater resilience than ever before. Economies are just beginning to see the long-term effects of state lockdowns, record layoffs, unprecedented evictions, and small business closures.
While some businesses will not be able to withstand the pressures of these terrible unsettling times, others will return to the drafting board to reimagine and reform their business models to adapt to the opportunities that are presenting themselves in this uncertain time. What will follow is a global honing of skill and ingenuity, with a focus on technology, purpose, and preparation for future growth.
What are some of the ways that your business can surf the turbulent waves of change? Economists and researchers are beginning to get a clearer picture of some of the factors that will separate those businesses that are capable of weathering the storm from those that will face hardships that cannot be overcome. Let’s take a look at just a few of the methods that successful businesses are employing to triumph in the face of the new normal.
Technology Is Your Ally
For over twenty years, the Internet has been making our world smaller, connecting businesses with potential partners all over the world with just a click of the mouse. About half of all organizations are reporting a significant shift to using digital technology to transform their business practices. There are those organizations that have already made the conversion to relying on technology as an ally. Yet, there are those businesses that implemented IT solutions to meet the ever-changing times and those that were reluctant and slow to make the necessary upgrades to their systems in order to revolutionize how they do business.
When times like these present themselves, it takes a financial investment to be able to upgrade systems and processes to move towards the successful integration of new technology. But integration is not enough. Your entire organization has to focus its strategy on using this technology efficiently and effectively, with each and every staff member trained on how to use all the innovative tools to the fullest potential. Platforms like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and other online services should be relied upon to keep your employees working safely from home if warranted, while your entire set of business practices rises to meet these challenges. Remember that technology is your ally when it is utilized correctly.
Embrace The Shift
While it is true that some organizations will not have the capital to withstand the current changes in our business climate, returning to a start-up mentality as a whole can reinvigorate your mission when you take a step back to re-envision your business practices. Be cautious, but deliberate. Think outside the box. Take advantage of a wave of transformation and be adaptable to change.
It is important to embrace rather than fight against this kind of sweeping change. Holding onto outdated business models and practices out of fear of losing control will inevitably backfire and cause your ultimate demise as an organization. Refresh your business plan, refocus your vision, and get ready to focus on purpose, not profits for the short term.
Focus On Purpose, Not Profits
Getting back to your initial motivation for your business will ground you in your mission. Perhaps your model will need to be completely overhauled. That’s ok. Not too many businesses in this world continue to grow and excel as they stagnate by sticking to more of the same. During difficult times, those businesses that will succeed have similar earmarks. Daring, innovative, and courageous business models will win over the timid, snail-slow models that refuse to roll with he punches.
While there may be a certain amount of time when your profits stall and your prospects seem bleak, just take a pause. Remember what it is that encouraged you to start your own business. Go back to the drawing board. Is your mission flexible? Can you adapt it to meet the current crisis? What is it that you are trying to do? Get back to basics as a means of redefining your purpose. Focus solely on developing your new strategy while paying close attention to increasing efficiency and decreasing costs when possible.
By circling the wagons, you can refine your mission and determine a way to manage changes in management within your organization. It is time for looking for ways to reduce waste within your weekly work. Cut meetings to 30 minutes instead of an hour. Do more communication by electronic means to speed up decision making in order to help eliminate wasted hours in the conference room. Training your employees to work in small, cross-functional teams will create effective groups that can achieve what your previous teams may have been too scattered and broad to get done.
It is imperative to find ways to shave hours, not people from your organization. In a time of record layoffs, you can preserve your structure and keep your employees from having to be laid off if you organize your people into better-managed groups that can get things done faster and easier than ever before. Think about long-term resilience. Work on team building rather than team elimination. Have faith in the future of your business and pull back in order to prepare to push forward. Recenter yourself and get ready for what comes next.
Work to eliminate waste in your supply chain methods. Look for ways to cut costs, not support. Take advantage of lower prices, competitive specials, and be prepared to change vendors if you are experiencing a disruption in supply chain flow. Reduce waste and keep your budget in check. Look for ways to cash in on stimulus loans and grants. Consolidate debt and lean on partners for help.
Create a community of service and help others in need. By building relationships that focus on lending a helping hand rather than withdrawing into self-protective reactions, you will strengthen your vendor and client relationships over this coming year. Keep costs down in ingenious ways. Look for advice from your accountant, executive teams, and suppliers alike. Show strength and simultaneous compassion when working with your new partners.
Cultivate Long-Term Partnerships
Where you may have used many vendors and suppliers in the past, focus on building long-term, strategic business partnerships that are collaborative, healthy, and strong. Look to be mutually beneficial in your relationships to increase incentives for transparency, trust, and reliance on one another. By connecting with like-minded businesses that have motivation similar to yours, you can build a network of long-term partners that work well together over the coming years, no matter what comes next.
Let go of transactional relationships that have outlived their usefulness. Be prepared to revolutionize how you procure parts and services. Check out new ways to streamline your work by teaming up with other experts in your field. Get help from those businesses that have proven to be able to weather the storm just like you. Be ready to get back to work using your new models, mission, and redefined purpose.
Be Ready For New Growth
Disasters will always strike in any world in which we live and work. It is how we work within that chaos that will separate the successful from the failures. Serenity is not freedom from the storm but calm within it. Keeping a cool head while preparing for what the future holds will lead your team to be more resilient and better prepared to meet future needs.
Economic downturns can only last so long. When tragedy seemingly strikes a business climate, those that accept the challenges we face while reimagining how to move through the new world will be the cream that rises to the top. Be ready for new growth. Prepare for future success.
Towne Mailer is Your Invoice Printing and Mailing Partner
At Towne Mailer, we have been focused on using the most efficient and effective invoice printing and mailing technology for over 20 years. We have continued to grow even during these troubled times. We have focused our mission to preserve our integrity and push past our competition, combining the most extraordinary printing quality with excellent customer service along the way.
When you partner with Towne Mailer to handle all your printing and mailing services, we will save you money, time, and energy, while helping your business to be able to get back to business. By relying on us to generate all your printing and execute all your mailing, you’ll be able to hone in on your mission and get ready for the future. Let us work together to weather the storm and emerge as fully transformed businesses poised for success. Reach out to us today and let’s get moving.
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