How COVID-19 Has Created Possibilities for Online Business

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August 2021: It is no secret that the market has changed, and today, it is no longer possible to work like yesterday and get the same results. Some companies shrank and stopped in complete fading, some continue with the same activity, and others look into the future and boldly invest in new directions.

In a couple of months, the coronavirus has brought about years of changes in the way we do business across all sectors and regions. Companies have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply chain interactions and internal operations.

Respondents from companies that have successfully responded to the crisis report a range of technology opportunities, such as filling technology talent gaps during the crisis, using more advanced technologies, and speed of experimentation and innovation.

Living with Limitations
Strict quarantine restrictions are gradually accustoming society to a new way of life (remote work, learning) and stimulating a significant transition to online due to the reduced assortment of goods and higher prices due to high demand in the previous period.

Adapting to a New Reality
The gradual weakening of quarantine measures, a return to work and training has led to a short-term surge in activity in the previously inaccessible sphere of entertainment and services. But the consumer is coming out from quarantine with new habits: there is a shift in favour of online orders and delivery, attention to health and hygiene (hand and surface disinfection) remains for some time.

We identified four key areas to which the business view should be directed today:

    ⦁ Post-COVID-19 strategy

The worst thing you can do now is not to notice the problems, expect that everything will pass and nothing will change. Focus on what is happening, analyse the situation and simulate several types of scenarios:

   ⦁ negative,
⦁ average, and
⦁ positive.

Thus, you will ensure predicting events and prompt response when correcting actions.

    ⦁ Human resource management

Personnel require special attention when building efficient work processes in updated conditions:

    ⦁ Redefine HR strategy, ensure staff safety and eliminate employee health risks.
⦁ Expand the possibilities of remote work, debug new processes of control and interaction with personnel.
⦁ Talk openly with employees about the action plan. Communication allows you to overcome the period of                         uncertainty and stimulate the right decisions, even if the staff never had to go into crisis mode.
⦁ Engage experienced colleagues in solving local problems, revising the rules of interaction with customers,                       partners, and other stakeholders.
⦁ Encourage a transparent exchange of knowledge and experience, involve staff in experimentation and search for          prospects.

    ⦁ Reallocation of finances
As business activity slows down, many industries are seeing revenue decline. Cash flow management is critical. Today, working with finances can be compared to a hot air balloon that needs to release its ballast to stay in the air.

    ⦁ Assess the impact of the pandemic on your financial situation and revise it when the market changes.
⦁ Identify financial and operational leverage that can be used to store and generate cash. You can pay attention to          the Forextime blog,  online trading platform, and Forex trading in India in general as an additional source of                income.
⦁ Develop flexible ways to respond to the potential transformation.
⦁ Allocate the resources needed to meet customer requirements.

    ⦁ Strategy and brand
As entrepreneurs move from outbreak response to recovery, the focus will be on customer engagement strategies:

    ⦁ Redefine the digital transformation timeline as the shift to remote working and online interactions reveals gaps in        workforce planning and the need for staff development in software.
⦁ Pay attention to market changes and competitors’ actions.
⦁ Communicate with customers even during breaks, remind of yourself, create informational reasons for contact             with the brand:

     ⦁ be active on social networks,
⦁ send useful information,
⦁ announce the launch of new sales channels,
⦁ opening dates of outlets, etc.

⦁ Keep your finger on the pulse of customer preferences, consider long-term prospects and adjustments to                       business models. Expectations research and innovation testing can help you avoid high costs and identify                       effective solutions. Focusing on the consumer in today’s situation is crucial. The one who has information about              the customer’s opinion owns the market.
⦁ Close service gaps and strive for seamless service delivery. The experience of interacting with a brand today        forms customer loyalty in the future. According to Nielsen research, in China, after the coronavirus outbreak, 37% of those surveyed who were previously willing to prefer a little-known brand because of the attractive cost are now prioritising previous experience and product quality.

Final Words
We will all eventually return to a lifestyle similar to pre-COVID-19 but with new preferences. And subsequently, a change in habits is possible because the longer the self-isolation environment expands, the more new rules take root in our lives. And this creates opportunities for flexible business.

The crisis creates unique consequences, penetrating every layer of the organisation, and affects both internal and external processes. But understanding the dynamics of how the situation will affect your organisation and drawing up an action plan to prevent and minimise the consequences is an integral part of stabilisation.