The pandemic has forced a lot of businesses to adapt to the new norm, such as working from home or going online. Businesses which could not adapt to the change had to be shut down. This led the world economy to deep recession and unprecedented double digit decline in stock markets around the world in March 2020.
With world economy slowly coming back on track, cash starved companies are now finding ways to innovate and thrive in the new post-pandemic economy. Though small business grants helped quite a few businesses to stay afloat, without innovation and new strategies, companies may not sustain themselves for long.
The biggest survivors and the companies which grew the most during the pandemic are virtual or digital businesses. While brick and mortar businesses were filing bankruptcy, companies like Amazon and Zoom were experiencing double digit growth. While other companies were laying off their staff during the pandemic, Amazon became the biggest recruiter in the US and Europe. With more and more people and businesses going online, global technology giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc saw their revenue skyrocketing.
With companies struggling for both cash and skilled labor, going digital has been the ultimate solution. The pandemic led to a lot many new start-ups in the technology field. Be it Ed-tech (Education Technology), Fin-tech (Financial Technology) or Food-tech.
E-Commerce platform providers like Shopify, Wix, Woocommerce help companies to establish their presence and sell online, without even hiring expensive coders and eliminating the need of staff selling those products. Amazon with its fulfilment service program called Amazon FBA, not only give businesses instant access to millions of potential buyers, it also takes care of the warehousing, picking and packing, product shipment and delivery and even customer care. Everything for a very small monthly subscription fee saving businesses thousands of dollars in overheads and staff cost.
Out of all the businesses, the hardest hit during the pandemic were the businesses dealing with services which require physical connection such as gyms, beauty salon, chiropractic clinics, dentists etc. You can’t give anyone a virtual haircut, can you ? Well, quite obviously “you can’t” in literal sense. However, few business owners in these sectors, with entrepreneurial spark inside, started teaching online with live Zoom classes and online courses the process and techniques so that their customers could do it at home. Gym instructors started their YouTube channels and started taking online classes teaching aerobics and cardio to their customers. Salon owners started teaching the haircutting techniques, grooming and selling clippers on their website. This led to an explosion in e-learning market which is set to become $468 Billion by 2026. During this time, I started teaching others through my online course, how to sell their knowledge be it dog walking or cryptocurrency or parenting. Monetization of your knowledge is a big industry which is now helping not only the businesses but also ordinary people having a job.
Businesses dealing in physical products, could save a lot of money in terms of staff and other overheads by bringing their businesses onto self-hosted E-Commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix etc or to public e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay etc. Businesses dealing with services could save money and even substantially grow their revenue by having e-learning platforms.
Outsourcing is another great way to safe staff cost. If your company had an accounting department with a book keeper, a AI (Artificial intelligence) powered book-keeping software like QuickBooks or Xero could easily replace the job of a full-time book keeper with monthly subscription fee of as low as $30. These cloud based softwares could also connect with your business bank account which makes your transaction posting automatic from your bank account. These companies have their dedicated customer service departments as well available to serve you incase you get stuck anywhere.
Not only in accounting, the gig economy is growing so fast now, that you could outsource your every little responsibility to someone else and more interestingly, that person could be sitting in another part of the world. I personally hired someone online from India for 2 hours a day to do my online marketing while I am in the UK, with 5 H 30 mins behind. A personal assistant from Philippines speaking better English than me, could be hired in fractions of cost from websites like Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, Freelancer.com etc.
Outsourcing, not only saves you money but more importantly the time, so that you as a business owner could focus on more important aspects of your business such as customer acquisition or business growth etc.
It’s time now for the businesses to adapt to the new post pandemic era. “Every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit”- Nepoleon Hill. I am confident that we will see multiple Billion dollar companies (Unicorns) in coming years out of this pandemic just like companies like AirBNB, WhatsApp, Instagram came out of the great recession of 2008.