Keys To Adapt To A New Business Era Of High Uncertainty
The new normality will bring with it new work models that entail substantial changes in all structures and levels of companies.
Therefore, business leaders must maintain the difficult balance between transmitting positivity and being prudent, making the organization as flexible as possible.
From Connecting Visions, 20 measures have been defined that summarize the different strategies that entrepreneurs must carry out as soon as possible to face the new normality. These measures are organized in four phases depending on the urgency: reset, resist, reorganize and relaunch:
Restart business, complying with all current regulations, while emotionally managing customers and employees.
- Let your employees and customers know that their health is the most important thing to you. The most important concern of all is health and this is confirmed by 9 out of 10 employees*. Communicate to your employees and clients how you are working to guarantee their health, they will thank you.
- Design concrete measures to report on health measures. For example, a welcome Back Pack to explain all the security measures to employees, or a Health Check app , where you can voluntarily report which employees have taken the test and their results. The communication department has a strategic role at the moment and must provide practical solutions.
- Beware of raising prices . Many of the measures that have to be implemented have a cost, and you may be tempted to pass that cost on to your customers. Price sensitivity is currently high. If you have no other choice but to pass on part of the cost, try to do it in a transparent and understandable way for the client.
Obtain liquidity to keep the treasury strong and, while maintaining positivity, prepare at the cash level for the worst case scenario.
- Calculate sensitivities . You must calculate sensitivities of the business impact of different variables that you can touch. An important factor, if for example you had commercial channels such as telesales, is knowing when the client will be “psychologically” ready for those more aggressive sales. Think about the balance between trying to jumpstart sales and having a reputation problem from being too pushy. Go testing little by little.
- Identify scenarios . To have an objective and precise view of the impact of the situation and design change initiatives, review all areas of the company and make different scenarios. It tries to simplify the simulator in the future, so that different directors of the organization understand the model and can play with it, understanding the impact that different variables (volume, price, costs…) have on the model.
- Optimize collection management : We will collect again, but for many sectors, it will become an art. Very important is the analysis of unstructured information (listening to collection calls), to understand the reasons for non-payment that are being alleged, and try to understand what percentage may be due to the Covid19 crisis. On the other hand, support your client and inform him of the aid that he can request, and that he may not know about, so that he can pay you.
Maximize profitability while minimizing risks.
- It advances in the culture of making work more flexible. If you had planned new additions in your budget, do it if you can, but in a flexible way and thus avoiding committing yourself to possible unforeseen events caused by the Covid19 crisis.
- Senior part-time talent . The pandemic means more unemployed and available senior talent that could help you with their experience in this scenario. Many times this talent does not necessarily have to be 100% dedicated. It is likely that in the future number of people will work for projects.
- Bet on telecommuting and think if that can save you office costs. Turn telecommuting into a differential advantage of your culture. In order to carry it out systematically, certain adaptations and protocols are required, especially in people who work with the public, but it is possible. This will allow you to free up space that can perhaps be rented or found other uses.
- Take the opportunity to implement more efficient processes . If you have activity stopped or less demand than usual, it is probably a good time to launch new internal projects. Achieve more efficient processes, implement new SAAS tools that help your business, review your systems architecture and the quality of the data you use on a day-to-day basis, and check your strategy and your channels for reaching the market.
- Automate your betting processes . These technologies allow simple and repetitive tasks to be performed by a robot. To get started, let an expert help you identify what should be the processes that you could start robotizing. You will not only be able to reduce costs, but also scalability, reliability and cover the entire time spectrum, since the robot does not rest.
Look for new lines of growth
- Enable new sales channels : ecommerce and/or telephone sales and other remote channels. Today having an ecommerce is already more than viable for SMEs and many companies have overcome this crisis thanks to online sales. In the face of possible outbreaks and to respond to a demand that this crisis has turned into habits, it is essential to have an online or telephone sales service. Take the opportunity to design it well from the moment, with an omnichannel vision. Spend time and effort designing how you want the experience to be for your customer. Don’t start with technology. It is an enabler, but not the end. The key lies in designing the model well.
- Create new digital capacities, capturing differential talent . This is the time to create capabilities such as digital marketing, business intelligence or customer experience. You are going to need these skills to survive in this new environment, and if you are skeptical of the results, try outsourcing talent to help you develop it and show you the impact on results.
- Get to know your customers in depth . Depending on their profile and their behavior during the Covid19 crisis, the consumption trends of each client vary. That is why it is important to identify their concerns in order to connect with them. Segment your databases and communications. Contact them and ask, how they would like a company like yours to support them in this situation. It’s as easy as making a few calls or sending a survey. You will get very valuable information.
- Make yourself visible . The effectiveness of communications is being high. Create communications with impact on the client, promote positivity, think about how to reduce fear, anger and conspiracies. The most positive consumers are willing to consume more than others and, furthermore, this situation is temporary. If you can, now make it easy for your customers so that in 2021 you will have earned the sympathy of the consumer.
- Loyalty to your customers. It has never been more important than now to have a customer relationship model that transcends the product and the physical space. That is why important jewelry, cosmetic and sports companies, among others, are taking the opportunity to develop these models.
- Invest in designing new products and services adapted to new habits . This crisis is going to have a great impact on the creation of new habits and therefore on the demand for new products and services. Be prepared to play a relevant role, whatever your sector. And if it is one of the most affected, take the opportunity to think of new products, services or different ways of reaching the customer.
- Create alliances and ecosystems . If you are not the best at giving a concrete solution to the new trends and habits that are coming, strengthen yourself. It is much faster, cheaper and more efficient to seek alliances to launch a service than to create the product or service from scratch. For example, if you work in the education sector, but what you offer are not educational support services for families, join forces with another educational company that does, and create a product/service together. If even Google and Apple have teamed up to deal with the Coronavirus, why shouldn’t you do it?
- Get new sources of income. For example, providing your customers with truthful information: If you have access to millions of people through an app and you have their trust, perhaps you can take the opportunity to provide them with truthful information. Not only would this not cost you, but it can be a business model, and never before are people so aware of fake news and may be willing to give their authorization to obtain personalized, relevant and truthful information.
- Create an internal accelerator to quickly launch new products and services. To launch new products and services in an agile way, you probably have to do it somewhat independently from the rest of the organization. Create a specific space with the necessary talent to develop these new products, which works in a startup format and with the objectivity of someone from outside the organization.
“The main key when designing this roadmap is that it be carried out as a team, or at least with the main managers involved: marketing, sales, technology, finance… It is an opportunity to design a business plan, identifying initiatives for the common good, not thinking about the interests of each area”.