How to spring back from pandemic low to business productivity high
I recently came across a very interesting article written by Mr. Prakash Iyer, former MD of Kimberly-Clark Lever, regarding the Choluteca Bridge. The article talks about the 484-meter-long bridge over the river Choluteca in Honduras, Central America, which is a region notorious for storms and hurricanes. A firm was contracted to build a strong, solid bridge that would be able to withstand the powerful forces of nature. As such the bridge was built and turned out to be a modern-day marvel of design and engineering and was subsequently opened to the public in 1998.
In October of that same year Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras. There was torrential rain and the river swelled and flooded the entire region. There was so much destruction but through it all only the Choluteca bridge remained unaffected. However, there was a problem, though the bridge was intact the road leading to it and away from it was destroyed and most importantly the flooding forced the river Choluteca to change course. It created a new channel and now flowed beside the bridge. This once beautiful and wonderous structure of engineering was now a bridge over nothing and going nowhere.
The COVID – 19 pandemic has completely transformed the way we live, work and communicate and one of the most important things it has brought to the attention of every person is that the notion that Built to Last is now obsolete and needs to be reconsidered. Businesses, from large to the small to medium enterprises need be adapt and innovate their businesses to navigate these troubled times.
We have listed out our top 4 tips to help you navigate your way through:
1. Think Back: We are now facing situations that we had never really given any thought to. A company's ability to survive will be hinged on its ability to adapt and go forward. Keep in mind the Darwinian rules, only the fittest and the most adaptable will survive. Look back on all the current and pending projects and determine if they are meeting objectives to boost your business during the pandemic. This will give you an accurate perspective on what is the status of the project as of today and what can be restricted to suit the future.
2. Think Across: Work toward building an online community or being involved in a community that shares ideas, knowledge and information. Keep in mind that these communities should be a two-way street so what you give is what you will get. You can work this to be across your industry or community depending on what would suit your business better.
3. Think Growth: The scales of profit and loss have been a delicate balance for businesses for decades and will continue to be. However, profitable and foresighted investments could not only support you during the good times but will also act as a cushion to ease the fall in difficult times. Businesses could consider taking interruption insurance, a tool that may not be able to cover this emergency but will keep you prepared for the next time you experience such economic loss. Also consider shifting your sales strategy online and this will provide you a two-sided benefit, it will allow you to grow your business while also ensuring that your business is prepared for any future emergency/ crisis.
4. Think Ahead: Having identified the area where you have the ability to grow and reap the profits, it is essential to focus your energy on these tasks. Consider outsourcing certain departments of your company like administration and Human Resources to an outsource business support services company, to ensure you are able to keep on track with your business's growth while saving on employment cost and increasing your bottom line.
Irrespective of which place you are in currently, instead of returning to the way things were, simplify what you do and how you do it. From here on out every decision you make signals to your employees and customers whether or not you emerge from this crisis as a winner. Are you sending the right signals?