how covid-19 has changed business

The Future of Business: 7 Strategies to Thrive in a Post-Pandemic Market

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the world we knew changed in an instant. The crisis impacted every facet of life, sparing no one.

In particular, the business sector immensely suffered. If you are a stakeholder in the industry, perhaps you can relate to how challenging it was to find new ways of doing business.

However, if yours is still operational, you have a lot to be grateful for. After all, in the course of this global health crisis, innumerable unfortunate entrepreneurs had to raise the white flag and surrender the business they had built from scratch.

Now that you have proven to yourself that you can steer your business to rise above even the most difficult of challenges, it is no time to get complacent. The post-pandemic market is here, and it is in your best interests to roll up your sleeves, rethink your strategies, and get to work.

The infographic below will illustrate how COVID-19 has changed the business sector. It will present the biggest post-pandemic business trends, strategic business predictions, and strategies to thrive in the post-COVID market.

how covid-19 has changed business

4 Biggest Post-Pandemic Business Trends

The COVID-19 health crisis has no doubt transformed the ways companies conduct business. It has paved the way for these new trends.

  1. Further digitalisation of business processes

    We have seen this in the last two years. Offices had to pack up and operate remotely to follow quarantine and social distancing protocols. Zoom meetings became prevalent, as did collaboration software.

    In the post-pandemic market, we can expect further digitalisation of business processes, such as the use of AI-driven insights to improve sales efficiency, implementation of automated customer service, and employee performance management automation.

  2. Increased focus on sustainability and operational transparency

    Businesses are profit-driven enterprises. While that is a given, organisations are increasingly becoming aware of heightened customer expectations. Now, generating projected profits is not the only priority for most business leaders.

    As we enter the next normal, expect a renewed emphasis on environmental sustainability and operational transparency. This means more focus on green financing innovations, green infrastructure projects, and carbon emission reduction initiatives, among others.

    Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has prompted businesses to rethink their strategies, as experts have found that environmental degradation increases the risk of pandemics.

  3. Greater emphasis on business resilience

    Before the pandemic hit, businesses prioritised efficiency. Now, the focus has shifted to business resiliency. Companies are now re-evaluating their resources, modifying their financial plans to account for new expenditures like research and development, digital transformation, and upskill training for their employees, among others.

    If there is one thing the pandemic has taught every business owner, it is the fact that one cannot account for all contingencies. Disruptions, such as a global health crisis, can potentially blindside an enterprise. Hence, it pays to be always prepared.

  4. Increased demand for a healthy workplace

    A healthy workplace is one where work-life balance is encouraged. In the post-pandemic market, we can expect businesses to become more invested in this area.

    Companies are now integrating healthcare into their business plans, increasing its allocation in their budgets. Likewise, mental health programs are becoming a focus for most organisations, providing free counseling sessions for their employees.

Strategic Business Predictions for 2023 and Beyond

As we enter a post-pandemic world, new trends will continue to emerge and further developments will take place in the business sector. Here are some strategic predictions for 2023 and beyond.

  1. Companies will embark on providing extended reality services

    Extended reality has already made its debut in the past couple of years. Soon, more businesses will adopt this promising trend and jump on the bandwagon, primarily for improved customer experience.

    For instance, customers will be able to virtually try out shoes or dresses or even household design pieces, thanks to augmented reality technology.

  2. Farms and factories will integrate automation into their processes

    The use of production management software and robotic tools in farms and factories will continue to be a trend in the years to come. These technologies help increase a company’s operational efficiency while improving customer experience. According to a Gartner study, customers will be the first to have access to more than 20% of the products and produce in the world by 2025.

  3. Chief information officers will assume major roles in businesses

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the benefits of digitalisation, putting chief information officers (CIOs) in the spotlight. In the years to come, such a role will gain more attention as digital acceleration becomes a must-have among businesses. Gartner likewise predicts that 25% of CIOs will lead digital business operations by 2024, becoming “chief operating officers by proxy.”

  4. There will be greater demand for remote customer service experts

    Customer service is a critical function in any business. While it has been traditionally done on-site, there is a growing interest in its remote counterpart.

    In the years ahead, more companies will likely prefer outsourcing the task to remote experts to drive more sales. The same Gartner study anticipates that remote customer service experts will be in demand by 2025, with businesses hiring them to resolve 75% of customer service issues. Doing so allows businesses to concentrate on other functions that directly drive growth.

  5. Large organisations will repurpose office spaces as on-site childcare and education facilities

    In the future, large organisations will integrate accessible on-site childcare into their business plans to increase employee retention, engagement, and productivity. Companies will also turn empty office spaces into training rooms and education halls. This will enable businesses to attract talents and retain them in the long term.

➜ Related Blog: 9 Powerful Sales Techniques to Boost Your Business 

How to Thrive in a Post-Pandemic Market: 7 Research-backed Strategies 

These research-backed business strategies can improve your odds of succeeding in the post-pandemic market.

  1. Realign your cost structure and sharpen productivity

    It is understandable if you want to reduce discretionary expenses. However, keep in mind that certain expenditures are worth it. These include resources that enable you to boost productivity, gain market share, and create new revenue streams.

    For instance, while outsourcing might initially chip off your existing capital, it can be a strategic way to streamline your operations. In turn, it helps improve your business’s customer service while driving revenue growth.

  2. Create a digital transformation road map

    You have to approach post-COVID era digitalisation thoughtfully. Study what opportunities align best with your goals. Some high-value opportunities you can consider include direct-to-consumer engagement, digitally-enabled sales, and automated advice, among others.

    For example, if you run an end-user enterprise, you need to be seriously ramping up your e-commerce game.

  3. Find new revenue opportunities and capture new markets

    In this strategy, it is vital to reassess how the expectations, needs, and behaviours of your customers might have changed. Then, evaluate your revenue strategy and optimise it to adapt to current trends.

    Consider the internet as your oyster. For instance, by integrating social media into your marketing plan, you can branch out to other potential markets, allowing you to generate more sales.

  4. Prepare your employees for the post-pandemic workplace

    Developments and advancements in technology have created significant demands for employee upskilling. In the post-COVID market, such a trend is seen to continue.

    Whether you are all set to go back to the traditional physical workplace or prefer to implement a hybrid work arrangement, you should prepare your employees for the plan. Orient and train them on new skills they need to learn for the post-pandemic set-up. And with each decision you arrive at, make sure to explain how it benefits the company and the organisation’s stakeholders.

  5. Strengthen your capital efficiency

    Effective capital management helps optimise business efficiency, reduce operational costs, and maximise profits. But first, you must assess your investment portfolio. You should also evaluate your asset allocation options in light of anticipated recovery scenarios. From there, adjust your balance sheet, focusing on stabilising your business’s fluidity and increasing funds for investment.

  6. Pursue operational agility and flexibility

    Operational agility and flexibility are key to developing business resiliency. There are more changes and disruptions in the market than ever before, and companies need to respond to these changing demands accordingly.

    One strategic way to do this is by focusing on three things: capacity, flexibility, and velocity.

    • Capacity: You need to have sufficient resources to perform tasks and deliver results efficiently.
    • Flexibility: You need the right flexibility in your processes, systems, and technology to enable your business to respond to changing priorities and market demands.
    • Velocity: You need to develop a system that will allow your organisation to easily switch between priorities and complete work on time.

    The post-pandemic business landscape will reward those that are adaptable. Hence, agility and flexibility should be part of your recovery agenda.

  7. Embrace emerging regulations

    The COVID-19 pandemic has set a new precedent for the government’s power over businesses. For instance, there is now increased regard for privacy regulations and digital ethics among companies when running their operations.

    According to a survey, 50% of chief executive officers prioritise regulatory concerns when doing business, as they believe non-compliance will negatively impact their businesses in the next two to three years.

    It cannot be helped. In the post-COVID era, complying with new government regulations is something every business should take seriously. After all, these policies are aimed at creating a responsible and safe business environment.

Adapt to Rise Up

One way to rise in today’s market is to adapt to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. While it sounds challenging, it is doable. With the data and strategies presented in this infographic, you have all the resources you need to come up with informed decisions.

If you are looking to improve your operational efficiency, consider working with a BPO firm in the Philippines, such as optiBPO. We can help you build a dedicated offshore team that serves as an extension of your organisation. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

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