It is fair to say that 2020 was a crisis year for a lot of businesses, possibly even yours. However, for a handful of businesses, it was a banner year of opportunity and growth. If you sold laptops and webcams in 2020, you would have had trouble keeping up with demand. Retail suffered but Amazon cleaned up. The travel industry suffered a dramatic decline. There is no telling when the cruise ship industry will recuperate. But this has been a great opportunity for mobile carriers.
For some businesses, catastrophic is too soft a term. More than half the businesses that closed during the pandemic won’t reopen. If your favorite boulevard looks like a ghost town, it will not suddenly spring back to life when the pandemic has fully passed. It will take some time before things start to feel like the normal you remember. In the meantime, life and business must go on.
What remains is for us to learn the lessons taught us by the harsh reality of the previous year. Many businesses were caught completely unaware. When the pandemic hit with its full force, there was no contingency plan. The next major challenge will probably not be a pandemic. But it will be something that will also take us by surprise. Here are some things your business can do to be more prepared for the unexpected.
Take Better Advantage of the Good Times
To paraphrase a biblical passage, work while it is still daytime because night comes when no one can work. An old Southern form of that expression is, make hay while the sun shines. When something like a pandemic comes, it can feel downright biblical in proportion. What you have to do is take full advantage of the good times so that you can have plenty banked against the unexpected shutdowns.
Look into increasing worker productivity by deploying exoskeleton suits for the workers in your company that literally do the heavy lifting. The manufacturer describes it this way:
Set to transform the way work gets done, the Guardian XO industrial exoskeleton augments operator strength without restricting freedom of movement to boost productivity while dramatically reducing injuries.
Don’t become lackadaisical about losses in efficiency just because times are good with no end in sight. If you can do more while maintaining or improving worker quality of life, you should. That will help you survive the down time for a lot longer and with a lot more confidence.
Make Every Job One That Can Be Done from Home
Building resiliency in a digital economy means freeing yourself from as many on-prem constraints as possible. When the pandemic struck, companies had to figure out how to retool jobs so they could be done from home. That was a slow and messy process that some companies never managed to pull off. If your business is locked to a location, it will be vulnerable when that location is unavailable.
The way to survive the next round of the unexpected is to mobilize every aspect of your business so that there is nothing you can’t do on a mobile basis. There are very few office tasks that can’t be done remotely. The same goes for call centers. Reevaluate every job in your company from top to bottom and come up with a remote contingency plan.
Diversify Your Business Model
There is another old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket. Before the pandemic, many restaurants did not have a food delivery plan in place. Many retail stores did not have a robust, online catalog in place. A lot of the businesses that closed had no diversification and completely relied on a single income stream and business model. Start thinking about your alternate business model so that it will be in place long before you need it.
It is called the unexpected because no one seriously expects it to happen. But good businesses prepare for it anyway. Make your business more resilient to disaster by making better use of the time you have, by making every job a possibility for remote work, and by diversifying your business model and income stream.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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