It’s been approximately four and a half months since the global Covid-19 pandemic hit our lives. Businesses – small, mid and large have been impacted. We have witnessed some expected ,but many unexpected ways in which the pandemic has affected the business and economic landscape globally.
But, do you know how many local businesses have survived this unprecedented change? India, which has shown the second best business survival rate in the world, has almost 30% of business functioning normally. The remaining 70% have adjusted their businesses to continue making profits during these times. Only around 2% of businesses in India needed to shut down their operations.
Let’s have a look at what adjustments and survival mechanisms have been utilised, especially in relation to start-ups and small business enterprises:
1) Getting Creative
Creativity and an agile working system have proven to be the main qualities of survival. Whether its collaboration with fresh supply partners or community-based apps, or entering support industries for the healthcare industry, companies have been exploring multiple ways to stay afloat.
Plus, the Fintech market has opened up to offer varied solutions while concepts such as peer to peer lending or getting financed by unconventional sources such as NBFCs have gained momentum.
There have even been creative solutions borne out of investor priorities. Many new and small enterprises have altered their business models to suit what investors are looking for and where there are better chances as per the new landscape.
2) Delaying Payment Schemes
These are times when everyone is affected and therefore, most people understand what you are going through. Overheads in terms of rent and employee salaries can be reduced during the pandemic. Most landlords are showing flexibility with payment plans as are banks and other financial institutes.
Business owners that needed a breather have managed to negotiate with relevant parties and authorities to either get a moratorium or discount for a few months. It is during these months that businesses can initiate back-up plans and try new activities.
3) Opening Up Communication
Most brands and companies made it through the lockdown phases by opening up communication channels with their customers, vendors and employees. They set up and maintained two way interactions which increased transparency and trust within the organisation.
Customers concerns were addressed as companies kept them all in the loop about what was happening within the company. In the initial dark days of lockdown, many consumer companies offered insight to customers on the prevailing situation with regard to government announcements and upcoming changes.
As services were added and product offerings altered, customers were made aware every step of the way. This has ensured that though certain brands have not provides as well as they used to, they have not managed to lose their loyal customer base.
4) Short-Term Planning
Whatever the new business game plan may be, the vital thing to remember is to plan and implement in short-term phases. Since we are unaware of what lies ahead, we cannot plan for it with specifics.
Successful entrepreneurs have figured this out and decided to plan, implement, then re-look and plan again. Times frames of 1 to 3 months per planning stage are recommended. However, things could change halfway through a phase and the need to improvise can emerge.
Hence, the ability to adapt to the need of the hour without getting attached to a concept or plan seems to be in every business surviver kit. Naturally, some sectors are luckier than others but expansion and digression into new unrelated product areas cannot be dismissed. Also, the use of technology to support and ease businesses is rampant and improving each day.