The advent of COVID 19 has brought many economic, social and political upheavals across the globe. Life, as we know it, has been disrupted, with the significant economic impact of damage to the bottom lines of businesses, industries, and SMEs. Ultimately, what COVID-19 has managed to do is thrust all of us into new ways of being, puncturing the equilibrium and perhaps reminding us of the inevitability of social evolution. What we may have known pre-Covid as “entrepreneurship” is certainly evolving; the way we do business and create business must change if a business is to survive during and after this pandemic.
In the face of this significant disruption, INNOVATION becomes the rallying call for businesses and entrepreneurs must begin challenging the conventions of “how things used to be” and seeking out of the box solutions for their companies’ future.
Just about every industry has been impacted by the strict lockdown measures and public health precautions. Airlines grounded, hotels unoccupied, entertainment centres gone dark, bars and restaurants closed, and schools shuttered have become the grim face of a pandemic.
Today, even with the reassuring news of vaccines being distributed in North America and Europe and some easing of restrictions taking place, we know it will take some time before the world can be “marked safe.” Though working from the office environment has value in building employee synergy and providing productive spaces free from distraction, COVID-19 is definitely teaching us that much of what we do in person can be done remotely. Working remotely for entrepreneurs – many of whom can relocate their operations to their homes, can capitalise on the savings derived from not having to pay facilities costs, and plough this back into their operations.
Virtual conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft teams, Google Meet etc. provide opportunities for meetings to take place, discussions to be held at a safe distance and to maintain healthy practices.
Working remotely or working from home do have some disadvantages. Nevertheless, taking advantage of social media platforms such as Workplace or Trello can be the next best thing to increasing productivity in a virtual working environment. These platforms help improve human resource management, serving to keep teams connected and to maintain tracking on deliverables and activities. Specific departments can hold meetings, keep in touch and check-in with others remotely while working on assigned tasks.
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Secondly, opportunities for marketing and growing sales are increasingly available. E-marketing platforms and social media forums are hotbeds for selling ideas and products. Data analytics can help entrepreneurs study the behaviours of consumers and tailor their products to consumer taste. Most importantly, these forums help entrepreneurs find niche markets and novel products and services that have not been explored.
Traditional buying and selling are changing, and it will be prudent that more entrepreneurs find ways of delivering their goods and services using platforms that help consumers accurately pick out their product of choice and have them delivered safely. What is crucial here is for entrepreneurs to figure out what they can do properly and diligently. So, if they cannot offer delivery, they may partner with delivery services that will deliver products on their behalf. This divestiture is a win-win for both enterprises.
As much as disruption has characterised the impact of Covid-19 in the world, innovation has also come to represent how entrepreneurs and businesses are choosing to show up and to solidify their future post-COVID 19
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” -Winston Churchill
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