Five Ways COVID-19 Has Changed Business
The coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) has created global health and economic crises. Management consulting and business consulting firms can confirm that the second quarter’s economic growth fell by over 31%, and unemployment nearly hit 15%. We haven’t seen these numbers since the Great Depression and WWII, respectively.
By Ryan Niddel
Most businesses have had to make significant adjustments to survive.
Let’s discuss five ways the pandemic has changed businesses across the country.
Businesses had to make some physical in-store changes to serve the clients who went to their shops. Here are some layout changes we have observed:
– Physical barriers: some businesses have installed barriers to control the flow of customers or to act as shields between people.
– Social distancing: the recommended distance is six feet, so shops had to rearrange their furniture to meet this suggestion.
– Maximum occupancy: businesses had to observe maximum occupancy depending on the size of the shop area. Most shops were not allowed by law to function at capacity.
Businesses that chose to allow customers into their stores had to make changes in their policies. Here are some examples of the changes:
-Requiring face masks: there was some confusion about wearing face masks during the start of the pandemic, but it’s clear now that we should require anyone who enters our business premises to wear them.
-Contact tracing: businesses had to be mindful of contact tracing. Many implemented a digital method to scan a QR code and fill out an information sheet upon entry.
-Regular sanitizing: we now usually provide alcohol and sanitizers for clients. Plus, we’ve seen that most shops now sanitize areas at least twice a day.
Before the pandemic, any management consultant would advise businesses to strengthen their digital presence, but it’s no longer optional. Having a strong digital presence is now critical for companies to survive.
Since our physical movement has been limited, clients are now going online to buy their needs. It makes companies that provide easy online transactions ahead of the competition.
Some brands are going further and digitizing typically offline experiences, such as group workouts, game nights, and clubbing.
Most companies have been creative in providing additional services, from Zoom consultations, curbside pickups, and delivery.
You’ll notice announcements outside some shops that contain their additional services—some will deliver items to your car so you won’t have to go out, and some are accepting more contactless payment options.
With 42% of our labor force now working from home, and many people still not comfortable going outside. These additional services were essential for businesses to serve clients better.
Going Business to Consumer (B2C)
Many business-to-business (B2B) companies had to add a B2C arm to drive revenue during the lockdowns. Doing so enabled the usually B2B companies to bypass disruptions in the supply chain and find new revenue sources to compensate for lost opportunities.
One of the more notable brands that added B2C sales is Selecta, a leading fresh foods and coffee supplier in the country.
The year 2020 was a challenging year for many businesses, but we have to adapt to survive. Hire a business consultant to help you serve your clients better. Getting the right consultant will be crucial in surviving the year and preparing for a better 2021.