Even as economies and countries are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses, entrepreneurs, and SMEs across the globe are feeling the brunt of the resultant slowdown. The pandemic is estimated to hit India’s economic growth by up to 50bps in FY21, as per government sources. With over 60 confirmed deaths and a total of over 2500 confirmed positive cases across India, we are headed towards a major health crisis already.
These are tough times, but entrepreneurs can actually use this effectively to reflect and strategise a way forward plan, with a resilient attitude and a winning mindset. Instead of spending this time counting losses or panicking over the situation, the slowdown could actually be a boon. It is an opportunity to allow startup founders to take stock of the situation, envision market needs and demands after the pandemic is over, and gear up for a fresh start. Here are four ways that entrepreneurs can use this time to prepare for a strong comeback:
• Upgrade yourself to leverage technology. The COVID-19 pandemic has today forced businesses to adopt the best in technology so as to remain accessible and functional. Even as the corporate world is adjusting to a life of work from home, with video conferencing, emails, and virtual group chats, entrepreneurs are exploring new formats of reaching out and engaging with customers and stakeholders. Long after the COVID-19 pandemic, these new formats of virtual workspaces and digital meetings will likely flourish, along with a host of other new technology innovations. This is the right time, therefore, to understand, learn, and adopt new-age innovations that can help one to not only continue their business but also flourish after the pandemic is over.
• Observe, learn, and innovate While technology is definitely a lifesaver right now, every business is currently looking at ways to sustain this slowdown. The innovation here, therefore, would make a lot of difference. From modifications/upgradations in products and services to re-aligning the sales and marketing pitch to more relevant market sentiment, could go a long way and help survive this slowdown.
• Reach out to peers and collaborate While being fiercely competitive is good in a flourishing market, a slowdown demands a re-look at business strategy, with a priority to survive. Collaboration, therefore, could be a beneficial approach. From reaching out to peers, industry experts, and also competition, one can achieve a win-win situation that can help businesses tide over the difficult times. Also Read Coronavirus: TapChief guide reveals how you can make remote working work
• Transform from being an organisation to a family Tough times call for tough measures, executed through compassion and empathy. Human Resource is one of the strongest capitals an entrepreneur can have, and these trying times call for an empathetic approach to the situation. Changing the perspective of looking at your teams as overheads that translate into expenses; consider them a strong support system in times of crisis. That can be the crucial difference in winning and losing. In good times they may be your employees, but in bad times, make them your family. Understanding and empathising with them and working together to tide over the crisis can be a lot more morale-boosting and satisfying than trying to fight a battle alone
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