How are businesses preparing for a post-virus world?
It seems inconceivable to consider anything beyond business survival in these difficult times. A catastrophic situation for many business owners, but it’s not unthinkable to think that eventually, and hopefully sooner rather than later we will see the green shoots of normality return. It may bring an entirely ‘new normal’ as the world learns from this global epidemic, how to adjust, thrive and flourish in an evolved commercial existence.
In many Asian regions, they are now experiencing a return to their form of normality. Of course, they have the experience and somewhat immunity to a post-virus situation, having experienced SARS in 2003. An event that is still very fresh in the minds of many business owners in the Asian continent. SARS paved the way for renewed thoughts and innovation. Brands like Alibaba were born during the outbreak as people were stuck in their homes and starting to try out that new thing called e-commerce.
Moving back to home, we will find numerous businesses that thrived during the pandemic; many unwittingly became a 4th, 5th or even 6th emergency service during the outbreak, doorstep food delivery is a typical example. Others will have diversified their operations, services and product lines, recognizing changing attitudes, cleaning companies being another example. Let’s face it; we have learnt a great deal already about the importance of health and hygiene.
I heard a story just last week about a couple of midwives at the local NHS trust who had commissioned their mothers with sewing machines to make elasticated bags from pillowcases. Midwives could carry their freshly cleaned uniforms and change into them at the hospital, and then bag them up, ready for a 60-degree virus-killing wash on their return home. A process that was created to reduce their potential carry of the virus back to the family home. Could this become the norm for NHS front-line workers, so who wins that lucrative contract to make NHS clothing bags for 500,000 front-line workers?
Innovation and new thinking
It is also not inconceivable to see new businesses emerge to fill the gaps of those that were unfortunate not to survive. Entrepreneurs will be looking for a gap in every marketplace, including those that could do nothing about losing their pandemic-hit businesses. The business community will most certainly evolve, adapt and innovate to create the next wave of UK growth, breathing new life back into a fragile economy. After all, that is what we do. We are a resilient breed of innovators, with the ability to think differently, aren’t we?