Has your business been shuttered since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown? Are you starting to worry that your business cannot be revived anymore, given the current state of the economy? Read on to see a broader perspective of the business landscape and learn how some companies are gearing up to recover the bottom line.
While it is true that many businesses are still closed, there is already a glimmer of hope for a revival as some firms brave the pandemic and choose to reopen. Quite frankly, there will be many difficulties ahead for everyone, and a major challenge is travel restriction. It has been nine months after health experts first reported a mysterious disease outbreak in China in the final week of December 2019. As of August 2020, there are still restrictions to entry into the United States, while most foreign nationals are still not allowed to enter Canada. Other countries have varying degrees of foreign travel policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another concern is the restoration of supply chains, which serve as the bloodline for production and assembly lines in the automotive industry, food processing sector, electronics, and just about every business there is. Consumer spending has also slowed down, although it is expected to rise as more companies begin to operate and call back their employees. Other global corporations have made reasonable adjustments by resorting to work-from-home arrangements as a business continuity strategy.
For example, Amazon has allowed its corporate employees to telecommute until January 8, 2021. Facebook employees are also working from home until the end of the year, even as plans are being made to transfer more departments to remote work status. Twitter, for its part, has made work-from-home permanently an option for its employees.
Business Reopening Preparations
Many businesses have taken concrete steps to return to profitability. The months of being in business limbo have left their shops and factories lacking in maintenance. To prepare the workplace and make it more conducive and appealing to returning employees, some business owners have been reading about Krause and Becker airless paint sprayer tips and have set aside funds to hire contractors for a repainting job. They hope to square away their offices and warehouses a few days before officially reopening business operations.
Other establishments like those in the restaurant industry have ordered acrylic table dividers that would allow dine-in customers to enjoy their meals without the face mask. These dividers would serve as water droplet barriers, allowing diners to savor their orders without having to be concerned about potential viral contamination or spread of the virus.
Retail companies like malls and shopping centers are still experiencing lean sales, but they are expecting a resurgence of customers early next year. At this time, they hope to attract shoppers through mall sale events and major discounts on a variety of products. The airline industry is following suit by offering seat sales for trips covering the period of May to September 2021, as expectations rise that travel, leisure, and tourism activities will have an uptake by the middle of next year.
Increased Online Presence
Aside from these preparations, more and more companies are making investments in e-commerce, joining major online retail giants like Amazon in the West and Alibaba in the East. The number of U.S. based buyers on Alibaba’s platform grew by 76 percent. Business strategists believe that while buyers still prefer to purchase live onsite, online shopping will exponentially grow as people choose to remain at home to avoid the possibility of contracting the COVID-19 disease in crowded areas like malls. There will also be significant growth in online transactions in the so-called business-to-business or B2B platform. Offline businesses have found out rather painfully that a public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic not only disrupts operation, it could lead to the worst-case scenario of bankruptcy.
For both the global corporation and the small start-up, there are clear takeaways from the business developments, or rather, setbacks in 2020. First, all businesses, big and small, are affected by a public emergency since these incidents cause people to panic, have fear, or at the very least, become financially conservative. That leads to low demand and slow consumer spending.
Second, government regulations change from time to time, as shown in the varying degrees of restrictions imposed from one state to another. It is vital to keep track of government policies and protocols that have a direct impact on business operations such as stay-at-home orders or self-quarantine, stoppage of public transportation, and temporary closures of business establishments. Improving your company’s online brand identity and presence is also a must as consumers slowly embrace online shopping as part of the norm.
Lastly, maintain an unquenchable supply of optimism and an endless drive for continuous improvement in the products and services you offer because doing business has always been and will always be about the survival of the fittest.