The market is getting more volatile, travel is decreasing, and companies such as Lyft, Google, and Apple are delaying their plans to return to the workplace. How can businesses hope to establish and adhere to a single business plan in the face of such chaos?
They can’t, is the simple, disappointing response. By the time July rolled around, a January company strategy was most likely in desperate need of modification. This is set to be just as true next year as it has been this year: COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon, and uncertainty abound. In order to adapt to current developments, it is necessary to call an audible on your company plan.
Here’s How You Can Achieve That By Changing Your Company Strategy:
Stay Current With COVID
This is the huge, no-exceptions slogan that should ring out anytime it’s time to make a company strategy choice. While major economies are unlikely to revert to the severe lockdowns of early 2020, many customers are keeping a close eye on COVID-19’s future trajectory. According to an ongoing Deloitte poll, 51% of consumers are concerned about their physical well-being when it comes to their activities, up from 47% a month ago.
When it comes to COVID-19, far too many firms have been on the back foot, waiting for trends to emerge before responding to them. When it comes to COVID safety, a sizable section of your consumer base is taking matters into their own hands; if cases begin to rise, they may be more hesitant to travel or conduct business in person. Rather of trying to meet such preferences as they develop, keep a careful eye on your local and national situations and modify your methods accordingly. If you are unwilling to take the required efforts to make your consumers feel safe and secure, they will go to another firm that is.
Finish Out Your Digital Transition
Many businesses were planning to migrate to the cloud before 2020, but the events of that year just added fuel to the fire. For most of the last year, trends such as the increase of remote or hybrid working and virtual communication have been at the forefront of most organizations’ business plans. The reopening of the economy in 2021, on the other hand, has caused several firms to delay their digital transformation for the time being – a major error.
While the world may appear to be “returning to normal” for the time being, the future is very guaranteed to be one that occurs online. Businesses must migrate to the cloud if they are to be prepared for the next stage of digital commerce. For example, Plume, a provider of smart home and small business solutions, estimates that there will be 8.4 billion digital voice assistants in the world by 2024 — if your company is still tied to brick-and-mortar operations, how effectively will you be able to respond to a consumer base whose primary method of purchase and research is digital voice assistants? As 2022 approaches, the transformations that happened in 2020 must be accelerated rather than delayed.
Don’t Put Your Money In Optimistic Markets
When the stock market crashed in March and April of 2020, it appeared that the global economy would languish for some time. Nobody could have predicted how wrong it would turn out to be: the 2020 recession lasted only two months, the shortest in US history. Since then, growth has been on an upward trajectory, and many corporate executives are getting ahead of themselves by anticipating this growth to continue uninterrupted for years to come.
Predicting the future of the economy and the markets that compose it is nearly impossible, and there are reasons to be cautious of those who predict a golden age ahead. For example, the legendary Boston-based money management firm GMO recently forecasted that the S&P 500 will have lost half of its inflation-adjusted value by 2028. Don’t base your company approach only on optimism. Create processes and operational principles that can be used in both good and bad times, and your company will be able to ride the crests and troughs of whatever waves come your way.
Go Where Your Consumers Are
Businesses needed to be able to contact their clients at home by 2020 if they wanted their attention. Customers were more willing than ever in 2021 to leave the house and go directly to companies. Which of these scenarios is most likely in 2022? What about the 2020s as a whole? How can companies hope to deal with the unpredictability of consumer behavior?
Sticking to your storefront may end up costing you more hassle than it’s worth. According to Bloomberg, the e-commerce business may be worth more than $16 billion by 2027, with no indications of slowing off thereafter. There’s nothing wrong with returning to normalcy for a few quarters. However, don’t place too much faith in brick-and-mortar stores making a long-term comeback. Make your journey to the cloud, where your customers will be waiting.
Consider making a hybrid option available. Customers who want a conventional in-person experience would be accommodated, as would those who prefer to do things remotely. But be careful not to overlook the latter in favor of the former. This is akin to implementing a company plan that is simply too short-sighted for long-term success.
Adapt To New Social Media Habits
The use of social media is increasing across all platforms. That is not to say that you can just post-traditional material and expect better levels of interaction than previously. As the number of users on social media increases, so do the trends and habits. The postings that received a lot of attention in 2018 are unlikely to have the same type of impact in 2021.
This is perhaps most true in the ever-growing world of social media influencers. Just a few years ago, they were objects of fascination or derision in most marketing departments. But, businesses dismiss them at their own peril. A Google-commissioned survey from Ipsos found that 40% of millennial YouTube subscribers say that their favorite creator understands them better than their friends — that level of trust and engagement is way more likely to get a customer’s attention than promoted tweets ever will. Don’t let a dynamic business strategy become sclerotic when it comes to social media.
Adjust To Shifting Employee Priorities
The last year has altered the paths of more than just consumers and markets. Your workers have most likely endured a few adjustments as well. Quality of life is increasingly taking precedence over high wages, and flexible work is taking precedence over typical office arrangements.
In fact, attempting to fast revert to the previous state may generate considerable disquiet among your crew. According to a recent Morning Consult poll, 39 percent of employees would contemplate resigning if their managers forced them to give up remote work and return to the office. This isn’t limited to your present workers. Prospective employees would also expect to be accommodated in terms of remote and flexible working alternatives. Businesses that are too set in their ways when it comes to cubicles and the 40-hour, 5-day workweek risk developing out-of-date business strategies.
Think Globally, But Act Locally
It’s a well-worn adage that the world is continuously being flattered, and not in the literal sense. It is getting increasingly simpler to communicate and conduct business across boundaries. At least, that was before COVID-19 sprang into action. Due to disruptions in travel and international shipping, firms were forced to refocus their efforts on local and domestic markets.
What about the year 2022? Should businesses bet on the freeing of borders and the blooming of international trade, or should they stick to smaller markets? Surprisingly, the answer is a combination of the two.
Don’t give up on your local activities in the hopes that your company’s horizons will expand in the near future.
Instead, maintain any and all current consumer ties. And do so as you wait for a suitable moment to start expanding further afield.
Make sure your business plan reflects this by focusing on activities that can be sustained in the future while also searching for possible possibilities down the road.
Anyone who claims to know what 2022 will look like is lying. The uncertainty that afflicted 2020 and 2021 isn’t going away, and your company plan should reflect that. Prepare your business for whatever may happen, and you can anticipate good development in return.