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The next normal in business: challenges and opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected both the global economy as well as the local economies of most countries, with recessions being predicted for multiple states. 

This is why businesses operating within this landscape will need to readjust the way they conduct business. 

However, COVID-19 has not only created challenges regarding how business is done, but it has also paved the way for some opportunities, too. 

To find out what these are, keep reading below.

Challenges

Increased automation, robotics and AI

The first challenge related to the “new normal” relates to the increased automation of human jobs. 

With robots being implemented in some hospitals to undertake cleaning and sanitation work, or manufacturing companies increasingly relying on robots and artificial intelligence, there is a likelihood that some jobs may become redundant. 

This is especially the case in a pandemic scenario as employers seek safer ways of conducting business without exposing their employees to health risks all while maximising output and income. 

Consumer intent and general market trends

Research indicates that consumer intent is also likely to change. 

Some trends show a tendency of prioritising shopping local, more purchases being made online and a focus on necessities only. 

These indicate that some aspects of the marketplace are likely to suffer, retail being one example. 

With a change in consumer intent and market trends, businesses will need to adapt their offering in order to remain competitive. 

This presents some opportunities for going online for those that are looking into this option, and this aspect is discussed in more detail below. 

Liquidity challenges

Finally, with a shortage of foot traffic, many business owners will need to rethink their business strategy as they increasingly face liquidity challenges due to low sales levels. 

This may mean doing further research into the financial aspects of your business – whether you consider taking out a loan to continue operating or whether you seek aid in the form of financial grants. 

For smaller businesses, the liquidity challenges will be more strongly felt than with larger ones, but that is not to say that both will be unaffected.

Opportunities

Businesses with a focus on health and hygiene & the online marketplace

The types of businesses which focus on health are likely to continue to flourish over the short and long term as demand for hygiene and sanitation skyrockets. 

Janitorial and sanitation businesses are therefore expected to become a booming industry as individuals and corporate clients seek healthier home living environments and work spaces. 

The online marketplace, and the subsequent online payment solutions, are also likely to see a continued boost, as an increasingly large number of people seek safer and distant ways of making purchasing decisions.

Use the extra time you have to your benefit

Been planning to create a website for your business but you never had the time to do so? Or you were too swamped with work to finalise your marketing strategy? 

During this lull, you may want to use your time in more effective ways. Putting projects on hold is no longer an option as you now have more time to focus on what you had previously placed on the backburner.

Taking advantage of remote work

There are several benefits – and financial ones at that – which are related to remote work. 

On the one hand, your business can take advantage of substantial overhead savings on rental space. 

Resources such as Zoom and Skype, amongst many others, can also help you reduce expenses on communications, long after the pandemic has ended. 

Google Drive offers document creation options – both text and spreadsheets – that you can utilise and collaborate on with colleagues and this is absolutely free.

Coping with the new normal

COVID-19 has left the global business landscape in tatters.

While there are challenges associated with this situation, there are also opportunities that business owners could take advantage of as the global economy makes the necessary readjustments.

This time period is perfect for going online and revising the ways in which you do business.

In this blog post, we covered some of the challenges and opportunities related to working in a post-COVID-19 scenario, which we hope you found useful!

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