It’s easy to brush past the positives when the negatives are so overwhelming. Particularly right now, it’s easy to miss the silver lining. I submit that whilst Covid-19 has brought many setbacks for lots of businesses all around the globe, there have been five key silver linings we can all leverage.
1. A return to core business
While running a business, we can become so focused on the day-to-day that we get side-tracked from our core business. Covid-19 has forced businesses to reflect on their core mission and strip back the layers to find what was so special about their business and what made it succeed.
It comes down to what your business is really good at. Get laser sharp focus on what that is and remove everything else.
As leadership strategist Mark Levins suggests, “Challenge everything now, including sacred cows.” Now is the time to cut out anything that isn’t essential for business growth so that you can be strategically placed once life starts to return back to normal.
The crisis has helped us realise what is central to Finder. What are the things we need to double down on, and what can be paused. It’s also a good opportunity to reflect on what is happening in your industry, in your market and your niche, and how your customers are adapting and what are their needs now.
2. A chance to reinvent yourself
A lot of things that previously worked before are not relevant anymore. Covid-19 has given businesses a chance to reinvent themselves and create a new stream of growth. A new direction.
Businesses which have taken the virus head-on and used it as a unique opportunity are incredible. I like to refer to them as phoenixes. The best companies are not unicorns. They are a phoenix.
Brewing company Young Henrys is a great example. When the distillery was forced to shut its venue down during lockdown, it ramped up its online store, and pivoted to making hand sanitizer. This allowed the business to keep operating, keep the majority of their staff and continue to make money. The business was flexible, agile and responsive. This is key.
Businesses which have looked at COVID-19 as an area for growth and a chance to venture into new fields or repurpose the ones they currently operate in, will succeed.
3. An insight into the future
In 50 years, I find it hard to believe we will all be commuting to the office. Being forced to work from home has set up businesses and their crew to be able to work efficiently while being remote. I believe this trend will continue into the future as we see the benefits of distributed teams.
For example, Twitter saw an increase in productivity while their crew were working remotely, and they are going to work from home until the end of 2021. Other tech companies are doing the same.
Joel McInnes, co-founder, of FlexCareers said that, "With the bias, stigma and barriers around remote working removed, organisations will have access to wider and more diverse talent pools to boost productivity and remain competitive.”
There’s no doubt it will bring new opportunities for a larger talent pool across the world, save on overheads and encourage more tech innovation.
4. Opportunities to improve supply chains
Supply chains around the world have been impacted, regardless of the industry. With so much disruption happening and businesses operating remotely, without access to the same amount of resources as before, they’ve needed to rethink their reliance on different parts of supply chains and how to improve their processes quickly.
Jim Kilpatrick, Supply Chain Analyst at Deloitte, talks about how supply chains are evolving right now: “The traditional linear supply chain model is transforming into digital supply networks (DSNs), where functional silos are broken down and organizations become connected to their complete supply network to enable end-to-end visibility, collaboration, agility, and optimization.”
This shift means businesses will better understand supply chains and be more efficient post-COVID. This is a long-term win-win situation for both businesses and it’s customers.
5. A chance to be frugal
During this crisis many companies have needed to cut down on expenses, re-evaluate costs and analyse what is essential. Being frugal is a key skill for growth and profit now and following COVID-19.
For example, Uber has used this time as an opportunity to cut down on its discount codes, and shifted focus from customer acquisition to profitability. While the business saw a drop in demand, it critically evaluated processes, implemented a hiring freeze and cut down bonuses to stay afloat. By being frugal, Uber predicts it will still remain profitable at the end of this year.
In the future, this skill is going to be a must-have for every entrepreneur. Our current global situation has just given us a taster so we can be better equipped to continue a streak of winning in the years to come.
It’s a tough time for everyone. There’s a large amount of uncertainty and many unknown factors that keep arising. However, it is key to look at the positive outcomes that can come out of this rather than just the pushbacks. Tough times don’t last, tough people do. It’s up to you to find the silver lining in every situation.
Fred Schebesta is a Founder of Finder, Australia’s leading comparison website, and the Finder app.
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