The world has come to a halt. The global economy has been shattered. COVID-19 has come at us hard. What started from China, has spread globally in a matter of days. It has left a question mark on our futures as well; When will everything go back to normal? Will things ever be the same again? How long will it take for us to economically recover from this? If, by any miracle, our businesses do survive this, what then? Let’s take a look at how the coronavirus recovery might pan out, taking CHina as an example.
While we swim in a pool of uncertainty, where do we look for hope? COVID-19 originated in China. It is the first country to almost get rid of the virus, returning its society to a new normalcy. People have started going back to work for the last month or so. Factories have reopened, and most restaurants have resumed their services. While there are still restrictions on public gatherings, life in China is slowly having a coronavirus recovery.
However, small businesses are seemingly struggling. Excluding Hubei, 90% of large businesses are back functioning. The rate for small businesses is just 60%. These small businesses did not have the crisis-management skills or resources required to survive the economic impact of the coronavirus. Moreover, customers’ consumption habits have changed as well. They were severely affected by the pandemic, and are now spending more cautiously due to job losses, loss in savings and uncertainty. While many businesses may have re-opened, customers have taken a step back.
Read: Wuhan is on a slow path back to normality after 76-day coronavirus lockdown
However, with these struggles, arise new opportunities. With China’s major cities open for business, aspiring or current entrepreneurs can use their now active economy to help with COVID-19 relief efforts around the world, by manufacturing and supplying medical equipment. Furthermore, the government is likely to give favorable terms and create new favorable policies to new and old businesses to stimulate GDP growth. As E-commerce gains importance due to the lockdowns in various parts of the world, a company could provide a variety of products and services by having them manufactured in China and distributed throughout the world. With China cutting tariffs and taxes to encourage exports, ventures like these could prove quite successful.
It is important to note, that China was able to do all this by efficiently and proactively dealing with the virus. Setting up various crisis task forces, the government proactively led the charge on the virus, disciplining their people and ensuring their safety. Businesses ensured their employees that their jobs were secure, decreasing the sense of uneasiness among the working class.
Moreover, Chinese companies further motivated employees but reallocating their labor forces flexibly to do different tasks that were needed at the time. They also loaned them out to other companies in need.
You will need to refocus your marketing and sales strategies as many Chinese businesses did. By moving operations online. This helped them increase customer and employee engagement, moving the two closer to each other than ever before. Driven by continuous improvement, Chinese companies innovated around the current and future needs of customers to ensure post-pandemic adaptability. An example of this would be Insurance companies making COVID 19 related treatments free, which in turn led to more people signing up for insurance from that very company.
Making predictions on what the “new normal” is, seems premature based on a few samples, we can look at China’s dealing with the coronavirus and how they are overcoming it. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while preparing your business for the post-pandemic world:
See: How to Prepare your Business for the POST-COVID-19 World