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It is a new world order, thanks to the impact of covid-19 on all spheres of life. Not left out of this is the business sector, the business landscape is rapidly changing and impacted by new technology. Yesterday’s market leaders have found themselves in the battle for their survival, with only two options, evolve or die. Let me expatiate this by scenarios by the tale of two photo companies, Kodak and Fujifilm. 

These two companies in their right dominated the analog photo industry, however, digital photography emerged and impacted the two companies, Kodak, was late to respond to the emergent threat to its business sphere, and without any other alternative the company filed for bankruptcy in the year 2012. Selling most of its patent to companies such as Apple, Samsung, HTC, Adobe, among others. Fujifilm on the other hand was quick to react to the emerging change to its market space, diversifying into different technologies, including medical space, the example of this is venturing into X-rays and digital medical photography. This quick response to change afforded Fujifilm not only to survive the digital photography tsunami but also to thrive with a market capitalization of $35bn. 

Although, in major parts of the world, economies have been reopened and Covid-19 lockdown measures have been relaxed (Social distancing is still intact). Businesses still need to adapt to the aftermath of the crisis that defined the new era. These are the major trends that will most likely impact business going forward into the new decade:

  1. Online Presence

2. Human Resource

3. Customer Service Relationships

4. Financing

5. Digital Transformation

Online Presence: A resultant effect of the new normal is the shift of businesses towards the online world, for example, digital retail businesses worldwide saw an increase in their revenue. Amazon saw an increase in revenue by 38% year on year, while in Africa Jumia saw an increase in gross profit by 12%.

Most companies are already putting in place systems that entrench their digital presence, since the lifting of lockdown restrictions worldwide, digital infrastructure services have continued to grow and will be utilized for a long time to come. As such, the new normal of acceleration and implementation of digital technology worldwide has come to stay.

Human Resource: As a result of the pandemic there has been a great change to the way we work. All the reservations against working from home that had existed have been cleared. Future-ready companies are putting in place systems that allow their employees to access work systems remotely and work efficiently from home. Human behavior has also changed as people are now reluctant to fully return to their pre-COVID work pattern. A caveat, although employees desire flexibility, they do not necessarily wish to work from home all the time. A good consequence of working from home is that it has been good for the environment as global emissions dropped significantly. This has spurred the interest for a global green economic recovery and we should see an increased interest in sustainable business models.

Customer Service Relationships: Another trend that will impact businesses going forward is customer service. The collection of data will enable organizations to anticipate customer needs and pain points, while responsive companies will leverage the data got to increase customer growth and satisfaction. Customer service should be premium, as customers expect good service from businesses. Therefore, more and more companies will strive to hold on to their customers while trying their best to steal the customer base of their competitors. 

Conclusively, a forward-thinking organization’s customer service is not just about being a listening ear, customers service must think out of the box providing solutions to problems customers did not know they have, keep customers comfortable with your company by showing how valuable they are to you via bonuses and rewards. Remember customers are the building blocks to the bright future you have envisioned.

Digital Transformation: Digitization of business comes with its gains. Some immediate wins include reduction in the recurrent operating cost of the business, improved customer experience as well as increased revenues. The cost of pivoting to digital alternatives in the organization is also material, and costly. However, not adapting processes to the rapidly changing business environment driven by technology is more expensive and could ultimately lead to the demise of the organization. You must be ready to navigate the maze of technology and business innovation to stay ahead.

For example, Nike, when realized that overall performance has started to be sluggish, they did a digital transformation of their supply chain and brand to connect more with customers, using data analytics and direct customer engagement they achieved greater growth. Similarly, Audi transformed its traditional showrooms into a modern digital experience through integrating architecture and technology, this led to a 60% increase in its revenue. 

Financing: The fact is the pandemic has depleted the cash reserves of so many businesses. For many businesses loans is not an option after having suffered a financial shortfall due to the pandemic. Therefore, alternative lenders or investors should be the approach of needed funds for businesses. Grants and government funding, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, and angel investors are avenues businesses should also look into to solve the cash needs organizations will need in the coming decade. Dear business owner, in the coming decade businesses have to be a lot more responsive, detailed and strategic. Wouldn’t you want to have a stake in the future? Get a business evaluation of the current year, to propel your business with a firm footing in the future. Want to talk about getting your business future-ready, reach out to us via mail: advisory@equilibriumzone.org or call +234 701 214 0254

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