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RESTRAINED OPTIMISM IN UNUSUAL TIMES?



Even as the pandemic remains to have an adverse effect globally there is still a restrained optimism that a recovery may soon be forthcoming.

Consumer confidence however is uncertain and business’s now need, more than ever, to offer better value for money and affordability to compete. Companies will also need to offer a refined service which is competitively priced and of the best possible quality. As employment levels are still declining and unlikely to even begin to recover until next year, consumer spending is doubtful to increase noticeably until 2021.

With international travel restrictions looking set to be enforced until 2021-2022, a lot of consumers will be travelling within their own countries rather than further afield. The upside of this is more will be spent on products and services within the local economy with the key pointers, once again, showing affordability and service being key. The downside in this instance, obviously, is the dramatic negative impact on the foreign travel industries.

Another unexpected outcome of the pandemic is it has clearly demonstrated there is a need for businesses to develop continuity plans to deal with unanticipated events. Ensuring the business is going to cope with the new working methods should involve a deep analysis to identify and prioritise which specific facilities and services remain necessary, in working order and in demand. These include IT and communication systems and office requirements: do you need as much space now and are those areas which are needed compliant and keeping in line with the new guidelines? Is the company going to be resilient enough?

Survival mode is not uncommon for companies during times of ‘crisis’, and if a company is to get through this pandemic reasonably unscathed a continuity plan is essential for the immediate and long-term future. Employee involvement, be it on the premises or remote, communication and supplies need to be considered. To keep demand in place companies need to understand their customers’ current requirements, understand how their company needs to change to stay relevant with the current circumstances…..and then change. Business’s need to ask if customers still need their services and what can they do to adapt and then act on it? Adapting to the new required services is essential for survival.

Companies globally are now taking stock to assess how their business have been affected and should be asking what is now expected of them and are their services or products still relevant or indeed even needed?

In these unusual times, it is vital that businesses adapt to new markets, focus on a clear vision of success which is partly achievable by reviewing every part of the business and asking the right questions.

Businesses also must look at additional areas where their services can be used. Experiment with new markets, target different areas of business and investigate how the modified service could reach new customers. The adage of “try a lot of things to see what works” appears to be truly relevant in these changing times


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