The pandemic has affected businesses all over the world. All businesses, big or small, have needed to think on their toes in order to adapt. The economic implications of government-mandated lockdowns are slowly becoming more apparent. Although a record-breaking number of businesses have shut down due to the difficulties, there have also been unique developments in the landscape.
As countries begin to open up again, we’re currently seeing many businesses that opened during or at the tail end of the lockdowns thriving—succeeding even in the midst of adversity.
It seems counterintuitive to open new businesses amidst such an unstable time economically. The post-pandemic boom we’re seeing is in no small part due to digital transformation, innovation, and incredibly creative minds. It’s no longer enough to just keep up with the competition.
Corporations and mom-and-pop shops alike are developing strategies to serve their customers better. As we dust ourselves off from almost a year indoors, let’s take a look at some of the most significant changes we’ve seen in business post-pandemic.
Digital transformation was already a thing before the pandemic. Digitalizing different businesses processes like self-check-out lanes in groceries and the pursuit of e-commerce are just some examples of how it manifested. The pandemic quickly had businesses shifting their initiatives into high gear. The most common initiative was moving your workforce to work from home.
If people couldn’t go to work, then the business would be at a standstill. Tweaking your business procedures to accommodate working from home was no small feat.
Businesses that shifted to working remotely required significant adjustments. Not just technologically but with the workforce as well. New operating procedures were needed to manage the workload of employees. Companies that were able to navigate this successfully had the edge over everyone else.
However, not all businesses could shift to working from home, like the food and restaurant industry, which were considered lifelines amid the pandemic. The basics such as eggs, milk, flour, and other household essentials were still moving during the lockdowns. Grocery stores were some few businesses that managed to thrive during the pandemic.
Some chains managed to develop e-commerce avenues to help serve customers even during the strictest lockdown protocols. They were deciding to offer personal shoppers and delivery services to keep business going.
The restaurant industry saw a broader spectrum of results. As many small businesses shut down, some were able to navigate the pandemic. Restaurants with physical locations ditched the rent costs and decided to go mobile. Food trucks that could constantly change locations and cater to both business districts and residential areas saw great success. We also saw more business aimed at providing comfort food to customers.
Though new and experimental cuisine is still widely popular, people were clamoring for the classics during the uncertain times indoors. More and more businesses opened up like the classic burger joint, pizza parlor, and fried chicken franchise opportunity. These are only some staple comfort foods like mac n cheese that never went out of style and maintained their consumer base even during the pandemic.
Unexpected New Business
If the task of adapting to the pandemic wasn’t daunting enough, some businesses bloomed specifically due to the current situation. Online jewelry stores became increasingly popular. Why would people in a time of great financial difficulty be buying jewelry? Experts refer to this as the lipstick effect. Even in harsh economic conditions, consumers will still be willing to spend on small indulgences for themselves. Earrings and necklaces became a way to increase one’s self-confidence during those zoom meetings while at home.
Books and bookshelves also became increasingly popular. The New York Times even did a piece on the “credibility bookcase.” Sharing how numerous people started gaining authority and recognition from their bookcases seen in the background during video calls.
Established and novice businesses alike are finding creative and innovative ways to make it through the pandemic. Being able to adapt your business model has never been more critical. A good understanding of consumer behaviors and new technological services will help keep you at the forefront of business evolution. There isn’t just one guide on how businesses can succeed during the pandemic.
The effects of the pandemic will still be developing over the next decade, if not longer. It takes excellent business acumen to see what will and won’t work in respective industries. However, a common theme is that whoever can’t keep up with the changes will have a more challenging time keeping up.