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Why some clients thrived during lock down and some did not.
8th August 2020

As a part of a business that interacts with other businesses across industries, on a daily basis, we have a bird’s eye view on how our clients are handling the lockdown.

The good news is most of them handled it quite well.

It is heartening to see that most have adapted quite well. Despite the catastrophic interruption in business continuity, most have rolled up their sleeves and adapted. They have scrambled to preserve resources, took hard decisions and adopted new practises to keep their businesses going. However, unfortunately, some have fallen by the way side. I was personally curious to examine the factors that differentiated the survivors from the ones that did not make it.

Early adopters of technology and trends survived the best

One trend I immediately noticed was that those clients who are generally early adopters of technology did particularly well. These are the people who are always trying out new technology or new trends had an edge over those who did not. Some clients adopted digital technology faster and earlier than others and they were very well placed to handle the disruption. Their teams were already trained in digital solutions and more importantly their customers had transitioned to digital as well. They had tacked the dual challenge of employee buy-in and customer transition early on so that when the lockdown hit, they were already well placed.

Taking decisive action rather than a wait and see approach

Some clients read the writing on the wall early on and took decisive and sometimes painful action. The combination of a poor economy, internal societal issues and finally the pandemic has given a crippling blow to businesses everywhere. Some chose to live in hope, to wait and watch for improvements and they floundered. But some took decisive action. They made hard decisions on staffing, launched aggressive digitalization efforts and stepped up customer outreach to support existing customers. They did very well.

Communication is an important factor

The pandemic and lock down isolated everyone from each other -leaders from employees and customers, employees from each other and so on. The connections we take for granted broke down suddenly. Some clients moved immediately and speedily. They setup online groups, conducted chat sessions and webinars. They scheduled training sessions and fun activities including rewards and appreciations. They tried to bring together their teams and their customers and reduce the isolation. This generated a lot of goodwill and impacted the businesses very positively. They communicated continuously and reaped the rewards.

Plan, plan and then plan some more

Many of us are guilty of not planning for contingencies well. As entrepreneurs and business owners we are generally optimistic and positive and that creates a blind spot in our vulnerable areas. We are very good at resolving issues but poor at planning to avoid the issues in the first place. Taking some time to do a SWOT analysis with particular focus on the W – Weaknesses and T- Threats would really help be prepare. You cannot of course prepare for everything but the mindset that planning creates allows for allocation of resources that come into play when confronted with such situations.

In conclusion, I would say on the whole, businesses will come though bruised and battered, but thanks to technology, still functional. Some will do better than others and almost all will be transformed in the coming years. I believe most of the change will be positive. Wishing everyone out there the best!

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