Charles Darwin said a great phrase about the survival of the fittest: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; the one that survives is the one that is most adaptable to change." There is the theory of the black swan that describes a surprising fact for the observer of great social and economic impact that can only be rationalised through hindsight.
Today, the Coronavirus represents a great change for people; governments, large corporations and local or regional companies are being affected by the isolation that health and safety experts recommend.
Some so-called business experts recommend "relax in quarantine", "take your time", "stay calm" (in business), "rest for a couple of weeks", "give your work pace a break and relieve your stress". Others more daring say, "we will return to everything when we return to work", but that seems worse than the story we are living if we think about it from the mind of a passionate, responsible and committed entrepreneur.
I have chosen to take these two theories as a starting point to share and talk about what everyone knows at this time, about the Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic but from the perspective of entrepreneurship and business perspective in the digital field, the question is this:
The problem with the health crisis is that the market niches are suffering a downturn; the physical and social isolation is stopping all the economic activity in the world. Companies and entrepreneurs are suffering from lack of cashflow, past due loans, and stopped projects, as well as fixed costs to cover.
An overwhelming fact is that the rules of the game have changed. The trend of e-commerce and the comprehensive business strategy that previously only considered this modality of doing everything digitally, has now been forced upon us. A method that would gradually position itself in 2020 projecting its best moment for the last quarter of the year has definitely been advanced. The era of business has changed and, with it comes digital commerce.
You possibly had not considered it but now it is imminent. The sale of any product will have to be online, through electronic commerce, transactions through your mobile phone, the acquisition of services and the most elementary things that you imagine, we must acquire them from the digital field via the network. From ordering a pizza or a taxi, buying groceries, picking up the garbage, inquiring how much traffic there is on the way to work, supplying us with medicines, paying for house services, making reservations, educating ourselves, working, talking with clients and doing an infinite number of activities in these times, we can reach the other side of the world depending on what we seek or desire.
In such a situation, the solution of all companies and businesses is to migrate their activity of promotion, prospecting, sale and post-sale to the digital world, therefore becoming a digital company. Whether your business market is local or more wide reaching, digital transformation is not only the implementation of a website or creating your profiles on social networks, it is also to strategically structure the way you gain prospects and clients, how to serve them and how you will solve their problems.
Something that we should not forget is having a mindset focused on transforming as a work team in each area of the company. We should stop being just employees in search of a salary. Digital companies are like a well balanced ecosystem. Here we mention some tips and actions you should take.
The answer to a pandemic like the one that has arisen with the coronavirus is that, if you did not have sufficient financial support to endure a crisis, you need agility and speed of reaction to "go digital". Companies that do not immediately respond with concrete action to this crisis have a high percentage of not getting ahead of it. For that reason, you and your entire team need to react quickly and efficiently. The actions you take should be quick and adaptable, that is, not go into bureaucracy or absurd policies, since that will only delay the results. If you lack experience in these processes of change and adaptation, there are some companies that can help you make this transition through digital tools, strategies and advice at great prices.
Many times companies facing a crisis, such as the coronavirus crisis or indeed others not so global, the first thing they do is fire the people who collaborate with them, but is this a good action to take? I think not. Human talent is definitely one of the most valuable assets that companies have and the recruitment of that talent is extremely valuable to make the digital transformation of your company a success. If you communicate the situation with all the staff, they can implement new work methodologies and start teleworking or work from home. Firing collaborators is like shooting yourself in the foot.
If this possibility exists in your company, you are one step ahead. However, these are reaction measures to contain the blow, to cushion the pain caused by the unexpected event, but as Darwin said, the one who survives is the one who is most adaptable to change.
When you started your company or business, it surely took you some time to establish and grow, perhaps years. But let me give you good news, that journey has given you the schooling and the steps you should follow. If you had to start again, you already know how to grow your own business, you know the "pros and cons" of creating a company, you understand the perfection that you should seek as well as what not to do, because now you must move forward and create a digital company using that expertise. Think that your acquisition processes will be more efficient, reinvent value chains and supply chains of that raw material that you need. There are many digital platforms that can help you. But nothing like having a good mentality - in it is all the power to create and access new ideas, new experiences and above all, new results.
You will do the same when treating each area of your company, from production to control systems, storage, advertising and sales. It is in these areas that reinvention must begin, since it is the engine that will bring you the cashflow you need to get out of the crisis faster.
The sales and marketing areas are the first to work to make a digital company, - big brands, companies and local businesses must know it - consumers have the power to build or destroy your business. Today 80% of people's purchasing decisions start with an internet search. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary to be a digital company, you must not forget that your competition thinks the same and is already acting. That is why, when digitising your business to sell more, you must use the infatuation strategy since the old method from "hunting the prey" has gone out of fashion. Consumers should be attracted, for this there are content marketing methodologies, which means providing information that appeals in a subtle and attractive way to those possible buyers of your product or service.
Implementing digital processes is not so difficult, they require a willingness to change, clear objectives, established times, and an ally to advise you and help with implementation. The coronavirus pandemic pushed companies to digital adaptation urgently, but that is not necessarily bad. On the contrary, it is a very good thing because it will serve to make you more competitive and you can start the digital stage of your business.
When we talk about strategic alliances, we are saying that there are companies like ours that will save you a lot of headaches in the process of adapting and learning your staff in digital mode. We know that there are many courses and freelancers that also aim to help you and save you that effort, money and time that you will invest, however, we recommend that you evaluate these options well. Cheap is expensive.
At IPA Group we have experience and an important understanding of the global market, we can help you with the training of your staff, we have all the digital services and we are established as an international company that provides technical support to various companies around the world.
The way of marketing our products and services, however traditional they may be, needs a new form of consumer exposure, only those committed and well-focused visionaries and entrepreneurial leaders will come out ahead.
The last advice we will mention is to know the new needs of the consumer. For example, consumers still have a need for food and home delivery, however, the requirements have changed, now they request: variety, different styles, specific food such as vegan, vegetarian, nutritious, snacks, etc. and services with automatic payment without the use of cash, payments through apps and mobiles, with chips, exchanges, memberships etc. The list is long.
Where is your company or business positioned in this great demand? You will only know the answer at the end of reading this article.
To be more specific, we will mention some trends in products or services that we believe will skyrocket with this health crisis caused by the coronavirus and which has forced companies to become powerful digital companies.
Although it is true, in many companies isolation is forcing us to go to telework. However, this isolation is only physical, not coexistence. Everything related to video platforms, conferences, video games, group competitions, therapies, coaching, interactive yoga classes, gym, medical consultations, courses, e-learning, billboard movies and premieres, private and exclusive sessions of some event, etc. They are some of the niche markets that can be addressed now and with more force from the digital field.
When starting to migrate to telework, people will start to look for the necessary tools to adapt to these new spaces at home in order to be more productive. They will look for time management and control apps, as well as furniture, lamps and accessories to make their home office.
New home skills will also be in high demand such as baking, wine tasting and wine pairing courses, virtual libraries, decorating and craft workshops.
There are already some such as social media and community managers, online investors, copywriters, etc., but there will be others emerging such as traficker, cybersecurity specialists, data scientists, experts in customer success, etc. This will help companies to streamline value chains for their customers, improve the supply chain in some sectors.
All companies that can provide a solution to prevent diseases from nutrition, food, supplements and new products, with new technologies applied to improve health and physical well-being, will be welcome, since as a result of this chaos caused by the virus. It has seen the health of thousands and thousands of people affected.
People will seek a solution to these problems they face because they will never want to go through them again, and companies in these niches or with these solutions will be able to grow rapidly given the current crisis.
The companies and enterprising people will be able to maintain the vision and go as far as necessary to be victorious with the passion that they had and that we had, including myself, when we started and decided to be entrepreneurs. That day we marked out our destiny.
Digital transformation will only be one rung on the ladder of our personal, family and business success.