The coronavirus pandemic is bringing the most key business activities to a complete standstill. Pre-COVID, things that were a routine in almost every organization now seems unimaginable. The daily sales meeting, catching up with a new client over lunch, and traveling are all activities of the past. And to be honest, the world is not coming back to normal anytime soon.
As Lou Costello said, ‘The Show Must Go On…’
No matter how devastated the business world is, by finding new ways to survive and then to excel – it must go on.
This disruption is not new to the business world, and neither is its state of unpreparedness. In 2011, after the Tohoku earthquake, Toyota was caught napping after its Just-In-Time manufacturing system collapsed. Ironically, in the wake of the current coronavirus outbreak, Toyota finds itself at the receiving end once again. Company’s president Akio Toyoda said,
We were not ready for telework. Work-style reform has been the buzzword. And now, we can afford no further delay in implementing it.
It seems like Toyota had a major structural problem. Their employees were not trained for any remote work and work from home was an alien concept for them.
My advice for businesses, especially for smaller ones here would be to ‘Experience – Learn – Implement’. Rather than waiting for the pandemic to end, and life to become normal, business owners should seriously consider remote working. Toyota was quick to forget the 2011 earthquake – you shouldn’t as the next pandemic might be sooner than we think.
Talking to a friend of mine who was laid off during the pandemic (along with 20% of her company’s staff) – I learned a great lesson. She had a side business too and a couple of long-term, happy clients who asked her to work at reduced rates. She said yes and decided to earn some money rather than earning none at all.
I’d say, for small businesses, no client is small. Work on client retention and satisfaction and train your employees accordingly.
Hierarchy can be something good and bad. It depends on the organization in question. A larger organization with hundreds and thousands of employees can have its own limitations with hierarchy. However, small businesses and startups can benefit a great deal from the proper hierarchy.
It may only seem that managing and running a business with fewer people is easy. The reality can be different. Smaller teams, friendly work environment, flexible working hours when combined coupled with a confusing hierarchy can be a great recipe for disaster.
So, no matter how relaxed and flexible your business environment is, your employees should know who is the boss, the immediate boss, the manager, the team lead, and most importantly should know their place as well.
Considering the current coronavirus crisis, everything seems gloomy, especially for the business. However, it is important to understand that this time shall pass as well.
‘Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles’ — Charlie Chaplain
Have we missed anything or have any questions? Get in touch
If you enjoyed reading this, don’t forget to share.
Scaling Partners – Who We Are
At Scaling Partners, we are experienced at scaling startups.
Scaling Partners helps you bridge the knowledge, process and gaps in your business. Connected services. Hands-on solutions. Real experience.
We know business growth isn’t easy. But we make it easier. Faster. More sustainable. How do we do that? By partnering you with the processes and insight you’re missing and the people who’ve been through it all before. And because we do it as a service, it’s brilliantly affordable.Learn more about how we support startups with their growth and International Expansion needs.