Business guide to Coronavirus

Should you pivot back post-COVID-19?

In the wake of COVID-19, many businesses have had to quickly adopt new ways of operating. Being able to pivot and ‘stick the landing’ in a volatile environment is a commendable feat.

However, if your business has remained operational, you’ll have to ask yourself in the coming months: should you go back to business as usual after the pandemic is over? Or are there bigger and better opportunities in a post-COVID world?

Envisaging the ‘new normal’

Before making any major decisions, it’s important to understand the long-term societal changes that could impact your business long after the pandemic is over.

What will the world look like? The reality is we don’t know. However, some trends and predictions have begun to emerge that can clue us into what’s in store.

A fragile economy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Australia’s economy is likely to shrink by 6.7% in 2020 and that the global economy will see the worst recession since the Great Depression, surpassing the 2007-08 Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

If these projections come to fruition, spending is likely to decline across a wide range of industries. With this in mind, keeping costs low and operating leanly – even after the lockdown is over – may be critical to business sustainability.

A push for innovation

COVID-19 is forcing businesses to rapidly operate in new ways, and resilience is being tested like never before. With these changes come new challenges around business continuity, workflows, resourcing, security and productivity.

The businesses that come out on top will be those that address and overcome these challenges by quickly implementing new systems and processes. Innovation will be a key factor in ensuring business continuity and growth.

Pivoting your business for new revenue

The twin COVID health and economic crises present significant challenges to most businesses' Pre-COVID business model. Join a series of online workshops, helping businesses to reimagine themselves and take action to realise a new future.

A digital-first marketplace

While the move towards digital was already happening, COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown have dramatically increased the demand for operating online. Digital channels and e-commerce have proved to be a lifeline for many businesses that normally rely on offline trading.

KPMG predicts Australia will see accelerated e-commerce growth as a result of the pandemic, while an increase in digital activity paves the way for the digitisation of marketing channels that were previously considered offline only. Looking forward, businesses should consider digital a key part of their strategy when it comes to selling, marketing and connecting with customers.

Re-evaluating your business strategy

The coronavirus outbreak has required many businesses to make operational adjustments at an unprecedented speed. But while stop-gap measures may be helping you stay afloat today, they probably won’t be a viable long-term solution for your business.

To redefine and rebuild a robust strategy post-COVID, evaluate each key component of your business:

  • Customers – What could your customer base look like after the pandemic is over?
  • Value proposition – How can you continue to deliver value to customers?
  • Channels – Where and how will you be able to sell your products or services?
  • Resources – What financial, human and physical resources will be available to you?
  • Costs – How might your operating and overhead costs change?
  • Revenue – What sources of revenue could be available? 

You may not know exactly what the future holds, but answering these questions now can help provide clarity for when the opportunity arises to ramp up operations.

A lean, hybrid approach could be the answer

Deciding whether to pivot back post-COVID depends on your business model and goals. For many businesses, however, a successful strategy is likely to include some pre-COVID principles and some new initiatives that leverage emerging opportunities.

In any case, staying agile will allow you to adapt quickly and cost-effectively. So rather than making major investments and decisions now, it might be smarter to continue to operate leanly while working on a tentative framework for the future as the situation evolves.

For more news and guidance on navigating these uncertain times, visit our business guide to coronavirus.

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