The Impact Of Covid On Business And Ways To Scale Your Business Post Pandemic

Based in Mumbai, Arfeen has helped thousands of people all over the world in creating personal and professional metamorphosis and has authored the book `Where Will You Be in Five Years'. Apart from coaching personalities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Hema Malini among others he has also worked with over 150 international brands like Barclays, Filmfare, ICICI to name a few.

The world has changed, and business must too. I have worked with over 600,000 people globally, and a large percentage have been business owners and people from large corporates. Many business owners think that things will go back to the way they were, but the truth is they never will. If you are wearing a bikini now and continue to wear it in winter, then you will suffer, so best you change your clothes and be prepared to weather the storm. The following are nine ways to scale your business post the Covid 19 pandemic. A point to note is not what you will do after, but what you will do now to smooth sail across the stormy seas.

1. Don't hide the truth; people are not stupid.
People need clarity, and your teams do the same. Keeping your staff up to date with your priorities and decisions, even if they are painful creates a trusted environment. No one likes to be blindfolded during their journey of life. Plan and to sustain higher levels of transparency. Share information from now on with regular, direct, honest, and in a personal manner.

This may not be easy as most staff member will become very anxious and vigilant looking for clues for certainty. You have to be in congruence with your talking and actions. They truly have to “walk the walk and talk the talk.”, even if people were not happy about your decisions. This will create a feeling of we are all in this together”.

2. Communication 2.0.
People need to be communicated in a more personal manner; many companies I've spoken to have started using chat apps instead of email to create a personal feeling in their communication. Virtual video meetings are going to be the new norm, even if employees are present in the same office. So have a digital platform ready. These meeting will prove to be more time-efficient but will lack the opportunity for people to bond,

3. Digital...Digital...Digital.
If your business is not on a digital model, then you are going to crumble in the months to come. Many companies, including my own, have gone totally digital. We had to make a fast decision and assume that a lockdown was going to last one year, then asked what can we do to take everything online. It proved to be a game-changer. Don't wait, this is a must, and you have NO CHOICE. Look for digital solutions for customer service, processes and sales that have been blocked by the lockdown. The world has accepted a new digital world, but have you?

4. Reshape your management
The top-down corporate model with approvals at many levels is on its way out. Leaders are now able to engage directly with the entire organisation. Donald Trump proved this with his twitter campaigns which went directly to all his voters. Automation will mean that many things middle managers did have now become unnecessary.

This reduction in multilevel organisational systems will facilitate increased collaboration and execution. Improve impact and deliverables.

5. Join Forces
As most companies have gone digital, companies can create amazing collaborations with companies, suppliers that have similar customers. This happened in the real word when airlines joined forces with customers flying on similar routes; now companies can do the same in practically any industry. Customer acquisition will be reduced dramatically and even cost-sharing.

6. Work from home.... are you serious?
Remote working is here to stay. Facebook has stated that their employees won't be returning to work until 2022, more than likely never. Remote working has not been practised in India, and people are used to the 9-5 pm culture. Research has shown that employees have become more productive working from home with the stress and costs of travel and a boss standing over their heads. This has also led to more ownership and less blaming in the work environment.

7. It's all in the mind.
Mindset training, which is the business I'm in, is expected to become a significant part of all companies. The pandemic has created an environment of fear, and most people have become insecure about life. Companies spending time and money on mental growth education can expect to transition through this horrific time seamlessly. In India, the focus on transformation training has been limited; today, it's the life force of the business.

8. May the force be with you.
Employees will experience high levels of stress, anxiety and reduced motivation. The millennials will experience the highest as they have been employed at a time when India was in its boom phase. Now the dark clouds have come, and they will live in fear for their future. Continuous motivation, clarity and coaching will ensure an ever-ready workforce.

9. Care...Care...Care.
Creating an environment of caring is crucial. A company in India called Hari Krishna Exports, a leading diamond business in India adopted this from the beginning. This built a feeling of family, and during difficult times families stick together. If you build a company where the employee know you genuinely care, you will ride any storm.

The Post-Covid World
The bottom line is that you have to go digital. I mean everything you can at the same time building a culture of care and empathy. Covid 19 is here, you can look at it as an evil, or you can look at it as an opportunity to think is a way you never have. The future of business is going to be made because of the mindset of the entire company, and in a difficult time, great leaders know how to focus their energies on the greatest resource they have-their people.