Coronavirus… this wasn’t in the business plan!
No one really knows how badly the economy will be impacted by COVID 19. The economy, and most SME’s, are holding their breath until the lockdown eases and trading starts again.
For now, you are in survival mode. You have taken advantage of the CJRS scheme and other financial support options on offer and tried to protect as many of your staff as possible.
But this situation will end; and what then? What position will you be in? will you be able to ramp back up quickly and efficiently? Will you still have your competitive edge?
It might be difficult to think about the future when there are so many immediate issues to be addressed. You might not be thinking about what is next, but you can be sure your competition is. Now is the time to take stock of where you are as a business and set the course for a stronger, brighter and more resilient future.
Some of the questions we have been asking ourselves as a business are:
- What has this situation highlighted to us as a business? What has been resilient and what has buckled under the pressure?
- What can we do to give ourselves a competitive advantage when things start picking back up?
- How do we make ourselves stronger?
For me, resilience, strength and competitive advantage come from the same sources:
- The efficiency with which an organisation can execute its business.
- The agility of an organisation to flex with changing environments and demands.
- Having data available for decision making, strategic insight and foresight.
- Providing the customer with differentiation or cost leadership.
Organisations need to constantly look after their competitive advantage by continuous improvement or by transformation.
Digital transformation is one of the quickest and most impactful ways of improving and transforming your business to give you a competitive advantage.
Digital transformation can seem a daunting prospect. But it doesn’t have to be. You do not have to transform everything all at once. In fact, an agile digital transformation approach is recommended for SME’s.
An agile digital transformation strategy is characterised as the ability to be able to target specific business challenges and allow change to embed and be adopted before moving on to the next business challenge. The change increments are smaller in scope, and so are quicker to deploy releasing value back to the business faster. Using this transformation approach you reduce risk and cost exposure, increase the ability of the business to adapt and release value quickly.
All you have to do is identify your core challenges and decide which to tackle first.
Before the coronavirus hit we started the digital transformation process with several small businesses. Without fail, each one has stated that the impact of the coronavirus has highlighted just how much they need the transformation. The business data analytics they now have access to, the increase in staff mobility from one area of the business to another, the ability to remote work and do more with less is helping them not only through the crisis but will support their ramp up once it is over.
Digital transformation isn’t just a buzz word. It is a necessity to make sure that your business can survive and thrive through the next unexpected business challenges that will undoubtedly occur.