The Novel Coronavirus has irreversibly transformed the business landscape. The enforcement of social distancing measures impairs a business’s abilities to restore normalcy. Working around these measures has become the new normal at this age. CEOs have to find innovative ways to deal with these issues by using technology to ease operations. Even if the safety measures are relaxed, this pandemic can rear its ugly head if CEOs are not careful.
CEOs should not only focus on continuing production but also impose strict safety guidelines to take care of their staff. Let’s simplify what areas need serious intervention from the CEOs.
Important Business Areas for CEOs to Focus On
1. Rethinking the Overall Business Model and Adjusting to a New Normal
There’s a visible rise in the use of technology in businesses due to COVID-19. The inability to leverage a real-time collaborative experience to propel companies has forced firms to rethink their business model. CEOs are looking towards flexible working hours and work-from-home as absolute needs instead of cushy features for employees. Since COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon, CEOs that reinvent their businesses to adapt to this pandemic ensure their business recovers fast.
How CEOs can Solve Them?
Beginning with the most important stakeholder, CEOs must seek feedback from customers and set up deep analytics to understand what the customer thinks. Take special care of constructive criticism and recognize common issues to devise fool-proof customer retention strategies. Furthermore, CEOs can also use predictive analytics tools like personas to create use-cases for a post-lockdown reality. CEOs can understand which areas need safety assurance, how they can attract irregular customers, and recognize high-demand areas.
2. Reigniting a Strong Connection with Customers to Drive Sales
The restriction on non-essential supplies for months on end may have triggered the survival instincts in people. Customer behavior has significantly changed due to the novel coronavirus. CEOs cannot assume that the end of the lockdowns is the end of all business problems. They need to understand the psychological impact of this pandemic and stimulate demand based on that. So, CEOs should invest capital in tools to understand the customers and pitch products in an effective way to drive sales.
How CEOs can Stimulate Sales?
A McKinsey report gives the following ways to boost sales after a big crisis: –
- Recognize primary revenue sources
- Launch campaigns focused on loyal customers
- Enhance customer experience by improving safety measures
- Alter promotions and price point according to new data
- Reallocate capital to your money-making sources
- Train your sales staff to work well remotely
- Provide multiple flexible payment options
- Introduce technology in your sales channels
- Automate processes to free up your sales staff’s time
Here’s how Starbucks recovered after the 2008 financial crisis by improving their customer experience.
3. Progressive Cost-cutting as a way to Sustain Businesses
All the governments are requesting businesses to not fire anyone. However, it’s easier said than done. While no one wants to fire employees, some companies may not have a choice. A CNBC article states that Goldman Sachs sees a 15 percent jobless rate and a 34 percent decline in GDP in 2020. You can only imagine the drastic effects of this sharp plunge on businesses. So, CEOs must be stern in finding ways to save their business at all costs by reducing as many expenses as they can.
How CEOs can cut costs effectively?
Here’s how CEOs can diminish costs: –
Consider a Flexible Pay System
If you offer a monthly variable component (MVC), you can modify salary based on the company’s performance. Assuring your employees that this pay cut will be compensated for later when business picks up. This important distinction helps them retain their job and connect with higher management well. Also, consult various employee unions before announcing changes in the MVC.
Encourage the Leadership to get a Temporary Pay Cut to Compensate Low-wage Employees
Every salary adjustment hits low-wage employees harder. They are at a higher risk of being fired or having a survival crisis. Hence, CEOs need to make special arrangements for all low-wage frontline workers. You could do that by implementing a graduated approach i.e. higher cuts for top-level employees to save money.
Put your Hiring plans on the Back-burner
In these testing times, it’s important to freeze any hiring plans and utilize your existing workforce. Encourage your employees to proactively take charge and assume greater responsibilities in the company.
4. Handling the New Normal of Work and Workforce
Being unable to use offices to gather teams and collaborate work has put a damper on traditional business operations. Hence, companies have shifted to virtual workspaces suddenly. CEOs must know how to navigate and sustain new ways of business.
How CEOs can tackle this transformation?
Improving Remote Working Measures
If you’re looking at a long-term virtual office concept, you need to consider its implications. The introduction of work-from-home culture blurs the boundary between work and life. A lack of distinction between personal and professional life can affect their well-being. Hence, ensure you have regular check-ins with your staff to keep them sane. CEOs should also consider upgrading their infrastructure to support remote working measures.
Consider this crisis an opportunity and upgrade your technical expertise to suit the demands of the digital world. Ensure your business never suffers the same setbacks by adopting the latest tech that allows working from home. CEOs can also research various social collaboration tools that streamline the company’s communication and eases file sharing, chat room, and video conferencing.
CEOs have a challenging and yet an important role in the growth of any business. Though COVID-19 has shaken the economy to its core, smart businesses will get back on their feet using all the necessary tools. As a leader, you have a huge duty towards your employees to set an excellent example. So, let us know if the points mentioned are worth considering and share your views on the same.