The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world to unprecedented levels. With the infection and death curve beginning to flatten, governments around the world are now beginning to plan their actions in the aftermath of this global illness-causing virus’s impact. As we steadily head towards defeating this virus and containing its advance for the good, we must also take a look at how this pandemic will impact the world as its leaves.
The black death had brought about radical changes in European society and so did smallpox. Similarly, we can expect some very important changes in the social structure and the economy. Not that the current economic system will become completely obsolete; it will go through some strong changes to help accommodate in future cases.
At this point, all the countries in the world are focusing on how to mitigate the crisis and open the locked world step-by-step.
What will be the Exit Strategy
As new cases start becoming rarer, governments may consider reopening schools, colleges, educational institutions, semi-essential businesses at a distance of one or two days each. Doing this would ensure important social activities such as schooling resume in order to ensure children don’t miss anything further.
As a second step, as the recovery numbers begin surpassing new cases, we can expect a full reopening of all the places, including non-essentials businesses and sectors such as restaurants, travel lounges, hotels, spas, gaming zones and more. Somewhere in between the essentials & non-essentials and services, semi-essential products and services such as hardware, furniture, electronics etc. should reopen just a little while after the full-lockdown is lifted.
Effect on The Businesses Sector
The lockdown has severely impacted the business and retail structure of every country in the world. Barring food, grocery and medical, every other business is currently experiencing deep losses with the smaller players potentially never recovering from it.
From the looks of it, the worst-hit are the tourism and hospitality industries. Even after the lockdown, it appears difficult for businesses in these sectors to be able to recover for a long time as people would still be reluctant to go out.
As for semi-essential products and services are concerned, they are expected to suddenly face explosive demand before returning to normal in a few months. Prices are expected to rise due to a possible shortage of supply. Stocking up or making a detailed inventory chart of your business may be of importance right now. Ensuring that your inventory has a steady flow will go a long way to ensure your business doesn’t face glitches in the aftermath of the pandemic.
What to Expect and Do?
If you are a shop owner, expect more visitors and shoppers your way. Find and implement ways to manage crowds while urging them to maintain social distance. As you get more customers, ensure your suppliers are working smoothly and a steady flow of deliveries and your order placements are in place.
For businessmen whose business does not involve direct interaction with customers and clients, you can ensure your logistics and/or delivery methods are going on glitch-free. Craft your ERP software to keep a track of supply, demand, sales, and deliveries perfectly.
As money begins flowing back in the market, you may also begin making plans to clearing up dues and following up on pending payments which may have gotten stuck due to the lockdown. Checking your books for held-up credits and money-to-be-recovered may be in line with getting your horse back on its feet and running as soon as the lockdown is gone.
Let Your Customers Know
The world is currently in turmoil now. As governments open everything up, we can expect a frenzy-like atmosphere and your customers may not know what to do and in what order. Send out an email, SMS, broadcast or even a simple personal WhatsApp update could go a long way to get people back to doing business with you as soon as your reopen.
Make Some Changes
Cash is expected to be hard to come by, according to many financial experts. As the world stays indoors for a long time, most of the people have begun using cashless methods of payments as the primary mode over hard cash. As markets reopen for business, people may have gotten used to the hassle-free mode of payments. The days are already here when people don’t carry cash anymore while going out for shopping. Getting multiple cashless payment modes on-board would be the choice a smart businessman makes in the aftermath of the crisis.
Deliver Your Products Remotely
Another effect of the lockdown is that people would now prefer delivery services instead of going out themselves. Multiple delivery partners would also like to push their customer base and try to cater to a bigger audience. As more and more people become habituated to getting their stuff delivered home, they wouldn’t mind paying a fraction of their expenditure as a delivery fee, if they can get what they want without having to venture outside.
Choosing to partner with these delivery companies or even starting your own delivery service would help you reach customers who do not visit you personally.
In a Nutshell
With this pandemic, the global economy is in the house for a drastic transformation, if not for a makeover. Businesses and institutions will now be able to work remotely on a greater frequency. Most people would prefer to still work from home for a long time after the lockdown is finished. While non-essential businesses will have to see a constant decline for some time, semi-essential businesses and shops are expected to find a surge in demand. Any business that can handle this is sure to rake in improved profits. Taking the help of technology in this upcoming era is also crucial as a cashless mode of payment is on its way to becoming the primary transaction tool for every economy.