When a crisis begins to turn into a recovery, businesses must pivot between managing the present and planning for the future. No industry remained untouched by the pandemic. While organizations will continue to deal with ongoing disruptions, most see the light at the end of the tunnel. From hybrid work to accelerated digital transformations, preparing a post-pandemic business plan will determine your business’s ability to thrive in a new world.
The Post-Pandemic Future of Your Business
The specifics may change from organization to organization, but some things will likely remain constant across industries and sectors. The increased use of technology in the workplace is definitely here to stay. And determining what your business will change and what it will keep in place depends on three considerations:
- How it really makes money.
- Which stakeholders most affect its business model.
- How will people behave post-pandemic?
The answer to the third question is particularly critical to ensuring the future of your business. Unfortunately, it’s also the most difficult to decipher. For while the pandemic is temporary, its duration has been long enough to generate lasting structural shifts in people’s behaviors. When the pandemic ends, many things may return to the way they were, but many others will likely look very different. Some old ways are gone forever. The trick is for businesses to figure out which is which.
Three Post-Pandemic Stakeholder Behaviors
Creating a post-pandemic business plan in a fog of uncertainty is no easy task. By evaluating these three categories of potential stakeholder behaviors can make the process a little clearer.
- Steady behaviors are those that are most likely to return to their pre-pandemic state unchanged. For instance, people were forced to stop doing indoor events like dining, going to the movies, and attending sporting events, but that behavior will probably return to pre-COVID levels.
- Modified behaviors are those that will likely resume after the health crisis, albeit with some changes. A shift to remote and hybrid work models is a perfect example of a modified business model.
- Defunct behaviors are ones likely to cease altogether or be replaced with alternatives. Experts predict downtowns will rebound but will be different from before. A changing workforce will lead to a drop in office space demand and significant changes in people’s shopping habits.
Instead of focusing on uncertainties, you can begin to plan the future of your business by taking proactive steps that address a changing workplace and workforce.
- How has your market changed?
- What will your customers want once the pandemic is over?
- Are there areas of your business that will recover more slowly than others?
- What new opportunities do you see?
To remain competitive in new business and economic environments, organizations must be willing to adopt new strategies and practices. A recent survey found that a full third of small businesses plan to further increase their digital operations post-pandemic. Just 15 percent expect their digital strategy to return to previous levels.
Embracing a new digital reality is a wise move, as consumers are already moving dramatically toward online channels. Businesses must find ways to meet increasing customer demand for digital services while also integrating digital solutions into their operations, decision-making, and employee experiences.
The Future of Your Business Depends on a Post-Pandemic Business Plan
After initiating temporary measures to maintain operations during the pandemic, businesses must now plan for what’s to come. Much of that planning will have to do with digital readiness.
Remote working, cloud migration, and changing customer demands call for long-term strategies and tactics that are both cost-effective and advantageous for the business. Digital strategies are expected to include:
- Modernization of core technologies to keep up with or surpass competitors.
- Investment in more advanced technologies.
- A refocusing of the entire business around digital solutions.
A digital recovery agenda is a good first step in moving your business forward into a post-pandemic reality. Accelerating digital investments in response to evolving customer and employee needs, modernizing technologies to increase organization agility, and using advanced technologies like AI to improve operations are all excellent ways to align your business to new digital priorities. An experienced IT managed services provider can play a vital role in helping you design a business plan that supports your present and future needs.