Market shifts are inevitable, and while many companies have embraced this fact, some haven’t quite grasped just how much market behavior and demands can alter. When a crisis like a pandemic hits, the economy shows its volatility, and every other business follows suit. There’s no doubt that the market will continue to shift unsteadily throughout the pandemic. This is why you must come up with a firm plan on how your business will cope.
The overwhelming amount of data and considerations you need to make are often the primary reasons business owners can’t even get started. Worse, when they do, they fail to assess them to create actionable tools properly. How do you fail-proof this endeavor? Start with these three strategies.
Keep Your Business Continuity Plan Close
Many companies got into trouble during the pandemic not because they don’t have a business continuity plan. It’s because theirs are usually out-of-date. The strategies outlined are now inefficient technology-wise and inapplicable to your current business set-up.
The best way to remedy this is to draft a new one and keep it close, especially while the pandemic persists.
Market shifts will require you to make minor adjustments now and then to some details in your BCP. Any drastic technology upgrade will also result in changes. Otherwise, there are general aspects of a BCP that will remain the same should they be properly designed to suit your business needs. These involve data protection and cyber insurance options. General threats like natural disasters will also be standard unless you relocate.
However, a pandemic is much more challenging to navigate and will necessitate close monitoring so that you can adjust your plans accordingly. Bear in mind that a health crisis affects people. The evolving situation per country and state differs. The immediate and long-term impact on your company will be different from others, even in the same industry.
Design, test, and adjust your BCP duly so that you can move steadily with market shifts.
Rely on a STEEP Analysis
A comprehensive examination of current social, technological, economic, ecological, and political (STEEP) environments will inform you of what will affect your company and how. Some of the trends you’ll discover are temporary and applicable only during the pandemic, while others will likely prove necessary in the long-haul.
On a technological aspect, you’ll see improved automation, increased IT training, and more dangerous cyber attacks in the foreseeable future. Remote work will be an ever-present option for back-office workers that could permanently transform your work structure.
On an ecological aspect, you should expect more Climate Change Warriors demanding sustainability from companies in all industries. It won’t matter if you’re a small start-up or an established corporation. It’s expected that governments will make compliance with environmental laws stricter post-pandemic, which can drastically affect your operations. If you’re in the manufacturing industry, you’ll want to switch to suppliers with green practices. From equipment shipping to cryogenic tank maintenance, your choices will now depend mostly on a supplier’s ability to provide quality services without harming the environment.
A thorough STEEP analysis will give you a clear picture of all these external factors that dictate market shifts and show you the best paths you can take.
Approach Trends with Caution
The problem with trends is that the on-going practices you see today are not always “trends.” Most of them are “hypes” that will not benefit your business to participate in. You’ll encounter many trends and hypes while working on your BCP and conducting your STEEP analysis. It’s best to either have a professional or a team of experienced employees monitor business practices and consumer behavior to determine which is which.
Hypes are costly to endeavor in, and their benefits are often limited. It’s the trends that you’ll want to focus on because they’re the ones that will determine what’s working and what’s not in an industry. They’re a determinant to market shifts, and knowing them intimately can save you from bad business decisions.
Going with the Flow
Market shifts are less frustrating when you’re equipped with a plan on how to cope with them. Update your BCP ASAP, conduct a proper STEEP analysis, and learn to differentiate a trend from a hype. The sooner you start, the better.