An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Treading The Post-Pandemic Market

by Robbie Antonio

THE PANDEMIC has become a purification process for businesses, giving birth to many startups amid the death of certain industries and failing companies.

It weeded out those that failed to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape, while giving rise to entrepreneurs with out-of-the box thinking in solving society’s problems. 

Entrepreneurs in this era are joining a digital revolution, which drastically changed consumer behavior and enabled new economic activities. 

What has changed?

Market transactions switched from offline to online. Industries that used to depend on physical proximity shifted to the digital realm.

For example, companies are redeploying their sales teams to online calls instead of personal client meetings, and real estate brokers are now offering virtual tours of properties instead of the traditional site visits. 

Households are getting more reliant on online shopping and deliveries, with cash payments increasingly becoming contactless transactions. 

This has opened a broader market for buyers and sellers, one that is not constrained by geographical distance and other logistical hurdles.

More companies are allowing their employees to work remotely, launching the gig economy and merging labor forces from different countries into one global ecosystem.

This highly volatile and uncertain environment pushed many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the brink of failure, or to permanently shut down and exit the playing field – while others demonstrated resilience and adapted their operations to the evolving landscape.

And some not only coped with the disaster — but even thrived. There are agile startups that are able to take advantage of their entrepreneurial skills, build upon their experiences from the pandemic, and find opportunities in the crisis. 

So, what explains the stark contrast between these businesses?

In the past, the key obstacle to SMEs’ survival was the lack of resources. Now, it is the lack of digital presence.

Best practices for establishing your presence in the new frontier

With changing consumer demand and preferences, businesses are under immense pressure — coming from both internal and external sources — to have an omni-channel presence and to establish a digital strategy.

Entrepreneurs should explore all digital tools available, such as social media, search engine optimization, email marketing, and associated mobile applications — and decide which ones fit well with their digital roadmap.

Since online shopping may be viewed as automated, impersonal, and lacking in human warmth, companies should focus on interactions that nurture relationships with their customers. 

For reputation management, assess what potential clients will find if they search for you online. Will they see positive customer feedback or dissatisfied comments? 

Do not ignore negative reviews, no matter how unfair they seem. 

Always keep in mind that what consumers say has more impact than what you say about your own brand. The public trusts third-party information more than the company itself.

Take advantage of big data to improve your operations and get to know consumers’ needs better to predict their future behavior and introduce innovations. 

Since all these digital transactions leave a trail, these create a wealth of real-time data at reduced costs. 

These should allow businesses to review previous transactions, make their production process leaner and more efficient, and to come up with complementary products. 

A digitally- enabled firm takes advantage of business intelligence to measure the effectiveness of digital campaigns, as well as in choosing the appropriate key performance indicators to gauge returns on digital investments.

Lastly, big data also enables firms to engage in more meaningful communication with stakeholders and to become more competitive.

Hopefully, these points will empower SMEs not just to survive in this post-pandemic world, but to also play a vital role in accelerating economic recovery coming off the crisis. 





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