For the last couple of months, we’ve spoken at length about how entrepreneurs can navigate an economic downturn — fiscally as well as mentally. As stewards of your business, you have an obligation to hold the fort, not only for yourself but for the members of your team. A crew and its ship can only go as far as the captain steers them.
So now, as we inch towards an economic recovery, we find ourselves at an interesting threshold. There are several opportunities awaiting savvy entrepreneurs willing to pursue them. Here are three of the biggest ones and the moves you need to make to get a leg up on the competition.
A word of caution though – don’t lose sight of the lessons learned during the economic downturn to avoid overstretching yourself!
1. Scale up your workforce.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, out of adversity breeds opportunity. It goes without saying that the companies that weathered the worst of this pandemic and did well, want to continue to thrive and do well. That opportunity lies in scaling up your operations.
I’ve seen more than a few companies scaling up their staff recently, leaving heavily into their HR department to identify and bring on top talent. But the old axiom still holds true – good help is hard to find – especially on the backend of a pandemic.
Why? For the longest time, most people haven’t been able to even consider moving employers. There were just so many unknowns when it came to job searches – a very scary proposition if you’re comfortable where you are.
As a business owner, it’s on you to convince potential candidates otherwise and bring them on board. After this pandemic, people will be more mindful of their company benefits, so you will need to up the ante and offer better sick leave policies, more comprehensive health coverage and so on to entice talent. There will also be many talented employees who know they can be productive working from home, at least part of the time. You’ll need to consider this. Which brings us to point two.
2. Invest in new technologies.
Here at the Wish Group, we’ve been actively hunting for technological trends that will emerge out of this ordeal. Obviously, without a crystal ball handy, we can’t know for sure what is coming but there are some strong indicators.
One thing is for sure, however, as stated above, working from home is here to stay, even if it is not in the exact same form as it is today. A recent Gartner poll showed that 48% of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after COVID-19 versus 30% before the pandemic.
One interesting development to keep an eye on is the growth of technology solutions in the video collaboration and media space, in particular software as a service (SaaS) and the digitization of entertainment. With more people online, businesses are capitalizing by shifting towards subscription-based models, creating a recurring revenue stream – this shows no signs of slowing down in the post-Covid world.
3. Explore opportunities for mergers and acquisitions.
If you’ve been in business for 10+ years and have a steady client base, now may be the perfect time to explore expanding your business.
In the first month or two of this pandemic, there was a lot of uncertainty, as there was no real playbook for how to handle things, causing a slowdown in the market for mergers and acquisitions. How much? Statistics from Dealogic show that this sort of activity dipped 35 per cent globally in Q1 2020 from the prior quarter.
So why now? There’s a lot of liquidity in the market and low interest rates, so many people are looking for investments. Not only that, but there are also more ways to cut out costs, especially office space, now that remote work is on the rise.
Moreover, many private equity groups are sitting on cash that will make use of as the new normal emerges. Well-positioned strategic buyers are also looking to diversify their portfolio or grow revenue by pouncing on distressed competitors, suppliers and customers at discount prices.
Need more? If you’re an entrepreneur with questions and concerns about navigating this economic recovery (or an other topic for that matter), I want to hear from you. Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.