2020 was a year of horror for many people across the globe. From the plague of locusts, drought, and flash floods that ravaged the agriculture sector; to the novel coronavirus, 2020 was by far the toughest economic year in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic shook the nation to its core and left death and carnage in its wake. People lost their loved ones and over a million Kenyans lost their jobs in 2020 because of the pandemic. Also, Kenyans faced new restrictions such as curfews, travel bans, mandatory quarantine, wearing masks and social distancing. These changes significantly affected businesses and further exacerbated the problem.
With international travel bans restricting movement, tourism took a nosedive. Consequently, this had a detrimental impact on the country's economy. Additionally, the executive orders to close restaurants, bars, schools and places of worship also sunk the nation's economy further. Fear of the pandemic also restricted movement and affected social behaviour hence worsening the situation. People became more cautious about their spending and businesses in the country soon realized the implications of such actions. The Kenyan shilling also took a hit from the economic disaster. It fell 6.3% against the dollar within the first half of 2020. The pandemic put the country's economy to the test, and the nation failed spectacularly.
2020 taught us many hard lessons! It brought nations to their knees and stripped people's demands to the basic needs. It reminded us what's most important and eliminated worry over trivial matters. The pandemic proved to be a sieve that created the crucial distinction between what's sustainable and what's not. Many companies were forced to furlough their staff and many others went bankrupt. Some companies persevered through the crisis in the hope that things would get better. Others are still reeling from Corona's reign of terror while many others slowly adjust to the new world order.
However, many companies soared on despite the pandemic. Organisations whose business model focused on the cloud, for instance, increased their profitability. Online stores and delivery services were some of the most profitable business models of 2020. The need to stay at home significantly expanded the online purchases and introduced the older generation to the model. Social websites and virtual communication software also proved to have a strategic advantage in 2020 as more people seeking these services. Companies that were quick to adapt to change, implemented remote work and benefited from the move. Some companies even restructured their business models and used marketing tools such as SimpleSell bulk SMS to remain relevant.
Following the unprecedented economic slump of 2020, businesses must urgently increase their flexibility and foresight. In 2021 survivors must learn from the wounds of 2020 to help weather the storm of COVID-19. Foresight is what distinguished good business models with bad ones in 2020. Companies that were unable to adapt to the demands of 2020 found themselves out of businesses. Organiations that focused on virtual stores and online shopping options had a significant advantage over their competitors within the same fields. Similarly, those that incorporated such business models to their existing approach increased their fighting chances in 2020.
Rigid business models such as those in the aviation industry can face extinction in the event of any changes. As such, businesses must increase their flexibility to remain relevant during these changing times. Companies must also monitor their competition and remain updated with the trends and technologies within their respective industries. That way, they can make timely adjustments to their approaches hence increasing their productivity. Monitoring competitors can also help companies have a better understanding of their consumer needs.
In 2021 companies also need to increase their online presence and expand their customer base. Businesses offering consumers the option of home delivery and remote solutions will have better chances in 2021. Companies can employ marketing tools such as bulk SMS to reach new clients or upsell to existing ones. Implementing business communication tools such as SimpleSell bulk SMS can help businesses remain in business. Businesses that had expanded their client base and online presence had an upper hand in 2020, especially with many companies. Consequently, businesses must be quick to adapt to change and leverage technological advances to their advantage.
By Christine Njoki - Published 31st Jan 2021, 01:00pm