We are no strangers to the world’s biggest virus lockdown ever. The current situation has definitely changed what everyone perceived the year 2020 would be like, or at least imagined. In this case, it’s a major pandemic sweeping across the world that doesn’t consist of fighting off zombies but instead keeping everyone indoors, in social isolation and fear.
Inevitably, this lockdown has drastically affected many businesses, forcing business owners worldwide into survival mode, and shifting their operations fully into the digital realm. Everyone is looking for ways to stay afloat while navigating the current economic storm.
It’s impossible to ignore the financial crisis that’s hitting most industries. Calculated risks have to be taken and some circumstantial sacrifices will have to be made. Reviewing budgets, cutting unnecessary marketing costs, canceling non-essential software subscriptions, and negotiating costs with third-party suppliers; these are some practical steps to consider at this point in order to sustain the business operation.
The same can be said for us. As an online global creative-tech company, we are making even faster yet calculated business decisions to push forward, improvising as we go while also taking new risks and measures to survive the adverse economic consequences.
Overcoming The Current Situation
With the way things are playing out, it seems that we’re years away from returning to normalcy. Even so, we expect the world to have evolved with the impact of change brought about by the dire circumstances and situation today.
It’s crucial to prepare for the possible outcomes in order to lead your business at least a few steps ahead. Most businesses have already revisited their continuity plans and are testing new waters. At Inmagine, we forecasted potential impacts on our business in terms of staff matters, digital infrastructure, global sales, and financial matters with the help of the management team to plan for the (near) future.
It’s really about turning unnecessary panic into productive action to cope with the current situation. Creating a safe working environment to help maintain employees’ mental and physical health conditions is mandatory—whether they’re working from home or in the office. We check in regularly with our people and partners from all over the world to ensure that everyone’s feeling safe and working comfortably with enough resources to carry out their tasks. We also kept all forms of communications open, giving everyone an outlet to voice their concerns and also share ideas.
It’s equally crucial to let your people know how the business is being impacted and where the company stands financially. Be transparent so that they know what to expect, and motivate them to take on new challenges together with you. In trying times like these, stressing the importance of banding together as a strong team to tackle the uncertainties ahead is a positive first step to take.
While some are more adaptable to change, others may find it nerve-wracking to step away from the ‘norms’ of their everyday work life. Working remotely seems to be out of the ordinary for most of us, until now. Getting the right technology or free online software such as Trello and Asana as a communication or management tool will be helpful in easing your team into their ‘new work life’ out of the office—while ensuring remote work gets done efficiently without breaking the bank. It’s only a matter of time before people come to terms with the new reality and realize that the only way forward is to adapt and move on.
Survive With Tech
It goes without saying (even without a pandemic), that staying up to date with current digital trends helps keep your business relevant. As the global IT market experiences exponential growth, the impact of tech in transforming industry operations will become even more apparent.
We have canceled global events for the year and focused all our efforts on seeking alternative platforms to reach new audience. Consumers after all, have nowhere to go and are now more reliant on their digital devices than ever. According to Statista, Covid-19 has increased social media usage by 21% across the globe. Therefore, investing in SEO tactics and social media platforms is now the best way to get your brand out there.
Creating on-the-go content faster to retain engagement with consumers online has taken center stage. Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to minimize marketing budget is to look for free alternative tools to help your creative and content teams work smarter, faster and easier.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) especially, is playing an increasingly significant role in content creation. Our content creators have been utilizing PIXLR, a free yet powerful AI-integrated photo editing tool as an alternative to Photoshop to easily create/enhance all our social media posts, visual headers for e-newsletters and blog posts as well as thumbnail visuals for videos. Our team has also found a way to quickly compile and design useful infographics using free graphic illustrations elements at the start of the pandemic, enabling us to share timely information on our social media platforms.
There are tons of free resources available online to help businesses get their marketing materials out the door almost instantly, including free SVG files which reduces the time taken to design from scratch, and a videomaker tool that produces quality videos within minutes, without the need for a production crew.
Live. Learn. Adapt.
Is it possible to thrive after the crisis? Yes, but it also requires a mindset tweak. What may have worked in the past, may not work today. The key is to persevere by continuously testing out different methods and examining current data to make the best decision for your business.
Keep your eyes open and your ears peeled. Always look out for ways to “adjust” your services and products according to the ever-changing needs of consumers. Don’t forget to check out what your competitors are doing too. Learn, improvise, and revise your strategies to cater to current demands. Running a business will always be riddled with challenges; take this as another challenge to overcome and build business resilience. Don’t let it get you down. It’s not comfortable, but it’s also a time where new opportunities emerge and creativity thrives.
“This too shall pass.” Internalize and communicate it to your people. We will get through this. It’s not going to happen overnight, but as long as you still find purpose in what you do, and your business continues to serve a need, you can make the new norm work in your favour.
Don’t look back. Look forward, and embrace the new normal.