Agile Strategies for Business survival during COVID-19

By Emmanuel Allottey

Business survival during unprecedented times of COVID-19 pandemic require the adoption and implementation of an agile strategy to navigate through the volatile operating environment.

The rapid change in operating environment renders established business strategies, processes, and decisions somewhat ineffective. To ensure resilience, businesses need to re-evaluate the effectiveness of their inherent operating model ranging from decision making processes to customer servicing channels.

Agility is the ability of a business to adapt to changes in the internal and external environment. This includes flexibility to respond to changing customer demands whilst maintaining profitability, efficiency and quality.

Agile strategies for survival involve;

Refining Goals and Objectives: businesses should reassess their outlook of what can be achieved during unprecedented times. Businesses should be willing to redefine business goals and targets in response to the evolving circumstances. COVID 19 has stalled the growth projections of many economies with direct ramifications on domestic businesses. In a downturn, double digit growth becomes an unrealistic goal and should be reviewed.

Streamlined Business Operations: with a clearly defined target, business operations should be adapted to the new operating environment. For example, technology and digital channels have emerged as a necessary channel for interaction with customers. The speed of introducing digital options to customers can have an impact on business resilience. As events evolve, businesses need to reconsider their regulations and processes to avoid having obsolete and ineffective procedures that may lead to failure in business operations.

Customer Engagement: flexible and agile businesses need to increase visibility and demonstrate their availability to listen and help their customers during trying times. Different methods of communication, email, SMS, direct calling among others should be used to reassure their customers of support. In addition, businesses should be willing to expand and adjust customer delivery services to meet and adapt to customer expectations. Engaged customers will respond with their loyalty and business referral.

Employee mobility: staff in businesses should be involved in developing an appropriate sales strategy during challenging operating environment. Due to the health impact of COVID-19, staff should be aligned with the sales and operating strategy being implemented. Staff are closer to customers and are able to offer insightful opportunities to deliver on business objectives.

Agile business strategies play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 in the operating environment. Businesses should revisit their strategic plan and implement the necessary options to survive.

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