As much as it has become an almost knee-jerk reaction to ask people how they are faring during the increasingly stressful days of the global pandemic, there is another question gnawing at business owners and consumers worldwide: Will the world ever be the same again?
Even as more states in the U.S. and countries around the world move to ease restrictions on businesses, an uncomfortable realization is dawning. We may never again see a business environment like we saw before COVID-19 swept the globe.
Shaun Roache, Asia Pacific chief economist at S&P Global Ratings, said “lockdowns have a disproportional effect on small and medium-sized enterprises. These firms have less access to credit to help them ‘bridge to the recovery’ and can also struggle to meet the requirements for opening up.”
Roache said while manufacturing could recover reasonably quickly from the virus, service sectors would have a harder time bouncing back. “This is important because service industries are the largest employers in most economies,” she said.
Even as restrictions in many places are eased and schools and businesses open, there is also a worry about gathering in tight spaces where crowding and close proximity to others is normal, and social distancing is nearly impossible. This is especially concerning given the likelihood of a second wave.
Not All Doom and Gloom
However, as worrying as the situation is for small and medium-sized businesses, these organizations likely have the scope to increase their market share amidst the daunting times they are facing. As Sun Tzu, in his seminal work ‘The Art of War,’ said, “In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.”
For those businesses that can reinvent the way they reach consumers with effective messaging and are able to control inventory and manage the supply chain, the Coronavirus may not spell the end of the road for them. In fact, businesses that are nimble enough to cope with the crisis may emerge stronger and even more competitive than they were just a few months ago.
In this edition of the newsletter, we will examine the services sector and how this particular branch of the economy can both weather the Coronavirus storm and emerge from the tempest stronger. This will be the first in a series of articles that focus on best communication practices for a particular business sector in the age of COVID-19. Each article will focus on how effective and focused communication can provide a competitive edge, and how iNA can help by creating effective, focused and original content.