There can be no denying that, with the exception of some companies in the tech sector, 2020 was a brutal year for businesses across the board.
While some of the hurdles may feel insurmountable at the moment, you might be surprised by some of the hidden business opportunities created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Time to grow – team developmentIf you have staff still on payroll who find themselves with a reduced workload due to the disruption caused by the current situation then this could be the ideal time for them to develop their skills.
Budget and time dependent, employees could devote one day a week to taking online training courses, enabling them to pick up skills that will benefit your business long-term.
Invest in your team now and you’ll emerge from the crisis with a smarter, upskilled workforce.
While it might seem like a difficult thing to accomplish with remote working, now is also a good time to explore team building activities.
WFH has highlighted just how vital team cohesion and communication can be. Set up some group online activities to help your staff bond and grow together.
Take things off the backburnerThe current climate has led to many companies pausing projects, but the void created can be filled by picking up those ‘nice to have’ projects that always seem to slide down the list of priorities.
This could be overhauling your website copy, reviewing your customer journey, upgrading your backend servers or developing a new suite of adverts.
Utilise your time effectively and push forward with those plans you aren’t usually able to dedicate resources to and your business will be in better shape to face the future when things start returning to normal.
While it may sound odd, this could also be the perfect time to look at recruitment. Mass layoffs have seen the talent pool grow considerably over the past couple of months and with most businesses less pressed for staff you’ll have more time to find the ideal candidate to join your team.
Optimisation and innovationOver time many businesses find themselves becoming less and less agile as a growing headcount and increasingly complex bureaucratic processes weigh on organisations like a ball and chain.
However, the speed at which companies have been forced to cut through the red tape and innovate during the coronavirus crisis has shown just how rapidly businesses can implement change.
While this is not to say that businesses should just throw all caution to the wind, there are certainty some lessons to be learnt about streamlining processes and reacting quickly to new business challenges.
Preparing for the ‘new normal’As the coronavirus pandemic shows signs of abating, most countries are looking to lift their lockdown measures and start reopening their economies.
While there are many different exit strategies being explored, there is one thing we can be pretty of – the post-coronavirus world is going to be very different from the one we knew just a few months ago.
With any vaccine still likely to be several months away, social distancing in some form or another is going to remain in place through the remainder of 2020.
This is, of course, going to have a major impact on the way companies do business.
While some staff will be able to return to work, the number allowed on site at any one time will need to be limited to protect the health of your employees.
Jes Staley, the chief executive of Barclays suggests:
‘I think the notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past, and we will find ways to operate with more distancing over a much longer period of time.’
To this end the need for remote working is likely to continue for some time to come, and with schools expected to remain closed until the end of summer, flexible working will also be need to be a major consideration going forward.
This is not to mention the potential impact on consumer habits, with customers likely to shun the high street and look to ecommerce to plug the gap.
Such changes to working and shopping practices have the potential to become a permanent fixture of the new normal, so it’s vital to prepare your business now so you’re ready for a post-Covid world.
This is an uncertain and difficult time for many businesses, but there are opportunities to be found.
If you have FX requirements we can help you maximise your returns and protect your profit. Get in touch with our team on Business@currenciesdirect.com or call +44 (0) 20 7847 9400.
We wish you all well during this difficult period – stay safe, and please contact us if you need us.
Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.