These are interesting times we live in. From an economics and business standpoint they are challenging and unparalleled. Some might categorize the Corona Virus COVID-19 as a black swan event. The black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a complete surprise and has a major effect. The term was coined by Nassim Nicolas Taleb and made famous with his book, The Black Swan, describing many historical events including the 2008 market collapse.As with any challenge, nimble minds and organizations can minimize the impact or even take advantage of and improve their standing.
Here are 3 points to consider this week when making decisions about how to proceed as a business:
Remote Working: Increased Productivity & Healthier Workforce
These next few weeks may be very eye-opening for employers and employees about the importance of “coming into the office”. Whether your organizational velocity will experience an increase or decrease depends on management’s ability to adapt to the current circumstance and drive productivity upward using tech and telecommunication methods. Our prediction is that people will learn quickly that it can be done and the benefits are obvious. In a 2018 article, written by our CEO and published in the Tampa Bay Business Journal, it reasoned there are several benefits to using a remote workforce to gain competitive and economic advantages.
The thought of “leaving your work at the office” is from an era gone by. With everyone being connected via email and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), business communications are being sent 24/7, 365 . Since this is the case, why are we making our work force drive at the same time of the day in mass? It seems counterproductive. According to the U.S. Consensus Bureau, in Tampa, the average commute is 23.6 minutes, and that’s one way. This totals to 47.2 minutes of travel time per day and with a 4.3-week month we arrive at an astonishing 16.9 hrs. That is almost half of a full work week wasted.
This is not even taking into consideration the numerous frustrations that one experiences during such a commute and the impact of these frustrations on productivity at the office. “There is a noticeable decline in health and well-being if you have a longer commute,” said Emma Lloyd, policy and research manager at the RSPH, who wrote a Harvard Business Review report. Nobody enjoys going to the office at rush hour and your health reflects it.
Retail Congregation Disruption
The fact that consumers are being urged to limit congregations and social gatherings, by government officials across the world, will have a major impact on commerce considerations. AdAge has named Instacart one of twelve companies that are going to accelerate through this pandemic as the need for their services has multiplied 10X in the last 72 hours due to larger companies like Amazon and Walmart not being able to meet the demand. People are going to learn very quickly, like working remotely, that there is a much easier way to commerce products and that is online.
There is no need to enter a confined area with 100-500 strangers anymore. Even in the era of people becoming increased “germaphobes” how is your b2b organization going to better develop relationships online and build value without buyers welcoming you on-premise? A challenge indeed, but worth thinking about.
Consumer Media Consumption Habits
Last summer our CEO wrote an article in the Tampa Bay Business Business Journal predicting changed media consumption and its effect on brand’s messaging their consumers. It was because of the impact of the political ads being excessive. What we did not predict, is additionally, CV coverage would have even more impact. You cannot watch an hour of live TV currently and not be completely scared and depressed. That is why in Italy, where they have a very mature population, subscription TV is booming. According to an article published by NASDAQ, “ (Netflix)..the company may exceed expectations in the second quarter, due to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak”. Even the more mature adult is learning how to use Netflix and other subscription TV channels. Once that Pandora’s entertainment box is opened there will be no going back to traditional means. Broadcast TV as we know it is over and subscriber TV and social media channels are booming.
Businesses, in order to get in front of your consumer, your organization needs to mass adopt these channels and anticipate how they can better impact the consumer experience. In a world where the consumer wants to commerce everywhere and anywhere, from their couch, car, park or bed, these media channels can add to your brand’s customer experience and elevate convenience. The ability to allow for one-click to purchase and frictionless online experience will allow your business to have a competitive advantage. Whether your B2B or B2C the technology is available to make a more intuitive customer experience.
Using the CV pandemic to evaluate your business operations can be the best use of this emergency. Are there ways that you can help your organization be more productive through a remote working structure? Are you using a dated marketing model that needs to adopt consumer behaviors with shopping and media? The next few weeks can have your business battle-tested and more efficient. Turn this Black Swan Event into your Golden Goose.