These days it’s no surprise why so many businesses are closing. With no end of the pandemic in sight, establishments everywhere have been bidding goodbye and calling it a night. But despite the harsh realities brought about by the novel coronavirus, it’s worth noting how an impressive number of startups and small businesses remain afloat.
For instance, think of the restaurants and cafes that continue to thrill their customers by moving their menus online and extending take-out and pick-up services. Hearing about stores fortifying their e-commerce efforts to continue serving customers isn’t new to us, too.
By all means, we should celebrate the successes of the many startups and small businesses that remain operational. For keeping a sense of continuity and normalcy, the entrepreneurs and creatives behind these enterprises are a testament to how resilient the human spirit is.
But beyond the concept of fortitude and grit is an underlying lesson that warrants discussion—it is clear that only the agile survive.
Why agility is non-negotiable
Given how many small-to-medium enterprises are thriving during these trying times, it’s fair to say that some of the larger corporations are finding it more challenging to adjust. After experiencing what small businesses have been able to accomplish in a pandemic-stricken world, people will have little to no patience left at all for larger companies that provide lousy customer services.
All thanks to the advent of the internet, customer demands and expectations have drastically changed. Long before the novel coronavirus was even in the picture, consumers already valued quality and speed. In today’s new normal, how brand loyalty is shaped is evolving, as well. Regardless of size, businesses will now be obligated to deliver a pleasant experience, devoid of an unnecessary backlog.
Like many things in capitalism, the urgency to conform to new platforms and spaces isn’t foreign. Not too long ago, consumer-facing businesses were pressured into upping their customer experience game when companies like Amazon re-defined how customer engagements should be. The only difference now is that smaller businesses are taking the lead.
What does this mean?
Moving forward, companies will need to keep re-assessing their approach to customer interaction and whether or not their corporate environment fits that of the new normal. If anything, how well enterprises can keep up to this new era of flexibility will define market champions and washouts for many years to come.
The clamor for businesses to adapt to digital solutions has long been a topic of discussion. COVID-19 is merely amplifying the urgency.
Furthermore, consider one massive difference you will notice between corporations and startups: larger companies don’t have the luxury—or arguably, the openness—startups do when it comes to valuing the voice of every staff member. Whereas smaller businesses encourage feedback from everyone in the organization, bigger companies only put a premium on what the bigwigs have to say.
This is, perhaps, one of the many elements that make small businesses and startups much more able to adapt to change. Good ideas can come from everywhere, and everyone and the better a company can listen to more of its people, the easier it will be to find solutions that click.
The need for empowerment
Most of the conversations surrounding employee empowerment in a time like this has been about fostering improved communication and enabling remote workers with the right technology. And although these matters are critical to healthy relationships and successful businesses, we miss the point when we focus only on the technical.
At a time when consumer demands are challenging conventional corporate arrangements, genuinely empowering the workforce means giving everyone an equal opportunity to express their voice in the workplace. Lines like “this is how it’s always been done, so we’re keeping it that way,” have no place in modern offices.
A stellar example of employee empowerment is evident in companies that promote citizen developers. With no-code platforms slowly taking the world by storm, more and more employers are encouraging the people they work with to build digital solutions independently. And given our dire need for more web apps, it’s refreshing to see how professionals are stepping up and owning their part in the tech world.
Expectations have never been higher.
From now on, companies will need to find several ways to keep agility in place. There is also now an unspoken demand for business leaders to find novel ways to empower employees and hear what they have to say truly. To get ahead of the curve in meeting customer wants and demands, every voice will matter.
We can only hope corporations start doing the same.
Do you have startup ideas you’d like to discuss or apps you’d like to build? Give us a call, and we’ll make it happen!