The COVID-19 pandemic won’t last forever. But it’s going to change a lot of things about business around the world.
We will see some of these changes happen in Nigeria. As businesses adjust to the new post-pandemic conditions, they will ditch older solutions, and adopt new strategies and technologies to help them make the most of scare resources.
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But most of the changes will be accelerations in certain existing trends, and a slowdown in others. Regardless of how they play out, they will determine the direction in which the broader economy goes in the next few years.
Here are some of the changes in business we can expect to see.
1. More Businesses Online
A lot of people have more spare time on their hands than they’ve had in a long time. And they are spending a lot of it on the web. Many will discover the convenience of remote shopping; others will grow more dependent on it than they already are.
Even if they have to rely on brick-and-mortar after the pandemic blows over, a good deal of their online-shopping ‘habit’ will stick.
The broader consequence of the lockdown is that more people will interact with brands online. This means businesses have to strengthen their online presence, so they can attract their potential customers on the web.
2. Greater Tolerance for Flexible Work
The coronavirus has forced many companies to try the remote work model for the first time. This includes businesses that have been averse to letting staff work from home. The present situation gives them the chance to weigh a flexible work system against the traditional rigid, in-house work model.
A good number of these businesses will find that they can cut costs and even achieve greater productivity if they implement more flexible work models. So they could be asking some of their employees to work remotely for the long haul.
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3. Increased Dependence on Electronic Transactions
For now, businesses are choosing to collect payments electronically because they aren’t sure how safe their customers’ currency notes are. Many of them will relax their rules around this as conditions return to normal. But in the final analysis, there will be more businesses collecting payments via electronic channels than before. Here’s a case of the coronavirus accelerating an already existing trend.
4. Planning for Emergency
Pessimists will say that the lessons from the coronavirus pandemic will fade from our memories as quickly as the learning from past crises. But not everyone will forget. Businesses hit by the current disruption won’t want to be caught flat-footed if another widespread threat to the economy crops up in the future.
More entrepreneurs will take business planning seriously. Even if they are unable to fight off a global crisis, they can hedge against it.
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