2020 was a year unlike any other. It saw the advent of the coronavirus pandemic that affected every nation on earth and plummeted the international economy. Several businesses crashed and had to depend on bailouts and loans. A lot of people lost their jobs, and countries went into recession.
Despite all that, company owners and entrepreneurs learned a lot of business lessons. The future of work changed permanently. Business practices and small business financing in the future will never be the same.
1. Remote work is the future
The pandemic brought out the usefulness, ease, and convenience of remote work. Several companies and government organizations embraced remote work, and it is fast becoming a norm. Even when lockdowns eased and the effects of the pandemic lessened, remote work was still a thing for several companies. Square, Twitter, and other companies have fully adopted remote work. Most workers mentioned that they preferred remote work compared to having come into physical offices. Hybrid models that combined both remote and physical work also emerged.
As a company owner, this means that you can hire people from anywhere around the world for your business. You can hire people from third-world countries and still get premium service and the best of talents. This might cost you less than what you will spend for onsite physical hires. You’ll also save money on office space andsmall business financing. Your staff will save money on commute time and transport expenses. You only need to find the right tech tools like Slack, Calendly, and more.
2. Work meetings do not have to be physical
The pandemic massively boosted the popularity of online meetings. Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and other platforms became the official meeting channel of several companies, with Zoom being the biggest gainer.
“Mute your mic,” “Turn off your camera,” “Your mic is muted,” and other phrases became very popular. But once people got the hang of things, these meetings worked. Gone are the days of jumping on late-night flights and battling jet lag to attend business meetings across continents. Remote meetings work just fine.
With online meetings, you can better utilize your small business loans on other critical aspects of your business.
3. Diversify where possible
Several businesses suffered during the pandemic. The companies that were able to withstand the effects most were those that diversified. If diversification does not cause a strain on your resources or a loss of focus, go for it.
Before obtaining financial support for your small business, think of means by which you can perfectly utilize the money to expand your operation and diversify as needed.
4. Have business reserves and savings
A lot of businesses were forced to turn to their cash reserves after sales got hit by the pandemic. All ventures, from one-person businesses to giant corporations, were not spared. Companies had to be bailed out by the government and others had to apply for small business financing loans. The aviation, hospitality, and transportation sectors were the worst hit of all. Lots of workers were laid off, with companies losing talented staff that they had spent resources hiring, training, and onboarding.
Companiess now realize the extreme importance of having cash reserves and emergency backup savings.
5. Have a disaster relief plan in place
The fastest companies to recover from the effects of the pandemic were those that had a disaster relief plan in place. These companies were better equipped to deal with the disastrous effects of the pandemic.
6. Virtual workspaces will become a thing
Tech companies are now developing technology for virtual workspaces. These workspaces will include hardware and software that will foster closer connectivity among employees in remote locations. 5G, virtual reality headsets, AI-powered assistants, IoT, and other emerging technology will make this a reality.
During the pandemic, companies like Duolingo held virtual office hangouts, cooking classes, movie nights, and more extracurricular activities using virtual technology.
7. Future businesses should have an agile culture
2020 taught us that work should have an agile, flexible culture, and they must be willing to adapt to changes as fast as possible. Companies with an agile culture were the fastest to adapt to the pandemic. Flexibility allows an organization to be better prepared for crises and unexpected circumstances.