How world events force businesses to evolve

How world events force businesses to evolve

One of the keys to being a successful business is to demonstrate an ability to change and adapt with the times. That has never been more pertinent than it is today, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forcing enterprises across almost every sector to assess their strategies and processes.

The world of work may have changed forever, with increasing numbers of employees seemingly set to do their jobs remotely on a more regular basis, even once the pandemic is under greater control.

We’re approaching a year since the virus really took hold on UK shores – an outbreak which had a devastating and immediate impact on trade as many bricks and mortar locations were forced to close at least temporarily.

However, the subsequent lockdown meant ecommerce sales increased as millions had no choice but to go online for their purchases. Some tech companies also experienced a boom, with one such example explained by Edward Moya, Senior Market Analyst at OANDA:

“The first big tech earnings report from Netflix impressed. The streaming giant added 8.5 million subscribers, well above the analysts’ expectations of 6 million. The pandemic helped drive their paid subscriber count to over 200 million, doubling what they achieved in 2017,” he said.

Companies with a significant online presence will have fared more positively, while other businesses recognised the need to evolve. Those who had previously relied upon in-person trade or word of mouth were forced to invest in their websites and other marketing strategies. With the pandemic still very much a factor and the UK still entering and exiting lockdowns, creating and maintaining a strong online presence is vital for all businesses.

Meanwhile, the turn of the year saw the UK officially leave the EU, which meant a lot of changes for businesses who import and export across international borders. Now, any organisations with those considerations must ensure they understand the extra paperwork that has to be filled out and the additional tariffs to pay.

All of these challenges can prove a drain on time and resources, so businesses must either adjust their processes to allow more time for the extra work that needs to be done, or perhaps alter their strategy in order to trade closer to home.

Looking beyond Europe, the US election dominated global headlines towards the end of 2020 as Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump to become the 46th President. If there are to be a raft of new policies under a different leader then business operations may be affected, but there are also wider themes for organisations to consider.

Elections have the power to divide target audiences like nothing else, so it’s important that companies understand that, if they are to take a political standpoint, they risk alienating a large proportion of their consumers. In what are already challenging times, that may not be a chance they are willing to take.

Susannah Griffin
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