During these weeks we have seen how restaurants and small food businesses have been converted to serve their food at home, or how neighborhood stores began to sell their products or offer their services online. Their goal has been to maintain activity in some way so as not to disappear during the alarm state.
These changes in business strategy have always been essential for companies to grow or stay afloat. “Organizations must assume changes when they perceive a change in the market trend or a loss of competitiveness,” explains Jordi Damià, founder of Setesca, a technology consultant.
“For a business model to work, it has to offer a value proposition and have the customer at the center of its activity. In the end, the marks are irrelevant, what is important is what is behind them. An idea that has been evident after the thousands of solidarity initiatives that many companies have carried out by making their resources available to others, ”explains Miguel Macías, professor at the IEBS school and author of The way to innovate (Planet). “Changes don’t always have to be big. Sometimes small adjustments are enough, “advises Macías.
This is the case of hundreds of companies from different sectors that have modified their activity to produce essential products such as respirators or protective equipment. One of them has been Captain Denim, a manufacturer of sustainable jeans, which stopped its production of garments to make cotton masks, which are so necessary at the moment.
Other companies, unable to continue their normal activity due to the state of alarm, have decided to offer services through the Internet. This is the case of Nannyfy, a startup that until now facilitated the hiring of nannies at home. With the impossibility of continuing with the business, they converted their platform into a space for activities by live video call with babysitters assigned based on their experience and specialization.
Listens the story of Claudia, from Nannyfy, on the Banco Sabadell podcast
Apart from these conjunctural changes, the model should not be the result of an opportunity, but of a change in consumption that lasts over time. Jordi Damià advises that companies review their strategy, at least once a year. To do this, it is advisable to pay attention to the direction that the market is taking, boost digitization and the online sales channel, if the business allows it, and take care of talent.
Detect what works and what doesn’t
It is important for the entrepreneur to find out what changes are taking place in the market, in competition and in the preferences of the public to redirect production and activity. For this, Miguel Macías calculates that it would be necessary to invest around 20% of the resources in finding out the new trends.
A business plan must be designed that analyzes what can be done with the resources that are available: how it could be diversified, what other markets could be reached or what other products could be sold or manufactured with what one knows how to do. .
Adapting the offer to a new consumption model is the great challenge: “For example, today it is difficult to imagine 100,000 people on a football field or a full theater, so sports and entertainment companies must make changes immediately. In fact, some dedicated to the theater are considering selling their activity via streaming to recover the client, ”says Damiá.
In this context, implementing methods such as Lean to innovate and test while reducing costs is key. In addition, it is important to bet more than ever to attract, develop and, above all, retain talent. “Knowing how to manage talent is essential,” says Eva Álvarez, a partner at the consultancy at the Misstake creative school. Investing in talent provides stability to the business. Álvarez also highlights the role of creativity: “The professionals who are guided by it have a greater capacity for adaptation, find the opportunity to change, have a greater open mind and get new ideas to flow to the rest of the team.”
“The life cycle of a business that does not adapt to changes has a maximum validity of five years. A digital meteorite will always end up falling that will require us to move, ”says Jaime Villanueva, CEO of Products and Solutions at Econocom, a group that helps organizations in their digital transformation.
The leap into the digital world is one of the pending tasks for Spanish companies, according to the III Study on the digitization status of Spanish companies and public administrations, carried out by the Vodafone Observatory of the Company. It is a process that requires investment and time, which is why Villanueva advises companies to set short and medium term goals, since their impact can be better measured. “A true digital transformation goes beyond making sporadic investments in digital media, having a presence on social networks and creating or renewing the website; a true digital transformation implies a profound renewal of the corporate culture ”, assures Sergi Bea, director of Banco Sabadell’s Division of Companies and SMEs Segment.
The advantages of undertaking a digital strategy are summarized in:
- Quick information on commercial actions to correct or adapt them.
- Productivity increase.
- Increased reputation on-line.
- Direct communication with clients.
- New opportunities for digital commerce.
In the current situation, many companies have been aware of the loss of competitiveness of the traditional channel and have opted for online sales.. To sell online, however, you need a different infrastructure that allows online payment and home delivery. Although it seems that this type of sale is exclusive to large companies, SMEs can also access it. “Traditional commerce was already beginning to consider change, but this crisis has made it dive into it, quickly and with few tools,” says Miguel Macías. This lack of instruments to open a digital sales channel can be supplemented through collaboration. between SMEs. “Create marketplaces premises that facilitate the form of payment, the receipt of orders or the distribution of the product may be the solution, “Macías points out. The Seville Market is one of these initiatives. This is a website created by four professionals so that small stores throughout the province of Seville can continue selling while they are closed or to supply older people who cannot move.