1. Rethinking customer engagement
The shuttering of store fronts and other face-to-face businesses has transformed the way consumers interact with brands and make purchases. To maintain customer bases and earn loyalty, private businesses need to hit the reset button on how they see and connect with consumers, devising innovative ways to communicate and sell their services and wares.
2. Digital transformation
While a technology push was already happening, COVID-19 accelerated digital plans. The overnight move to a remote workforce, which fostered the adoption of videoconferencing and cloud-based tools at scale, enlightened businesses as to the types of activities and processes that can be done virtually. Wise organizations will invest in researching and developing how to build upon this transformation through such things as artificial intelligence and analytics.
3. Reviewing supply chains
The pandemic sent a shockwave through supply chains. While devastating, this was also eye opening for leaders as it revealed weak links that should be addressed to build resilience moving forward. Restructuring and encouraging collaboration among suppliers can bolster capabilities.
4. Workforce planning
The quick shift in technology utilization is forcing a reset. Where digitalization will be implemented and how people will be working need to be examined. Retraining may be required to retain the top talent pool necessary for growth and innovation.
5. Anticipating the coming shift to more robust tax collection
Governments around the world responded injecting more than $27 trillion into their economies. Much of that money was borrowed. As a result, expect tax authorities to begin pivoting to more robust tax enforcement to close budget gaps. Businesses should monitor attempts to collect new digital services taxes and understand the tax implications of workplace shifts and new supply chains.
6. Cost control
The transformation to a remote workforce is causing leaders to reconsider their leases and real estate assets. Although re-thinking physical footprints and cost base are on top of mind, this should be balanced against how giving up a physical workplace may impact the ability to attract and develop talent.
Private business boards have a unique opportunity at this time to hit the reset button and build a better enterprise that will emerge stronger than it was at the beginning of 2020. More on these 5 areas are detailed by Suwin Lee, EMEIA EY Private Leader, in her article How private businesses can reset their strategies in the wake of COVID-19.