2020 has been one of the most eventful years of my entire life so far. I know I am preaching to the choir on this one because so many people attest to that exact experience. It is remarkable how a global pandemic can redefine literally every facet of the human experience. Who would have ever thought that we would be subjected to lockdown restrictions for so many months? For some, the year has been so productive whereas for some it has been an agonising year. In this article, I want to discuss some business lessons I have learnt either experientially or by observation.
The ability to anticipate evil is one attribute everyone ought to have. I know some, especially those who are big on always being optimistic, might not like this. It is probably because the idea of embracing the possibility of something negative is hard to swallow. However, it is usually the case that something will go wrong at some point in your life. Especially in business, it is inevitable but this is not something that should alarm you. When things do not go ahead as planned, it is actually a breeding ground for opportunities – it is a mindset issue.
Anticipating evil primes you to be ready when the evil day comes, of which it will at some point. I think from now smart entrepreneurs must work out what-if scenarios e.g. pandemic situations. This will help them stay afloat and winning in the face of a pandemic. It does not necessarily have to just be planning for a pandemic – the number of possible scenarios is infinite.
The Indispensable Importance Of Going Digital
From the way, before the pandemic, I always used to underscore the importance of going digital. I was always encouraging entrepreneurs to develop websites, to be on social media platforms and so on. I was advising business people to set up frameworks that enable them to do business online. I realized most did not really heed all those clarion calls because they somehow thought they were luxuries. When the pandemic hit and lockdowns became the order of the day, it became apparent the stuff I had been preaching on was of utmost importance.
I cannot begin to even quantify the business that sank simply because they were not online. This is one of the biggest lessons entrepreneurs must draw from 2020. Going forward Going digital will remain a high priority. If your business is not yet fully operational online you must hasten your uptake of digital approaches.
I have always been a huge proponent of having a global mindset. This year I realized that thinking globally is extremely important – especially for entrepreneurs. Do you know that some businesses survived simply because they had a global outlook? What I mean is that some business thrived because they had a global market. When the pandemic struck their market even expanded because more and more people were spending more time online. I personally got opportunities that would not have been possible if my focus was limited to just Zimbabwe. Entrepreneurs have to tailor their businesses as global businesses right from the start.
The Need To Know How To Pivot
Whilst some businesses sunk other repositioned themselves. Some changed their product offerings whilst others changed the way they do their businesses. The business principle of pivoting is something I had on several occasions spoke about before. Some people also did not heed my clarion calls for knowing how to pivot your business. Anyways, know how to pivot your business at any given time. I believe that it is possible to structure any business in such a way that it can be pivoted at any time and continue operating.
So Many Learning Opportunities Online
This is one of the biggest lessons for me in 2020. I say so because I can proudly say I did two certified online programs during the thick of the pandemic. I did a Digital Marketing program and an Entrepreneurship Training program and got certified after completion of both. These experiences made me realize that their many learning opportunities there are. As an entrepreneur, you must now leverage digital learning because so many programs are being offered online. Some of them are paid for yet some of them are even free – take advantage of such opportunities.
One interesting about any crisis is that it exposes the true fabric by which something is made. If a business had flaws they were ruthlessly exposed by the pandemic. Sadly some flaws proved catastrophic because most businesses shut down. For those that managed to stay afloat, this is time to take stock, regroup and charge into the future. What business lessons have you learnt this year? Let shares our lessons in the comments below.