Understanding the Future of Your Business
The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted every area of society, and in the business world, countless businesses that were deemed “nonessential” were temporarily closed. As things open back up, no one is entirely sure what the post COVID-19 economic landscape will look like. One thing that is certain, however, is that this pandemic will result in some permanent changes to the way we do business.
Here are some of the ways that COVID-19 may change the business landscape:
- Handshakes and Hugs are Optional: In the business world, handshakes have always been customary, and when you really hit it off with someone, giving them a hug is also a fairly common gesture. As we go forward, these types of customs might no longer be part of our business culture.
- Telecommuting and Virtual Meetings will be Mainstream: Many businesses were forced to quickly adapt when the coronavirus pandemic hit by moving their workers home and learning how to use virtual conferencing platforms like Zoom. Now that they have seen how these solutions can work for them, they are likely to become the norm rather than the exception in the future. In an office setting, this will probably mean far fewer employees working at the physical office, with the majority of them working from home.
- Focus on Cleanliness: For workplaces where employees have to come to a physical location and/or interact with the public, cleanliness will truly be next to godliness. With businesses that are reopening, we are already seeing an emphasis on continually disinfecting surfaces, requiring employees to wear masks and gloves, and in some cases, requiring customers to wear masks as well. Some of these standards may be relaxed in the coming months, but long-term, we are likely to see much cleaner and more sanitary places of business.
- Balance of Worker Health and Privacy: One of the major challenges with businesses that are reopening is balancing the health of their workers with protecting their privacy. Many workplaces are requiring employees to check their temperatures before they are allowed to come into work. But they are also being asked to answer questions that some view as intrusive, such as who they have been in contact with. Contact tracing is another major issue that is controversial among many privacy advocates. During the months ahead, businesses will need to walk a fine line between employee health and privacy.
- Addressing Liability Risks: One major reason for ensuring that employees are healthy when they come to work is to limit liability risks. Many businesses are concerned about the possibility of being sued if a customer contracts the coronavirus while at their location. Sanitizing, disinfecting, wearing masks and gloves, and ensuring a healthy workforce are all ways that businesses will seek to minimize their liability exposure.
- Dealing with Economic Uncertainty: The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event, particularly with regards to the closure of all nonessential businesses and the suspension of all nonessential activities nationwide. It still remains unclear how this will affect the economy in the long term. We will be in a recession for a while, but some economists are optimistic that we will be poised for a recovery in 2021.
Businesses that will Thrive after COVID-19
An economic disruption of this magnitude is sure to create opportunities to serve humanity. Some industries will emerge and become more mainstream, while other steady businesses will see a strong opportunity for growth in the wake of the pandemic. Here are some of the businesses that are likely to do well in a post-coronavirus world:
- Online Shopping: This one is a no-brainer. The trend toward online shopping was already very strong before COVID-19, and it is likely to become even stronger going forward.
- Rapid Delivery Services: Delivery goes hand-in-hand with online shopping. Any product that a customer orders needs to be delivered in a timely manner. Expect grocery delivery services to be particularly strong after COVID-19.
- Healthy Foods and Supplements: The global COVID-19 outbreak has caused a lot of people to focus on boosting their immune system through a healthy diet and supplements like vitamin C and zinc.
- Commercial Cleaning: As we discussed earlier, every place of business needs to be kept thoroughly cleaned, and commercial cleaning services will be in very high demand for the foreseeable future.
- Electronic Payments: COVID-19 is likely to move us closer to a cashless society. Expect electronic payments to be increasingly preferred over passing paper currency that could carry a virus.
- Bookkeeping/Accounting: With every business having been affected by the coronavirus in one way or another, there will be an even greater need for accounting firms to help these businesses deal with regulatory, compliance, and tax issues that will emerge from this pandemic.
Berkshire BSA is Here to Help
In the wake of COVID-19, there are sure to be some permanent changes to the economic landscape, and Berkshire BSA is here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a business during these extraordinary times. Contact us for a free consultation with one of our experienced business brokers. We look forward to serving you!