Medical specialists, researchers and leaders say life won’t go back to normal until we have a COVID-19 vaccine to supply to all countries. This means that quarantines all over the globe can last for only as long as the economies can withstand the closures.
Most likely, the world will experience a partial reopening that will help to prevent the rapid rise of the infected and provide an opportunity to reboot the economy. Why reboot and not restore? Because the rules that worked a month or two ago are not working anymore.
Online learning, grocery and food deliveries; livestreaming concerts, conferences, theater performances; closing real estate deals online — and that’s only a small share of processes adjusted to the new realities. To prepare businesses for the new market, entrepreneurs will need to do the same. You have several main strategies to choose from:
- Focus on restoring the business at its previous scale.
- Recover the resources that have adjusted to the new realities quickly.
- Set your own rules and start growing your business.
Preparing For The New Market
We don’t know exactly what the new market will look like. So how can businesses prepare for the unexpected? Analyze what is happening, and make conclusions. Here are some of the trends that are likely to define the development of software business in the near future.
1. Software quality has become the issue of primary importance. Remote work has set the new standards of quality, and businesses have to keep up. Competition in the niche has increased as well. Software quality is the way to be competitive in these times of transformation. This is especially relevant to website performance and security, which are required to avoid information leakage and withstand user flow in extreme traffic conditions.
2. Some of the habits will stick. While some people were forced to adopt new habits, others will eventually enjoy these new routines. For example, almost all film premieres were postponed, but Universal Pictures streamed its animated movie Trolls World Tour. Meanwhile, Netflix Party took binge-watching to a new level, letting users watch videos in synchronization and chat. These initiatives don’t mark the end of movie theaters, but they open a new niche.
3. New opportunities will emerge for the education sector. It isn’t right to emphasize only the cons of online learning. The education sector experiences some significant benefits as well. For instance:
- Online schooling is an effective way to protect students from bullying.
- Online lessons make education more accessible to students with disabilities, who sometimes don’t have the opportunity to attend school due to poor infrastructure and limited accessibility.
- Universities can attract talented students from other countries who don’t have an opportunity to relocate.
Again, the majority of schools will continue working in the usual mode. Universities and professional training courses will continue to explore the opportunities of online learning, reaching wider audiences globally. A need for new software solutions will emerge: applications with advanced opportunities for interaction, programs that enable stricter control upon tests in real time, efficient communication in big online classes, etc. These are all tasks for the software business to solve.
4. E-commerce and logistics are more interdependent now. A recommendation to use online payments instead of cash influences the way people shop. But if a government issues a ban on cash, as some countries have, it completely reshapes the industry. It triggers changes in the logic of software and requires fast development and substantial testing.
Those who have accepted changes managed to maintain consumers’ trust and become better prepared for the possible cash crisis in the future. Those who haven’t adopted new or additional methods of payment will need help in the future. So, alternative payment methods have become even more urgent for e-commerce.
5. The healthcare industry is embracing new technologies. Telehealth and mobile health were slow to become widespread, mainly because of habits and routines built over the years. The lack of regular opportunities helps to discover the potential of new tech solutions. It turns out that a traditional face-to-face encounter with a doctor is not always necessary, and some consultations can take place online.
Integrated databases, wearables to monitor sensitive groups and manage chronic diseases, online appointments and prescriptions — these and many other remote options will become publicly accepted and widespread. Hospitals will need software to communicate with patients. There are a lot of opportunities for software companies to discover.
6. The demand for videoconferencing and communication software will remain high. The shift to remote will be permanent for some. If it is possible to work from home efficiently, is it necessary to rent an office? Remote-working technologies will be also in high demand among those who want to be strategically prepared for the next crisis, whenever it happens.
Do’s and Don’ts
There are no strict business rules anymore. Entrepreneurs can become trendsetters in their niche. The following tips may be helpful for those who aim to either become industry leaders or focus on revival:
- It is important not only to retain customers, but to build new connections and find new leads now, even if they are not ready to sign contracts instantly.
- Make sure that the services your business provides and the ways they are delivered are still relevant.
- If they are not relevant, don’t try to rehabilitate the customers. Embrace the new realities; adjust to the new rules.
- Outline the key challenges. Prepare several solutions with different strategies and scenarios.
- Become better, even if things are still working for you. Competitors will progress and invent new rules.
The quarantine taught entrepreneurs to maintain a balance between long-term and short-term goals. It also reminded entrepreneurs that flexibility and adaptability help companies to survive in extreme conditions. To make software businesses strong again, be ready to constantly change, learn and evolve.