Stabilise your business and don't waste a good crisis

James Prebble

Disruption is inescapable

Business disruptions are inevitable. Be it a pandemic, like we’re currently facing, or technology disruption. The magnitude of the impact, however, is largely dependent on how a business reacts and adapts to the change.

Devastatingly, for some businesses, the unfolding COVID-19 crisis has forced them to shut down completely or suspend their services indefinitely.

More fortunate others are looking at ways they can pivot their business to meet new customer needs, through change and innovation.

Burgeoning opportunities

It’s not all bad news. COVID-19 has propelled growth in some sectors.

In London, Experience Haus has created OpenHaus, a series of virtual workshops to join for free throughout April.

Airbnb have announced they’ll house 100,000 healthcare professionals around the world, free of charge, under a new initiative during the coronavirus crisis.

Dyson has created a new ventilator to support the NHS. The Dyson ventilator is efficient in conserving oxygen, is portable and doesn’t need a fixed air supply.

Multinational brewery and pub chain, BrewDog has started producing hand sanitiser to help with the shortage, giving it away to those in need.

New transportation modes including e-scooters and e-cargo bikes, and an Uber on-demand model to busses and other public transport methods, including drones for medical deliveries, are being explored by the UK’s Department for Transport. They’ve also announced £90m of funding for three Future Transport Zones to trial these new services.

Not surprisingly, the retail space is being transformed by the pandemic. Sector giants like Amazon, and Costco are likely to emerge from the coronavirus crisis even stronger than before.

Pre-pandemic, they took a big percentage of brick-and-mortar retail business, but with many non-essential retailers forced to close their doors due to the pandemic, business is booming. Customer spending on Amazon is up 35% compared to the same period last year with sales spikes on cold and flu medicine (861%), hand soap (512%), dog food (947%) and chips (376%). If you didn’t have the Amazon app before, the likelihood is you do now.

Time is of the essence

The difference between responding to technology disruption and a pandemic is that you don’t have the luxury of time to build and test the responses over 6-12 months. Time is crucial here.

Surviving businesses are being forced to take a look at their operations during the period of disruption and they’re are asking themselves two primary questions; how are we going to get through this period of disruption and how are we going to come out of it a better business than we went into it?

Economically, the UK government’s coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) is providing much-needed financial support to businesses to ensure they can continue to operate. As of Tuesday, a total of 6,020 loans worth £1.1bn had been issued under this scheme.

Struggling businesses can also furlough employees, under a new scheme where the government will pay up to 80 percent of people’s wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. More than nine million people are estimated to be furloughed during the coronavirus crisis.

With the government stepping in to support businesses and employees in need financially, this will allow leaders to focus on a strategy for moving their business forward, evolving it to satisfy the new stay-at-home economy.

Address business needs fast

To support the current challenges businesses are facing, Palladium has created a digital acceleration & business resilience programme, offering 10-day accelerator packages, tailored to the immediate needs of businesses.

  • ​Stabilise:

    Identify immediate and long-term cost-saving opportunities across your portfolio’s media, marketing & technology spend to deliver quickly implementable efficiencies. Refocus digital roadmap, determine initiatives of highest importance.

  • ​Operationalise:

    Define and setup the tools and processes to quickly transition to working remotely. Setting the rules of engagement for a remote working environment to minimise BAU disruption during the periods of business interruption and set the foundations for high performing teams.

  • ​Capitalise:

    Realise the current opportunity: develop go-to-market accelerators based on the evaluation of newly emerged growth opportunities and current trends in digital demand, created by the changing needs of customers.

  • ​Recovery:

    Shape and define the industry dynamics of the future, use current disruption to plan how new service offerings can elevate the business and maximise the first movers’ advantage in the new norm. Anticipate the recovery, based on digital data signals and be ready to capture the first wave of growth.

  • Designed to offer businesses support with their digital agendas, at pace, each package is there to rapidly identify opportunities and put in place the actions to capitalise on them.

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    Find out more about our digital acceleration & business resilience programme.

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