How to future-prepare your business in times of crisis Stellenbosch Business School Skip to main content
How to future-prepare your business in times of crisis
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing drastic change upon the global business landscape

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing drastic change upon the global business landscape, the ability to navigate uncertainty is now a necessity. We need to make sure that our businesses not only survive these uncertain times, but that they thrive when this period is over. You may even want to find a way to make your business better off than if the pandemic had never occurred in the first place.

Here are a few ways you can future-prepare your business in a time of crisis.


Find opportunity within the chaos

Whenever the goalposts shift, you are provided with a different perspective and a new set of options. This is an opportunity to adapt. A sure way to ensure resilience in the future is to innovate your business model to better fit the current reality.

Livestream your consultations with clients. Attend a host of online workshops to improve business. Take your experiential offer to the virtual stage, or make the move to a subscription-based business model. Exploring alternatives to your existing processes such as these can help you discover paths to greater business rewards – even in a time of crisis.

No matter what business you are in, the need for what you have to offer is still there, and you have to find a way to take your business online and work remotely… you might find yourself reaching an even wider customer base than you imagine.
[Source: Calcalistech – ‘No Time Like the Present to Future Proof Your Business’]

Don’t change what is working

While you may find a multitude of ways to improve your business, you don’t want to lose what is still running smoothly, especially during times of crisis. According to Rachel Massey, Director of Marketing at Huthwaite International as she writes for Prolific North, now isn’t the time to make any drastic changes to your business as the future is too unpredictable. Instead, we should rather focus on a proven sales methodology and stick to tactics that are known to work.

This approach should also provide a sense of stability among your employees, some of whom may be overwhelmed by the drastic changes in workflow caused by the crisis.

Maintain your business relationships

The Forbes Business Development Council stresses the importance of people within the business when it comes to preparing for the future. This goes for employees, customers and stakeholders alike. In fact, companies that actively address empowering their employees in their individual careers have a competitive advantage. Even engaging and negotiating with your suppliers can have a positive effect on your prosperity going forward.

All businesses are concerned about their capital right now, but your first priority should be people — if you put people first, revenue opportunities will follow.
[Source: The Forbes Business Council – ‘How Can You Future-Proof Your Business In The Face Of Economic Uncertainty?]

Increase your agility

Being able to collaborate and communicate remotely with your team has now become a requirement in the new normal. According to Forbes, Facebook plans to have at least half its 50,000 employees working from home by 2030. A survey by Microsoft has found that those companies that ensure employees are making extensive use of the right collaboration tools are twice as likely to work better as a team compared to those with no such platforms.

Keep learning

Nothing can prepare you better for the future of business as your own efforts towards upskilling, adapting and learning. Acquiring transferable skills such as leadership, communication and futures thinking are core competencies in the jobs of today and going forward. If you are interested in equipping yourself to take on the future and navigating the uncertainty of the modern day, you should consider a qualification in futures studies.

The University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) offers a cluster of Futures Studies programmes – a Postgraduate DiplomaMPhil and PhD – each designed to guide you towards creating a desired future, and each offered via USB’s flexible Blended Learning format. These are the only Futures Studies programmes presented in Africa, and some of the only ones in the world. Discover this programme cluster and apply for your Futures Studies programme today.

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