I virus-proofed my business - should I have bothered?
When COVID-19 first hit and lockdown forced the population into their homes, I thought my business was "virus" proof. I was wrong.
You see, over the years, I've been adopting Cloud technologies and onboarding apps that would improve productivity, allow my teams to collaborate virtually and business was effectively run on the Cloud.
We no longer needed a physical office as we could communicate virtually without borders. Meetings could be conducted on Zoom and webinar.
Accounting went digital, so all invoices were sent through an app with options to be paid directly through credit card through Stripe or by Paypal. Even QR codes sent to my client would allow them to pay direct to my account from their corporate account by phone.
But it seems a lot of businesses out there just haven't got the message.
So when lockdown happened, it didn't change my daily life. Yes, I was worried for my family, hoping no one caught the coronavirus. But business wise, I was feeling pretty confident. Nothing would change for me. I could work from home as normal. I could convert enquiries online into paying projects as normal, I could instruct my virtual team as normal. Life would be per normal.
Only it wasn't. Although I had digitised my business to be COVID-19-proof, many, many businesses have not. When the lockdown hit, they struggled to operate with staff working from home. Their processes didn't work online. They ground to a halt.
So even though my business could run OK in the new "normal", enquiries slowed. And worse, those who needed to settle their bills with me advised that until their offices reopened, they weren't able to process my digital invoices. So not only are incoming projects reduced, I can't get paid for the projects already completed. Not too much of an issue for a short 2 weeks. But as the lockdown continues and July is looking more a possibility for the economy to regroup, it's become a problem.
We operate in an eco-system. So when the majority of players, mostly the big boys, can't keep up, prove not to be agile, those that had the foresight to adapt are pulled down.
So, I ask, why did I bother digitising my business?
At least looking on the bright side, when we are freed from our home prisons, my business is in a position to bounce back faster than most. And in the interim period, I'm building for even greater digitisation and I'll be first off the starting block.