It’s sad that it had to take something as disruptive as the COVID-19 pandemic to make businesses realise just how prepared or unprepared they were for something as unexpected and damaging as this.
For some businesses it was as simple as temporarily closing down their brick and mortar retail operations and switching to a 100% online sales operation for the duration of the pandemic.
For other businesses it has not been quite as simple.
Take the case of Fitness Playground a Sydney based company that operates 5 amazing ‘fitness playgrounds or gyms (in old-school language) with 15,000 members and 200+ staff - including many personal trainers for all kind of fitness classes and activities. Within a week they were forced to close down all of their gyms by the government and all weekly payments from customers were suspended. What a nightmare. However, instead of firing most of the staff and going into hibernation they decided it was time to switch to a whole new way of engaging with their customers online. They seized the moment and within a week were able to shoot 180 videos, build a platform and launch a new business called ‘Virtual Playground’. Virtual Playground is now offering a weekly subscription service where their existing customers and new customers can join as many of the 180 video classes as they like for less than $10/week. This was a way to retain their existing customers and their existing staff but transfer the playground from a physical playground to the online world using Zoom and Instagram live. Good Job!
Some SME businesses however may have found themselves in a bit of a pickle as their business model - their software, systems and processes – may be ‘old-school’ and not able to easily adapt to a totally different business environment.
Whereas those SME businesses that have a ‘new-school’ business model – with cloud based software that speaks to each other and integrates with a customised CRM (Customer relationship management) system – have been able to pivot their operations and service delivery to a work from home model with minimal loss of efficiency.
This is just one advantage of operating from a new-school ‘digital-ready’ operating model.
There are other important advantages of ‘new-school’ versus ‘old-school’.
We all operate in two worlds these days – the ‘old-school’ physical world and the ‘new-school’ digital world. With the limitations on our interaction with the physical world caused by the COVID-19 pandemic this has highlighted the importance of how we interact as individuals and businesses in the multi-faceted and hyper-competitive digital world.
‘New-school’ businesses operate in an optimal state of ‘digital readiness’ which means they are ‘digital-ready’ to deliver a superior customer experience than their competitors.
It’s as simple as that. BY being ‘digital-ready’ new-school businesses of all sizes are able to use available technologies to adapt and optimise their business systems and processes to deliver a better customer experience – while generating greater operating efficiencies, lower costs, higher revenues and a greater ROI on their digital marketing investment.
So if you’d like to make sure you don’t stay stuck with an ‘old-school’ business model in our ‘new-school’ digital world, why not take the opportunity to find out how ‘digital-ready’ your business is?
Plus that just got a whole lot easier. INBODA is now offering SME’s a FREE Digital Readiness Assessment - See if you qualify.