You will need: Patience, planning, communication, resiliency, and resourcefulness.
Covid-19 has turned the world on its head. With over 48 million cases worldwide, well over a million deaths, and Canada reaching an unemployment rate of 11.2% — the impacts have been severe.
Despite the current state, it’s important to continue being resilient and striving for success. Preparing for the unexpected and building resiliency will not only facilitate your startup’s survival now but will also ensure longevity moving forward.
There are many difficulties you will face while running a business during this unprecedented time. Let’s take a look at three of those key challenges and how you can approach them as a business leader.
Slow Economic Recovery
Every industry and sector of the economy has been deeply affected by the pandemic. It is reported that for the American automotive industry profits will fall by over $100 billion. Another example of slow economic recovery will be in the tourism sector with current reports stating that travel has decreased between 58% and 78%.
When the economy is so deeply damaged, it takes time for things to return to their previous state. Beyond that, with the vaccine still in development and the second wave of cases taking root in Canada, more setbacks are expected.
How to Overcome
You will need: Patience, planning, resiliency, and resourcefulness.
Canada has a vast amount of programs and plans available to assist Canadians and Canadian businesses during these difficult times. New programs are being added regularly, so even if you’ve checked this resource before, there may be something new that could help.
Outside of these recovery plans and programs, it’s recommended to be thorough in performing risk assessments for upcoming or ongoing plans. Preparation in risk or crisis planning is key. Be willing to make adjustments, be flexible, and put projects on hold if need be.
Division of Economy + Changing Labour Market
When the pandemic was first announced in March, almost all unessential jobs were suspended or terminated. Nearly 2 million jobs were lost in Canada by the second month of the pandemic. Now, eight months later, some workers have been able to return to a more stable routine while many others haven’t. Over this period of crisis, those who were already facing economic challenges are even further disadvantaged.
This impact on the workforce has also disproportionately and negatively affected women. Their unemployment rate is significantly higher than their male counterparts, and are further exacerbated by the disproportionate division of household tasks.
How to Overcome
You will need: Patience, planning, and communication.
The best way to facilitate the recovery of the labour market is to adhere to as many guidelines as possible for keeping your employees safe. By minimizing job losses, you’ll be better equipped as the economy begins to recuperate. It’s important to only consider lay-offs if there is no other option for your business and put crisis planning in place. Having plans to fall back on for potential crises or economical shifts.
Additionally, consider hiring those looking to join your industry with a fresh start, as many are looking to re-skill and try their hand in a new sector. It’s important to note that we don’t always consider the valuable skills that can come from seemingly unrelated industries, like soft-skills and out-of-the-box thinking.
Authentic Inclusivity + Work Community
With businesses focusing on crisis management and the overall preservation of their bottom line, many diversity and inclusivity programs have become less of a priority. These programs tend to require an investment in time for research and strategy implementation — which is a finite resource when companies are in survival mode.
Before the pandemic, many great strides were being made concerning gender and racial equality. While that still stands today, many believe that on an institutional level, there is a lack of commitment and that itself may chip away at the progress made.
How to Overcome
You will need: Communication, resiliency, and resourcefulness.
Don’t allow your diversity and inclusivity initiatives to lose momentum or authenticity. Take this period of abnormality to integrate a welcoming and accepting workplace culture into the foundations of your business. Do everything possible to establish and incorporate these into your business’s core values and daily practice.
Finally, take time to understand the challenges minority groups are facing and what barriers are present. This will need communication, active listening, patience, and a willingness to be uncomfortable. This will allow you to properly address concerns, discuss potential avenues for resolution, and ensure that voices are heard before taking action.
Read our guest-written article, Women and Entrepreneurship: The Impacts and Challenges for more.
Many challenges can put your startup’s survival at risk. The pandemic has brought out a unique combination of obstacles to overcome for your business to succeed.
To see longevity, we recommend following government guidelines, conducting thorough research to tailor strategies to the current climate, make the most out of available aid programs, and prioritize your workplace culture and team. Your business will be far more likely to work through this global pandemic and the repercussive effects.
What has been the biggest challenge your business has overcome this year? Let us know in the comments!