The Covid-19 pandemic has so many ugly faces. Globally people are dying, schools are closed, jobs are lost and markets are plummeting and all those are followed closely by other consequences.
Nevertheless, there are upsides as well. In my community we say when the house burns, warm yourself with the fire. Always look for the bright side of any situation. It is said that when life gives you lemons make lemonade.
This is not to say we see calamities as opportunities, rather we should look for opportunities that exist in any calamity. As Napoleon Hill said, every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
Looking at it critically, all has not gone down to the drain with Covid-19. There are opportunities and lessons for most people affected by the crisis- and all of us are. If these opportunities are harness, they will lead to a better and more prosperous post Covid-19 period. People will look at it differently depending on where they are standing and what part of the ‘elephant’ they can see or touch.
Some will see more time with the family and loved ones as a benefit; environmentalist see a better and cleaner world; political activists will see a situation where politicians and policy makers will make institutions better for ‘us’ not for ‘them’. Employees who boasted of permanent and pensionable jobs will re-evaluate their mentality and so on.
The fact that our day to day life has been disrupted provides an opportunity to reflect on things and reconsider what we value and do, how we do it and options available.
Things that we took for granted like saving for a rainy day will become a priority in a post Covid-19 era and result in a better society.
Most business will realise they don’t need physical office as employees can deliver from home and save cost. Employee now know how employers can treat them in their hour of need.
The adjustments we make during this pandemic such as working from home, reducing employees, institution efficiency measures to cutting cost to bare minimum may continue after the pandemic and lead to faster recovery and better returns on investment.
The adoption of technology to reach out to customers and transact business, conduct meetings and work from anywhere is a game changer. It will tremendously save cost and boost all firms.
The pandemic has as it had been predicted by experts and can be visibly seen by anyone with eyes brought down many businesses. It has already been confirmed that many businesses have closed permanently and owners sought other means of livelihood.
However, we should not lose focus that the same pandemic is providing so many business opportunities. It has changed lifestyles and this creates numerous opportunities for new entrants into the business arena. Most people who have lost jobs may find better opportunities in the new order. Some of them will start their own businesses as consultants, distributors, middlemen or some other areas and leverage on technology to compete with others effectively.
Mr Kiunga is a business trainer and the author of The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market.[email protected].