Market Place Forecast : Changes coming to the Market Place during and Post Covid 19.
As the world continues to wrestle with Covid 19, we are seeing many countries starting to loosen restrictions. Australia, Austria etc are some of the top countries who have Covid 19 under control for the time being. In saying that, I personally love how Australia has been taking a cautious approach, step by step. Better to be safe than sorry. Of course, New Zealand has just succcessfully won the war over Covid 19, with recent headlines of it being declared that it now has zero known Covid 19 cases. In saying that, its well known that Covid 19 behaves in its own way, and things can change anytime, some countries had had to deal with a 2nd wave of ther virus that saw them wind back some of the restrictions that they had lifted. Back to square one, kind of situation. These are volatile and uncertain times. With the recent Black Lives protests that have taken place in multiple countries over the last week or so, medical professionals in those relevant countries are on alert. As out breaks can break out any second. Of course, internet streets are already indicating that with many of the areas where protests took place, there has been an increase in the number of cases. Of course, we wait for official statements from the relevant authorities.
While the battle rages on, till a vaccine is found, there are changes happening in the market place. These changes will continue to happen till a vaccine is found, and even if it is found, the world will never be the same again! Many people are now feeling frustrated and ‘’Covid fatigued’’, mainly because there is no end date. That uncertainity, its playing havoc with many people and its understandable. Its one thing to be told, you are entering a battle, and by December it will be over. Its also another totally different ball game to be told that, you are entering a battle, and we dont know when it will end. In saying that, I must highlight that, Former President George Bush began the conversations around virus preparedness back in 2005, after reading a book on the subject.
President Obama also took the conversation further as recent as in 2016. So that means, prophetic warnings were rumbling, but maybe the world wasnt ready to receive them. Either way, this is something we have to navigate as a people. We have to be willing to learn from countries that have won the war in terms of best practise and all the other good stuff. In saying that, here are a few changes that I see happening as the world looks post Covid 19.
Working From Home.
This is no longer so much a ‘thing’, and many people are now missing the office. In the beginning it was kinda of exciting as the novelty of not having to get the early morning commute kicked in. However, for many people, they had to work from home, whilst kids are at home too due to the holidays or as a new measure introduced in schools for kids to learn at home. Having said that, many employers will continue to favour working from home after tapping into the benefits. Many people have found that they are more productive, less distractions etc. No more chit chatting around the water cooler or casual ‘’checking ins’’. One of the issues that was raised in one of the threads i was following recently was the issue around contacting someone. When everyone is working from home, contacting someone would be for a solid reason, whereas in the office, someone would just pass by the desk and a casual comment about something can lead to a much more fuller conversation. In saying that, many companies already had people working from home for a few days before Covid 19 happened. One of the Telcos I once worked for, gave us a day every fortnight to work from home. It had to be between monday and thursday and not a friday. Of course, this differs from company to company. Some companies had a few days per fortnight duriing this Pre Covid 19 period. However working from home has become mainstream now. I expect that once restrictions are fully lifted, in the first few weeks people will be eager to connect with their fellow work mates and will work from the offices. However, as time goes, some will find a good balance in terms of how many days they would prefer per week to work from home. That issue around flexibility will pop in and it will be something that companies will negotiate with their employees etc. Work flexibility will now include how many days allowed to work from home etc. For many people over the years, it just revolved around work times. I mean for instance, some people will opt to work from 10ish to about 6ish, and others preferred the 8am rush. In the event that someone has a major commitment, many employers would want someone to make up for the time, ahead of the date required, others would prefer to work the extra hours after the day, rather than take that as a day off. Its all about negotiation, this time around, negotiations will now include, not only the hours but also location, working from home, when and working from the office, when as well! Of course, already we are talking about sanitisers, social distancing etc this was never part of the conversation just 4/5 months ago. As the world shifts, i expect other changes to come in as the world adjust to live in a new reality.
Supply Chains (Local is the new black)
In my earlier Facebook Live that I did way back in January, I spoke about how the battle for supremacy between China and the United States was going to continue. Of course Covid 19, has really unveiled how much dependency there is on China by many countries. I have been talking about China’s dominance in Africa for many years now. The deal is China has been offering many sophisticated loans to african countries and then when they fail to pay, it seizes assets from National Airports to National Television stations etc
In saying that, one of the things that has been unveiled is how over dependency on China has left many countries vulnerable. So we have seen right here in Australia, Scott Morrison, starting to use words like, ‘ A Self Sufficient Economy”. Of course in an ideal situation, it means we produce all that we need locally, rather than import. Of course, as industries adjust etc, this means in simple terms, we only need to import when we need to, this means there is obviously a drive to reinvogorate the manufacturing sector. A strong manufacturing base, means we produce what we need mostly on our own. Not only that but we have seen companies pivot with government support. Companies adapting their manufacturing assets and starting to manufacture those badly needed goods such as PPE etc. Across the oceans, we know Donald Trump, has been talking about the same thing for years now. This year, it has been more pronounced. The vulnerability of countries and industries at the peak of the Corona virus, has meant that companies and industries chiefs, have had to take a step back and say, ‘’how can we prevent this’’ or at the very least, ‘’minimise’’ the risk. Of course, supply chains were interrupted big time especially in the first 4–6 week of the out break. Some people had no idea of what was happening till there was an interruption, thats when they realised there is actually a problem. This is interesting, as some people still think that Covid 19 is not real, despite over whelming evidence, we have seen over 110000 people across the U.S die, and over 50 000 across the U.K etc and the list keeps growing. some people still dont believe. We know that in Australia, that if a 2nd wave of the virus comes, its going to cost the country $25 Billion,no matter where you stand, it doesnt get more real than that. Businesses closed, the stock market across the U.S was a blood bath on Thursday 11th of June as new fears for 2nd wave took effect and this saw Australia’s stocks taking a hit around the same trading time.
So we have seen states such as Queensland etc calling out manufacturing in specific areas to come and be a contributor towards the supply chain. If we can make it here, why import it from China or whereever else? I’m pretty sure many countries are taking this seriously and will commit resources to ensure that, if for any reason anything similar to this happens in the future, they wont be badly exposed. Some areas of trade, have to be looked into through the lense of national security as well. So, its a season to learn, evolve and adjust and ‘future proof’’ not only industries but economies.
This is one of those things that has really been pronounced lately, as many people start looking at ways to empower themselves financially in the wake of redundancies and shut downs. When it comes to entepreneurship, one thing I have to say is that this path is not for everyone. Its for the risk takers, so your risk tolerance is something that one has to consider. If by nature you are risk averse, then this may not be the path for you.
One of the things that hold many people back is the lack of capital. Many franchises in Australia for example, will set you back anything from 6 figures to 7 figures. Having said that, in Unleash the Book Within I look at the new minimal costs opportunities currrently prevailing as well as other nuances in terms of taking advantage of the Digital Revolution
One of the things that we are seeing now is the drive towards online presence. Many businesses in the last few months managed to pivot due to Covid 19, and took their online presence seriously than before and are now profitable than ever. You will be shocked that there are many businesses that still dont have a solid presence on Social Media. You would think that in 2020, all businessness are on Social Media, but actually, not the case. In saying that, moving forwards, we are not only going to seee many businesses move towards online presence, but we are also going to see many Digital Entepreneurs come in the arena. We have seen the valuation of Zoom, go through the roof in the last coupla months due to the fact that it has become a tool of choice, from pastors, business people, corporates etc. Whilst there are many platforms out there in this space, its just a sign that the days of Live Seminars are not coming back any time soon. Just the other day, another business person I know in the 7 figure range sent an email doing a flash sale, selling all his physical cds etc as they are basically taking everything online and wont be distributing physical cds etc. Rather than ship out trainings in physical format etc, all is going to be online, most likely on platforms such Katra, Kajabi etc.
This is the reality that is out there. The world has changed and is changing, a new decade that we never saw coming. Covid 19, has proved to be a game changer, we are still in the month of June, however for many people it feels like its been a few years already. No judgement, you have a right to feel the way you feel at present, and its okay. Its been eventful.
On that note, these are some of the changes that i wanted to share with you as the year progresses. Always remember, you have an Uncommon Destiny!
Recommended Reading : Unleash the Book Within on Kindle
Wisdom V Mupudzi, is an Award Winning Author, Book Coach and Digital Publisher, who helps Leaders and Entepreneurs, accentuate their voice in the market place. ( Feel Free to connect via twitter using @WisdomVhikai )