The Challenges of Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Business World

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | The Challenges of Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Business WorldRight now, there are a lot of companies that are figuring out how they are going to respond to the pandemic moving forward. Even though it is great news that many people have already gotten vaccinated, the virus is still out there. Furthermore, the virus is continuing to mutate, creating a lot of concerns for companies that are trying to stay afloat. For this reason, a lot of people are going back to school to get extra credentials, as the cost of CFA has gotten lower. What are a few of the biggest challenges that companies are going to face moving forward? Take a look at some of the key topics below.

The Growing Role of the Digital World

One of the biggest challenges is the increasing digitization of the business world. Because a lot of people are unable to go to physical stores right now, more people are purchasing goods and services online. Companies need to do everything they can to make sure they are accessible online. It is true that some products and services are more amenable to the online world than others. At the same time, it is incumbent on the companies to be as creative as possible. The more they can open doors to the digital world, the easier time they will have generating revenue in the current environment. It will be interesting to see how companies do this moving forward.

The Challenge of Supply Chains

Another major challenge that companies are facing right now has to do with supply chain issues. In the past, a lot of companies would try to rely on a single supplier for everything. The biggest benefit of this is that companies can develop a strong relationship with a single supplier, knowing that the supplier understands exactly what they want. Now, this is not a smart move. It is important for companies to rely on a variety of suppliers to hedge their risk. What this means is that if something happens to that supplier, such as they are forced to shut down because of changing regulations and their jurisdictions, the company will still be able to rely on other suppliers to fill the gaps. This is something that businesses will have to consider moving forward.

The Growing Reliance on Work from Home

There are a lot of businesses who are wondering how they are going to contend with the current work-from-home culture. Right now, there are a lot of companies that are still unable to return to the office. Because of current virus transmission rates, along with regulations in their areas, a lot of companies still have to have their employees work from home. Even though there are a lot of benefits that come with working from home, companies also still have to make sure their team members can communicate with one another. Companies that can find a way to ensure their employees can stay on the same page will be put in the best position possible to be successful.

Address These Growing Challenges

These are just a few of the many challenges that businesses are facing right now. As the pandemic continues to be an issue, companies need to figure out how they were going to address these challenges. Business owners and leaders need to remember that this is not something they need to go through on their own. There are professionals who are willing to lend a helping hand to businesses in need. If companies can find a way to overcome these challenges, they can set themselves up for success moving forward.

2020 Analysis: Which Financial Services Sector Saw the Greatest Upsurge in Demand Due to COVID-19

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article | 2020 Analysis: Which Financial Services Sector Saw the Greatest Upsurge in Demand Due to COVID-19COVID-19 took the world by storm, inflicting people across the globe with many health concerns. Its impact was also felt in various industries and businesses, including an upsurge in financial sector demand. A study by Awaken Intelligence investigated how the financial sectors in the US and UK have been coming during the crisis.

The research can be found at and was derived from collecting Trustpilot data. They used this data to determine the demand for various financial sector services in the initial months of 2020 when the pandemic hit and the same months in 2019.

Financial Service Sector Growth in the UK and USA

The two nations have experienced an increase in demand for financial services. However, there is a significant difference between them. While the Uk saw a 175% increase, the US only saw a 47%. Despite this, both rises were sudden and unprecedented, forcing financial service providers to update their business models quickly.

In-person meetings were out of the question, and these services typically rely on them. Switching to new procedures was imperative if they were to deliver high-quality assistance to customers regardless of the pandemic. Customers flooded support centres with calls and messages, and many found it difficult to adjust to the demand.

As a result of the nature of the COVID-19 enforced changes, even the most traditional businesses had to embrace modern technology and recognise its value. With the increased availability of self-service websites and application, pressure on customer service agents was lightened. Through the use of technology tools such as voice analytics, it has minimised the average call handling time while enabling satisfactory customer service provision.

Banking & Money

Banks and other loan businesses in the UK readily offered clients a break period and holiday payments on credit cards, loans and mortgages. Banks also reduced rates on new loans in an attempt to attract customers and generate revenue. With certain branches being closed, banks would provide great emphasis on their online and mobile platforms to be used during the pandemic. Banks wanted customers to remain safe in the knowledge that they could still access a variety of services on their online platforms and still receive additional help regarding any queries that they may have.

The UK people took advantage of these offers, and the sector saw a 204% rise. Though the US experienced a 148% rise in demand, this reflects a need to borrow additional benefits did not facilitate that.

Real Estate

In March, the UK placed the conveyancing process on hold. This prevented completion form taking place and home viewings were against COVID guidelines. Surprisingly, the nation still has an 87% rise in demand for real estate services.

Due to the initial pause in the sector, there was a backlog of eager buyers and sellers. When the government reopened markets in June, demands poured on. Another factor that facilitated the rise was eradicating stamp duty by the Uk government, which is to remain until spring 2021.

The US witnessed a nominal 3% growth. Different states had their regulations guiding competitions and home viewings. Still, the main factor was that new listings became rare because property owners were unwilling to sell in a period of economic upheaval.


One of the things people cherish about the UK is the National Health Service. Unfortunately, its services were quickly stretched because of the influx of COVID-related health issues. Scheduled appointments and procedures had to be pushed back to since healthcare providers needed to prioritise coronavirus patients.

Numerous individuals were compelled to seek private healthcare to reduce the NHS’s pressure while ensuring they received the best care. This shift resulted in a 311% increase in insurance demand in the UK. In the US, a rise took place, but it was only 26%.

The hike in demand in the US was relatively low because many Americans already have health insurance and did not need to purchase any because of the pandemic. Those who do not have insurance likely lack access on account of affordability. The pandemic did not suddenly make insurance coverage affordable.

Health insurance was not the only form that witnessed growing demand; travel insurance grew in popularity. Usually, only a minority of travellers claim their insurance, but the numerous cancellation resulted in a flood of claims.

Credit & Debit Services in the UK saw a 52% rise, but they dropped by 16% in the USA. Investment and Wealth experienced a 30% rise in the US and 119% in the UK. The financial sector is currently bracing itself for another impact as a second wave hits the two states. The uncertainty of these times holds the danger of rising unemployment rates and financial struggles.

4 Ways COVID-19 Will Continue to Impact Businesses in 2021 and Beyond

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article | 4 Ways COVID-19 Will Continue to Impact Businesses in 2021 and BeyondNobody likely knew what to expect when news of the newest coronavirus began popping up in December 2019. For many people, the reality probably didn’t sink in. After all, Europe and the United States remained mostly unaffected by most recent pandemic concerns. By January 20, 2020, though, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were singing a different tune. Nearly one year later, the pandemic shows no signs of ending, and business owners and consumers alike are wondering what to expect in 2021 and beyond.

1. Financial Technology Will Be in Higher Demand

As more businesses move to virtual formats, the need for financial technology will continue to increase in 2021. The problem is that despite popular belief, many financial institutions have barely experimented in fintech and aren’t ready to take on digital financial formats on a larger and more permanent basis. However, according to an article by Donald Gayhardt, this is likely to change quickly.

Gayhardt states that Hong Kong is already increasing its use of advanced fraud detection, biometric facial recognition, and other innovative AI technologies due to the pandemic. Financial technology won’t just take hold in banks and credit unions, either. It’s becoming increasingly important for grocery stores, restaurants, and even cosmetics retailers who now offer no-contact pick-up and delivery services. When retailers do not see customers face-to-face, it becomes more important than ever to offer a variety of safe and secure virtual payment methods.

2. Survival Entrepreneurship Will Become More Prominent

Businesses that are already centered on technology have remained mostly stable during 2020, but small family businesses haven’t been so lucky. Although unemployment in the United States decreased one percentage point to 6.9% in October 2020, the rate is still nearly double what it was before COVID-19 entering the U.S. Unemployment is even higher among minorities, as well as among Millennials and Gen Z, meaning an increasing number of people are turning to starting their own businesses.

People who once worked in pet stores and veterinarians’ offices are walking dogs and feeding cats while people are out of town. Preschool teachers and teachers’ assistants have turned to online tutoring. People are turning the jobs they used to do for someone else into businesses they work for themselves. History has proven that people who venture into the business world during tougher economic times often have more willpower to stick to it and decide they’d rather not re-enter the traditional workforce. This means you can expect to see more people creating startups in 2021 and beyond.

3. Logistics Will Continue To Move Slower Than Before

All types of industries are experiencing delays in manufacturing, distribution, and shipping due to the need for social distancing. Fewer people building products, packaging them, transporting them, or selling them means fewer products on the shelf. In the entertainment industry, for example, TV production has slowed, movie release dates are being pushed back, and major video game launches have been delayed as well.

It isn’t just entertainment, either. Clothing retailers, restaurants and grocery stores, and even some pharmaceutical products have all seen delays in 2020 as well. Some people must rely on companies that move products nationally and internationally. However, restaurants and some other small businesses have found they’d rather start relying on local supply chains than on global ones. More people are contracting with nearby farmers, fiber artists, and more, creating a better local economy and strong community along the way, something that will decidedly keep occurring in 2021.

4. Social Distancing Will Continue

Whether your company works with other businesses or caters to the public, expect to continue to follow social distancing regulations as the clocks move forward to 2021. If your company relies on business meetings and brainstorming sessions, expect to continue to host them via Zoom or another online video platform. Those who own restaurants will need to continue to follow social distancing guidelines both inside and outdoors and may need to follow curfews or earlier “last call” laws if they serve alcohol. Retailers will still need to limit how many people are in a store at a time, maintain social distancing in checkout lines, and enforce mask regulations as well. Vaccination trials are happening rapidly. When one becomes available to the public, social distancing will likely start to relax. Until then, though, expect to remain six feet apart.

Just a few months ago, nobody was sure when scientists would find a vaccine. Now, experts believe one will be widely available by mid-2021. The pandemic may be raging on, but it won’t do so forever. Until then, consider what you can do to help your community fight off COVID-19. If you can afford to, cut your business hours, switch to pick-up and delivery only, or close your doors altogether. If you run an essential business or must keep operating as normal for some reason, practice good social distancing skills. Train your employees well, check in with them often, and remember, everybody is fighting this battle. The kinder you are now, the better you will feel, and the better your company will be remembered when the pandemic does end.

Strategies for Overcoming Crisis in The Hospitality Industry

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Strategies for Overcoming Crisis in The Hospitality IndustryEvery organisation is likely to face a crisis now and again. Significant problems may arise once or twice a year, with smaller issues appearing sporadically in the time in between. Predicting what a crisis will entail is impossible in many situations – but it’s how a team prepares and responds that can dictate whether and to what degree a business recovers.

The Covid-19 pandemic is one obvious example of an uncontrollable crisis affecting almost every industry in one way or another. While many wise businesses will have a crisis management strategy in place, it’s a situation few could have directly planned for.

The hospitality sector has been among the hardest hit. Unfortunately, it’s also likely to feel the situation’s impacts the longest due to ongoing social distancing rules and a consequential reduction in demand and revenue.

Sales slumped by 87% in the second quarter of 2020, and despite tentative signs of recovery, over half of small business owners in the sector fear the pandemic will force them to permanently close. The situation has forced many to pivot their approach in order to survive – but effective crisis management could allow some to emerge stronger.

Below we discuss other uncontrollable factors the hospitality industry faces, as well as the strategies businesses can implement to overcome them.

What uncontrollable factors affect the hospitality industry?

The aforementioned Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted what is perhaps the primary uncontrollable variant for the hospitality industry – flow of tourism.

Accommodation providers, food and drink establishments and other leisure facilities all rely on visitor numbers, but tourism can be fragile even in the best of times. Weather, political events, area decline and the arrival of competitors can all lead to unpredictable cashflow and a variety of other challenges from one season to the next.

Another variant looming large over the sector is Brexit. The hospitality industry is a large employer of migrant workers, but new regulations are likely to lead to problems with labour availability. It remains to be seen whether abolishing freedom of movement will also turn international tourists away.

Strategies for overcoming uncontrollable crises

Periodically reviewing plans is one important strategy for managing crisis. By building in trigger points to assess factors such as operational and market performance as well as basic financial metrics, a company can assess whether a long-term plan is still fit for purpose. In light of some of the events discussed above, this process can be vital in adjusting to new parameters to keep a company on track.

There are other practical steps that can be taken to prepare for the eventuality of a crisis. Taking out hospitality insurance with Gallagher for example can protect against damages to a commercial property or other unforeseen disruptions.

When such a situation does arise, establishing an effective solutions team allows a business to focus the right people on the task in hand. Members should have a clear understanding of their roles and ideally some of their typical responsibilities will be delegated. Electing forward-thinking individuals will help generate the most positive and proactive response.

With a crisis management team in place, wider communication is essential in keeping everyone working towards the same goal. Creating a clear ‘change story’ that all workers can understand and get behind – from front of house staff to board members – can be an important step in establishing a collective sense of urgency.

The hospitality industry is undoubtably facing a crisis right now – but with the right team and strategies in place, many will already be on the road to recovery. If you have any additional insights, please feel free to share best practices in the comments section below.

How Selling Online Can Save Businesses Post-COVID

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, How Selling Online Can Save Businesses Post-COVIDIn a post-COVID world, we’ll all be looking at buying and selling very differently. The ongoing global health crisis has really shown businesses that can pivot to new ways of working will be the businesses that survive, and those that don’t will be the businesses that fail.

We’ve all seen the news stories, and we’re all concerned about the impending financial crisis that is likely to hit the country, so what can we do to mitigate the fallout?

The secret to success will be to move business as online as possible, and if you sell products, then selling online will be vital to ensuring that you can weather the storm that is coming.

When brands don’t sell online, it can cost them millions. Take British clothes retailer Primark; for example, due to having no online selling presence, they lost approximately £284 million. In contrast, the British public was unable to visit the store during the lockdown. Still, interestingly, Primark’s complete avoidance of the online marketplace has left a gap that others will happily fill.

Primark clothing soon turned up on Amazon through resellers and at a premium too!

Fill the Gap

As an entrepreneur, you can only look at that story with dark amusement, but you must also see the benefit here, you can sell almost anything on Amazon and use it to turn a profit, but how exactly can you do this?

The best way to get into selling on Amazon is to use a professional Amazon marketing agency like Nuanced Media. Trying to navigate the Amazon seller sphere all on your own will be time-consuming, confusing. It will probably lead to you not achieving your goal of financial freedom and possibly financial independence with an Amazon store.

Starting Your Financial Freedom Journey

Marketing agencies like Nuanced0020Media understand how the platform works -for buyers and for sellers- and they will guide you through the process of creating your account, setting up your store and what to sell, and how much for.

Do you want to sell your own branded products (Private Label), or are you happy to find products you love at wholesale prices and sell them on for retail prices? The latter is probably the most popular option on Amazon, especially for businesses looking to get into online selling, and allows buyers to buy products they know and love, but pay you instead of another one of the bigger online sellers! Designing Your Digital Products Platform Online Training Program

Gaining financial freedom from your job or work can be really empowering, and for companies that are concerned about taking the hit for the Coronavirus outbreak, pivoting the business model of selling online can be an absolute career saver for many small businesses.

It’s easy to get set up on Amazon, and you’ll be backed by their customer help team who are fantastic. One of the biggest bonuses of using the Amazon platform is that it’s so widely used by shoppers all over the world, so you could be connecting to anyone from anywhere!

About the Author

Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of NuancedMedia, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed and Modern Retail. To connect with Ryan, check out @Ryanflannagan on Twitter or via Linkedin.