Social entrepreneur and author of the book 'Doing Business in India', Jamie Cid, feels that the pandemic has changed the way we do things and is pushing us all to be creative, and think outside the box, especially for business owners and entrepreneurs.
In her book, Cid, who is also a business consultant, explains the intricacies and complexities of doing business in India to help inspire entrepreneurs and business owners who may find it overwhelming, confusing and even intimidating to set up shop in the vast country. She discusses topics like culture, market opportunities, finance, legal, and business wisdom.
"The biggest lesson has been the value of digital business models and marketing. With brick-and-mortar shops closed, customers are purchasing their products on-line from e-commerce platforms. The importance of making your product available online and staying connected to your customer is essential. Business owners need to learn, if they haven't already, how to leverage these online marketplaces to expand their business, predominately to stay in-business. While this was crucial before COVID-19, the pandemic has now accelerated the need to adopt digital business models, not just in India, but globally too," Cid told IANSlife in an email interview.
Covid-19 has greatly impacted small businesses as many business owners were forced to shut down in order to comply with the implemented government safety measures as a result of the lockdown. Businesses that remained open, however, used the pandemic as an opportunity to reinvent their business models, creating products that were in high-demand like face masks and shields, or hand sanitizer and soap, for example.
The need to change is greater than ever, and if businesses hope to remain profitable, they will need to adapt as our environment and technology changes, she notes.
What does she think has been the psychological impact on budding/small entrepreneurs? "While the pandemic has triggered negative emotions, I feel strongly that we will see an emergence of entrepreneurs, as well as better working environments. The pandemic has made us all more empathetic and compassionate to one another, which again can impact the types of products and services companies create and provide in the future."
The author and business consultant lists some strategies can they employ to bounce back stronger:
Don't worry about failure, just do it!
Communicate with your teams: even though we are all working remotely, it's important to check-in with your team in order to build strong bonds for overall health and productivity of your employees.
Think about the problem you're trying to solve, and what you think it will look like in 10 years.
SPRINT: The concept of 'sprint' is to work, review and test an idea or product in a specific amount of time from start to finish. This is a great model for testing new ideas and to get feedback from colleagues and customers.
Ayurveda and yoga: India is known for practising both of these disciplines because of the connection between mind and body, and how it helps to create optimal wellbeing. The healthier you are, the easier it is to get things done efficiently and successfully.
Networking: Expand your network and seek out communities and people who can mentor, inspire, or help you launch or expand your business.
Happiness: We all know that happiness isn't about how much money or power we have. And while those may help your business succeed, it is equally, if not more, important to be happy in the work we produce. When we are happy and believe in what we do, there's a higher chance that we, and/or our business, will be successful.
Create small goals: One strategy that has worked great for me and other entrepreneurs I know, is to achieve little goals while working towards the big one. Take your goals and break them down into actionable items. As you perform these tasks, you will get closer to achieving the larger goal. Small wins will help you stay focused and motivated.
It's been a very confusing, yet exciting, time for business. While it's been chaotic to adapt to the 'new normal', it has also been innovative and creative all at once, she signs off.