The most startling thing about the outbreak of COVID-19 is probably the swiftness with which Australian businesses went from BAU to ‘nothing will be the same again’.
And if that sounds like hyperbole, we already know that so many industries and sectors have been knocked flat on their backs in one fell swoop – tourism, transportation, hospitality, entertainment… just to name a few. The ripple effects are hard to fathom as hundreds of thousands of people are suddenly finding themselves with severely decreased incomes or even no incomes at all and unable to pay their rent or mortgage, never mind having discretionary spend to allocate elsewhere.
While the term ‘unprecedented event’ seems to be a popular one right now, we need to remember that this isn’t completely accurate. The impacts of the virus are certainly unprecedented for many of us living in the privileged section of the global community who are under the age of 80 or so and cannot remember World War II, let alone the Depression. And that’s just in historical terms. At this very moment, there are, of course, the millions in the third world, the developing world and parts of the globe stricken by war or famine. What we are now experiencing hasn’t even begun to approach the hardships that are all too familiar to them. So far…
But amid all of this uncertainty and fear, there are lessons from the past we can learn. The first is that ‘this too will pass’. It will, because it always does. It may be a very different world in the future, and recovery may be a while off, but it will come and key to this is resilience and preparation.
The businesses that can knuckle down, ride out the storm and come out the other side will need every ounce of fortitude, ingenuity and creativity. They will also need to become the custodians of their own story, their own journey and their own survival.
Now, more than ever, they will need to be able to stand out from the pack and make sure their story is heard.
Content has always been important; now it is going to be vital.
When the world gets off its knees and starts to stagger back to something even resembling normality, every organisation that looks to recover with it will need to ensure its name, products or services and ethos are top of mind. How do you do that when so many thousands of organisations are in the same boat, all waving madly from the portholes, if that isn’t too tortured a metaphor?
The fact remains that boat or no boat, similar situation or not, each of those individuals and organisations is unique. You and your business are not quite like any other. You have your own story, your own way of doing things and your own sets of beliefs, values and offerings.
To survive and even thrive it’s imperative that you distil that story and get used to telling it, nay shouting it as loudly as you can. Let the world know you’re still here, you still have so much to contribute and a business that is as strong and resilient as it can be. The future depends on it.