2020 has been an incredibly confronting year in so many ways. It has challenged every one of us, physically, mentally and financially. It’s a year we’re unlikely to forget any time soon!
But with adversity comes learning and growth. Undeniably, this pandemic (along with other crises and global events this year) has thrown us in the deep end, taught us to adapt, and forced us to learn lesson after lesson about succeeding in business, and in life, and moving forward.
So to close the book on 2020, today we’re delving into some of the biggest lessons Covid has taught us.
- Save some money for a rainy day.
Who could ever have predicted a pandemic would have us all staying in our homes for weeks on end? Many of us were unable to work as normal, or experienced serious changes to our businesses. People stopped spending on “non-essential” products and services, significantly affecting our ability to earn a regular income.
It was a serious financial hit, that’s for sure.
But it’s a learning in itself: always have some money saved in case an unexpected, unprecedented event should occur. The truth is, you never know what’s around the corner. We’ve now seen the entire world can change in a matter of days. So if you don’t have a safety net behind you, you can fall really hard as a result of the financial consequences.
It doesn’t have to be an enormous sum of money, but always aim to have enough money to first and foremost survive, should you be unable to rely on your normal income, and secondly to cover your business expenses without having to shut up shop permanently, if anything should ever happen. You want to feel safe and secure in the knowledge that you can make do for a little while if things don’t go to plan.
- Be prepared to adapt or fail.
We’ve seen so many businesses fail and close down for good throughout the past 12 months. But we’ve also seen many thrive, reaching newfound success, and experiencing unprecedented demand.
The difference between many of the failures and the success stories? A lot of the time, the people and businesses who were prepared to adapt were the ones that emerged on the other side, stronger than ever.
During the pandemic, life quickly transitioned online. The internet became our new “normality”, we shopped online, socialised online, even did workouts online. For some businesses, adapting to the new virtual reality wasn’t something that was possible or natural. They resisted the changing times, the sudden pressure to adapt or fail. And so fail they did.
But others found new, innovative ways to embrace the changes in society, giving their customers support in a time when they needed it most. These were the ones that saw immense success, and reaped the rewards of their adaptability.
It really is like survival of the fittest. Adapt, or fail.
- Be flexible and meet the changing needs of your customers.
As we’ve seen this year, the needs of customers and clients change constantly. You start to feel like you’re keeping up, starting to understand what your audience wants, only to realise it’s a constant cycle of change, and you can never really get ahead of the game.
And that’s okay. But you must be aware of it, and never stop trying to meet the changing demands of your customers.
Being flexible is critical to the success of businesses. Taking the time to understand your customers, and their emotional, physical and support needs is critical in order to be able to create messaging, services and products that people will actually want.
During the pandemic, people felt isolated, lonely, lost. The businesses that thrived took the time to understand this sentiment, and to come up with innovative solutions to connect people, and to connect to their customers. They delivered new products to bring comfort, normality and a smile to the lives of their clients.
Basically, they cared.
Being flexible enough to constantly pivot, as often as is required, to meet the changing needs of customers in response to whatever may be happening in the world, or even in the lives of individuals, sets you up for success. Your customers should be your everything. Never lose sight of that.
- Remember it will pass.
Though it still feels like we have a long way to go to fully emerge from this pandemic, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve survived. We got through, no matter how challenging or overwhelming it seemed at the time.
So remember, even in the darkest moments, everything passes. Every emotion is temporary, every challenge has a solution. Stay strong, ask for support, and lean on those around you who are, likely, feeling the same way!
Australia was so successful at controlling Covid compared to other countries because of our resilience, and our willingness to work together. Asking for help, talking it out, and sitting in your distress are all part of the process. Just know that there is no good without bad, and you can do it.
After all, you survived 2020. You can do anything!