Around this time of year, Canadian businesses celebrate entrepreneurship and begin preparation for the year ahead. This year, it’s a bit different.
As the pandemic continues to affect the global economy, it has created a new reality for businesses. With shifting consumer attitudes, Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs continue to navigate the “new world” while facing challenges along the way.
Technology has become an integral part of connection for both everyday work and personal life. Our new normal currently consists of 250 employees in two countries, across four offices working remotely for the first time in our company’s history. As we’re no longer connected in-person, we recognize that our people, more than ever, require more connection and acknowledgment – even if it’s over the phone or Zoom. As we continue to navigate our way effectively through the crisis, we still look for new ways to establish, connect, and empower our team in any way we can. Everything from weekly addresses led by senior leadership to fun virtual events such as a meditation or yoga session to kick-start a great day.
How we consume and do business is continuously and rapidly changing. Currently, consumers depend on tech to shop, work, learn, and stay connected amid the pandemic. As a result, businesses need to be accessible – this means having a digital presence and offering fintech solutions to remain competitive.
Industries need to be on the lookout for new opportunities and ready to seize them – we’ve seen a surge in the home improvement sector amid the pandemic, signalling the demand is there. This has led to e-commerce, POS financing, and virtual showrooms taking off rapidly to accommodate urgent grudge jobs to aspirational projects to cater to the new way of life.
Planning for 2021 and beyond
The unprecedented health crisis stemmed from a concern for the future’s uncertainty. It was prodigious and came without a playbook for executive teams; businesses had to adapt and make one of their own to follow. Although we’re not certain of definite timing for a return to “business as usual,” one thing is certain, there will absolutely be one. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and, as this summer’s brief respite showed, a flood of economic activity. It’s a great opportunity and time to reassess the business model, implement change, and accelerate growth plans. The important question is when and what will the roll-out plan be?
“Accelerating Out of the Curve” will be a prudent exercise for Canadian businesses and how they will continue to protect their people and lay out the groundwork to accelerate out of the curve. At the moment, we realize that the curve is heading upwards; this exercise will be critical for business management but to inspire teams to focus on positive outcomes, self-care, and better days.
Michael Garrity is the CEO and Founder of Financeit.