Business leaders around the world are trying to cope with the aftermath of Covid 19. The pandemic has forced many businesses to shut out their premises and relocate staff to their residences. Many companies had to lay off most of their employees and worked only to survive. Overall, companies are experimenting with grappling with the new working norms to stay afloat in the declining economic situation around the world.
Research (O’Sullivan D, Rahamathulla M, Pawar M. The Impact and Implications of COVID-19: An Australian Perspective. The International Journal of Community and Social Development. 2020;2(2):134-151) reveals that Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most successful so far. The timely measures of physical distancing, political stability, high testing rates, geographic isolation, and national wealth are significant factors that saved the Australian business realm from severe downfall compared to other countries. However, the COVID-19 situation was something in the last two years that did not spare any entity on the face of Earth. Likewise, every business was affected in either a good or bad way, even in Australia. The article sheds light on some most affected business sectors of Australia that changed their norms to survive the COVID-19 situation.
The Australian SMEs
SME (Small and medium enterprises) are the backbone of the Australian economy. It was essential for these enterprises to recover from the dilemma of the situation by aligning their strategies with the changed business norms. The ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) survey reflects that 38% of Australian businesses have revised their business models to alter product and services delivery. Most companies shifted to online services. 10% of the companies introduced new products to pique customers’ interest.
Non-R&D innovation by many companies proved to be a saviour for the SME sector in Australia. ISA
(Innovation and Science Australia) reported that the SMEs that invested in non-R&D innovation, mainly technology, grew their revenue to 3.5percentage points comparatively quicker than those who did not invest in such adoption. Moreover, small business owners who adopted software applications, at least one in departments such as Human resources, finance, marketing, and sales, enhanced their employment growth by 2.2 percentage points faster than others. Moreover, the Australian government also supported small and medium enterprises in this recovery phase.
The big players of the Australian corporate world
Australian industries and the corporate world proved their resilience and agility in the pandemic. Still, several sectors had to go through challenges and uncertainties due to the shocks in demand and supply. Although larger businesses faired better against the operational impact of COVID-19, their revenue still received a significant surprise. For example, 52% of large organizations reported a reduced turnover against operational impact, compared to 66% of small enterprises. So, the significant effect was due to the volatility in customers’ demand and supply.
In this scenario, it was important for the big players of the industries to regain control over the virus. Without confident businesses and consumers, it was virtually impossible to move forward towards profitability. In June 2020, 66% of the companies reported a significant decrease in revenue compared to last year. The education and training sector claimed the lowest decline in revenue, 87%, in June 2020. Accommodation and food services followed with an 84% decrease. Information, telecommunication, and media faced an 80% decline in their income. Contrarily, other large industries like construction, manufacturing, and mining faced lower adverse impacts with 45%, 43%, and 37% reduction in revenue, respectively. In this scenario, even the big organizations changed their tracks towards working in the new pandemic situation. BCEC (Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre) research assessed that large businesses enabled flexible operating systems for employees more efficiently with internet activities.
Covid-19 and the resulting situations of social distancing and lockdowns have entirely changed the world’s business landscape. However, where the pandemic has hit the brick-and-mortar businesses everywhere, the case has resulted in a massive upsurge in online business. Everyone has witnessed that how people are dealing with uncertainty and isolation. Consumer behaviour has completely changed, and there is an enormous change in their shopping behaviours. Whether it is bulk buying or individual shopping, people have changed how they buy and where they are buying. Deloitte presented a research report in collaboration with Australia Post. The report revealed that the revenue of online shopping had increased around 105,000 and 708,000 dollars.
Essentially, customers are coming to terms with the facts of an interconnected world. Those who once preferred to buy a bulk supply of t-shirts for their business promotion from physical stalls now prefer to reach online platforms to purchase bulk supplies such as wholesale blank t-shirts for business promotion. It will be an understatement to say that we reside in unprecedented times, and everyone is coping with the new world.