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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on Australia's business landscape.
While some businesses were hit much harder by COVID than others, the reality is that companies in just about every industry felt the impact of the pandemic to one degree or another.
From local small businesses to global entities, Coronavirus forced many businesses to completely rethink how they conduct business, creating a major shift in the business landscape.
As things are closely starting to return to a "new normal", businesses all over the country are adjusting to the new business environment.
With many brick and mortar business premises closed for months on end through 2020, there has been a major shift towards the digital-first concept.
Many businesses have already made the move to operating remotely, and not all will return to how things were before the pandemic.
Digital interactions and processes have replaced many in-person experiences in the business world, and it's expected that digital will continue to reign supreme in the post-COVID era.
Let's take a look at just some of the impacts that 2020 has had on Australia's business landscape and what we can expect moving forward.
How business is conducted on a daily basis has changed dramatically in terms of how businesses operate internally. With more businesses embracing the remote work concept, how employers manage their teams and communicate with their staff has become very different.
More employers are utilising time billing software in Australia to track staff hours, project management tools to collaborate with team members, stay on track with projects, and use accounting and payroll software to manage their business finances more efficiently.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, more consumers had no choice but to make purchases online. This caused many businesses to bolster their online presence and invest heavily in digital marketing and search engine optimisation strategies.
While maintaining a digital presence had become much more important pre-COVID, the pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on e-commerce, increasing the number of new e-commerce stores entering the space, vying for attention.
A robust online presence will be crucial in the current business landscape to stand out from the crowd.
While larger organisations might have bigger marketing budgets and more resources, the upsurge in e-commerce has somewhat levelled the playing field for small local producers.
Small businesses can connect with their customers in a more personal way than large corporations. What's more, throughout COVID-19, more Australians chose to support local businesses to help them to stay afloat during what were extremely difficult and uncertain times for many businesses.
However, the result is that, now, with a minor investment in social media marketing, a small business has every chance of competing with bigger businesses.
One thing that has become evident with the shift to digital is customer service. With the same products available from so many online retailers, consumers are more focused on the customer support and after-sales service they will get when they are deciding who to buy from.
Customer service is always important; however, moving forward, business owners will need to focus more on being there for their clients and be willing to go above and beyond to build credibility in their brand online.
Moving forward, the Australian business landscape is touted to become increasingly digitised and tech-orientated.
The customer experience will be crucial to the success of any business in the future, and companies are expected to become even more reliant on business software and cloud-based tools to remain efficient.
However, if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the future is always uncertain. The key to staying in control of your business in the modern climate is to remain flexible, be adaptable and have a contingency budget in place to help you navigate any difficult times with a little more certainty.
With a little planning and preparation, Australian business owners can ensure that they are ready for whatever the future may hold.