How Adaptability and Continuous Learning Have Helped Small Businesses Remain Resilient
This year, we’ve seen economies tank, and businesses fight just to stay afloat. Regardless of their size, companies have had to adapt and pivot their business models quickly, in order to navigate the ever-changing world of work. Some are proving to be resilient as they navigate this new reality. According to the Philippine government, 26 percent of businesses in the country have closed down, with the arts, entertainment, and recreation, as well as accommodation and food service industries suffering the biggest job losses. In order to remain resilient, local businesses have had to adapt by offering new services and hiring the right talent that can help them manage their businesses.
Chris C. Anderson, Senior Editor (Asia), LinkedIn News said, “We’re living through unprecedented and challenging times. As the coronavirus pandemic has forced a rethink of how we live, play and work, companies large and small have had to pivot, adapt and change in order to survive and thrive.”
Ticket2Me: Pivoting from live events to helping save lives
Ticket2Me, an online system that manages ticketing services for events, has started offering their services for telemedicine support for doctors and fundraising events. Darwin Mariano, Founder and CEO of Ticket2Me, said, “Our main business halted when all of our clients stopped organizing live events due to lockdowns. The future looked bleak, but it also made us realize that we could use our infrastructure for fundraising campaigns for frontliners. Since then, we have partnered with many organizations for this purpose, with a lifetime fund raised of almost Php 20 million pesos. We have also launched another recovery project called Dok2Me, a patient scheduling system that facilitates online consultations with doctors of all specializations. It uses Ticket2Me technology to confirm appointments and collect payments from patients.”
Expecting live events to be in the distant future, Ticke2Me also developed a ticketed and secure video platform for event organizers for monetizing online content. “You cannot save your way out of a crisis. While cost control and management of cash flow would be top priorities for small and big businesses, they still must deploy capital efficiently for projects that generate the best value. Take care of your existing customers and, where possible, find ways to support them even better. We will survive this storm better by working together.”
Senti AI: Deploying human compassion while working in artificial intelligence (AI)
Ralph Vicent Regalado, CEO and Founder of Senti AI, a company that helps humans and organizations to work efficiently with Artificial Intelligence, shared the importance of adapting to changes quickly and being ready to hire talent that can support your business growth. He said, “When the crisis happened, we decided to immediately freeze hiring because we were entering uncharted lands. However, our survival strategy proved successful and, instead, we’ve started hiring more during the pandemic because of the sudden increase in our sales pipeline.”
Moving forward, over the course of quarantine, Ralph shared they are hiring roles with focus on tech and digital skills for their growing business: Project Manager, Technical Sales Engineer, Software Engineering Manager, Solutions Architect, Data Scientist, Copywriter, Product Manager, Software Engineer, Business Development Officer, Human Resources Officer.
As their team expanded, Senti AI also laid out their plans to take care of the health and welfare of their growing team. “For any organization to be agile and pivot quickly during unprecedented times, it’s important to ensure that old and new members are well taken care of first. During the pandemic, we’ve added health benefits, sent care packages with protective equipment, we’ve set up virtual team building activities to make up for the lack of personal interaction, and we’ve gotten experts to help strengthen our team’s mental well being,” he shared.
Taxumo: Harnessing technology to solve customer frustrations
Continuous learning has helped Ginger Arboleda, Co-Founder of Taxumo, an online tax filing system that allows professionals to file and pay taxes in minutes, remained resilient in spite of challenges brought by the pandemic. She said, “Embrace change and love learning. We’re oftentimes frightened by the future, but learn from the past and execute. We’re all in an environment where things are totally different — our customers’ behaviors have changed, our partners’ and key stakeholders’ plans have changed, etc. This is an interesting time to learn and experiment!”
Over the duration of the community quarantine, Ginger noted it was interesting to see the market demand for filing and paying tax online. To accommodate the demand, Taxumo is looking for tech roles such as Junior Developers who can work in their engineering team to continuously develop the product. “We have this mission of keeping talent here in the Philippines. We want to see Filipinos with great skill deployed in our own country. And the jobs that we all have in Taxumo is very fulfilling as we know that we are helping make systemic changes in the government. It’s a true testament to the fact that the private sector and the government can work together,” she said.
F&B industry: Streamlining customer experiences
JJ Yulo, a food consultant who has been supporting local restaurants through his food tours, has shared that the restaurant industry should start adapting to new technology and make the process for customers more efficient. He said, “They’ve pretty much been blind sided, just like everyone else. And everyone has to figure out what moves to do on their own. Streamline the experience, yet make it true to the brand. Innovate, or revisit things that people will always like. Be thoughtful and most importantly, be true. If you really think about it, truthfulness is what people are seeking now.“
He believes that similar to other industries, F&B enterprises will need to harness technology to thrive moving forward. “With the trend of cloud kitchens, businesses will still need operation managers to make it work. Marketing and social media are more important than ever, because now business is pretty much done online,” JJ said.
Recovering from the pandemic impact requires adaptability and creativity, as shared by the four LinkedIn members. Feon Ang, Vice President, Talent and Learning Solutions in Asia Pacific, LinkedIn said, “For leaders, understanding how to manage teams virtually, keeping team members engaged, and the organisational culture alive is important. In addition, soft skills remain relevant across a wide range of jobs. Creativity, Persuasion, Collaboration, Adaptability, Emotional intelligence are key soft skills that businesses are encouraged to adopt to thrive in the new normal.”
LinkedIn has various resources available for small and medium businesses.
LinkedIn has also beefed up its resources for businesses of all sizes (you can still hyperlink the page here):
• It recently integrated LinkedIn Events into the Pages experience to help businesses strengthen relationships with customers, colleagues, and communities by being able to easily create and join professional events. For small businesses especially, Events can be used to keep customers and communities up to date.
• It offers free LinkedIn Learning courses to help business leaders hone their skills in management, sales, marketing, finance, and even foster well-being, among others.
• A new custom announcement banner lets nonprofit and healthcare small businesses post critical and timely updates to the top of their Page to let their communities know how their business is responding to COVID-19
• A new setting helps businesses set a job post’s location to ‘remote’ with LinkedIn Jobs. This new setting is a quick way to attract job seekers looking for remote work, and find top talent no matter where they’re located
• A streamlined new candidate management system helps businesses who are actively hiring to rate and review job applicants all in one screen to quickly filter down to the most promising candidates. This includes a new video intro feature that helps evaluate a candidate’s communication and soft skills prior to the first live interview.