The summer is over, we return to our daily routine and, in addition to the classic post-holiday stress, this year we face to covid19 (which has never left our environment) that will condition such important aspects of our life as the return of our children to school (we will see in what conditions) and that has generated an economic crisis whose severity and duration we do not know. And the question flying over our heads is: and now what?
If we focus on the world of startups, SMEs and businesses in general we must have a clear premise: the future will no longer be the same as the past and most paradigms and ways of doing things are changing or have already changed irreversibly. Digitalization, internationalization, process optimization, flexibility, adaptability are going to be necessary characteristics but not enough if we want our company to survive in a new and changing world.
If we focus on our closest environment, Spain, and re-read many of the articles that have been published in recent months, most of them agree on a number of aspects that we want to share with you, because we think they are important if we want to have a future as a developed society:
- Rethinking the business model. Although the uncertain economic situation that existed before was already forcing many companies to carry out this process, the pandemic has inexorably accelerated it. In this moment of uncertainty, it is essential that any company, regardless of its size, analyse in depth its business model, its relations with its suppliers, its customers, its employees and its environment in general. Aspects such as teleworking, internationalization, optimization of processes and resources or sustainability and the relationship with the environment must be valued and integrated if we want our business model to be sustainable.
- Low Touch Economy (without contact). The current health situation is generating the emergence of a new economic order in which low touch business models are imposed (without contact). This new way of doing things, in apparent contradiction with the Mediterranean mentality of greater proximity between people, brings, however, a great business opportunity for startups and SMEs. Concepts such as telemedicine, edutech, mobility, teleworking, cyber security are unique opportunities for existing or new companies to develop new and different products and services.
- Digitalization. When we talk about digitalization, we mean that companies use technology to interact with people (external and internal) in order to generate greater added value. Many companies think that digitalization is having bought a CRM, a specific software or having an account in social networks. However, when we talk about digitizing a company, we are talking about a business strategy that by using tools and technologies can improve and transform their operations, their functions, their models, their processes and their overall activities. In Spain, before the pandemic, only 13% of SMEs and 45% of large companies were tackling digitalization strategies; however, in barely 4 months it is estimated that more businesses have been digitalized than in the last 5 years. Nowadays, digitalization can no longer be considered as a differentiating factor but as a minimum and essential requirement if we want our company to consolidate and scale up in an increasingly competitive environment.
- Added value and efficient management of resources. In an uncertain and increasingly competitive world, the objective of every company is still undoubtedly to sell and produce its goods and services as efficiently as possible. But to be able to sell, when competitors increase and there are multiple “similar” products, the customer is going to value more and more not only the price or novelty but the added value that this good or service produces. Aspects such as sustainability or the relationship with the environment are increasingly important and appreciated by end consumers and can also condition the development of our business model.
At Fellow Funders we have reminded you on many occasions that the word crisis in Chinese, “Wei Ji” has a double meaning Wei (danger) and Ji (opportunity) and as we said in a previous newsletter “we must never forget that all great crises have always brought improvements and advances”. Therefore, we at the Fellow Funders Group have set to work and prefer to look to the future with realism, but also with optimism. As the American politician William Jennings Bryan said, “Fate is not a matter of chance, but of choice. It is not something to be expected, but something to be pursued.
Do you want to help us build the future of our country? Do you want to help develop Spanish startups and SMEs? Do you want to join the world of Fellow Funders? We are waiting for you!