Based on Kbr.id, the Covid-19 outbreak was recorded to have begun to increase since January 2020 and continued to rise during February 2020. During that period, there were at least 48 cities and 4 provinces in China which had to be isolated. Public transportation services had to be stopped, meanwhile, there were many businesses that also stopped operated.
Although the Corona virus outbreak is hampering many business sectors, there are also businesses in China that can overcome these difficulties. They not only can reduce the number of losses, but also able to increase profits in the midst of this pandemic. According to Martin Reeves who is the head of the Henderson Institute’s Boston Consulting Group (BCG) business consulting agency, the success can occur because China has a unique political, administrative and social system. According to him, there are lessons for businesses that can be applied broadly, namely:
1. Focus on selling online
According to Martin, business people in China who can survive in the midst of a pandemic are business people who have succeeded in changing their priorities and business plans appropriately. One of them is the largest producer of instant noodles and drinks in China, namely Kong Mask. When the Corona virus first appeared, the company conducted priority evaluations every day. Then, they also began to shift their sales domain, which usually focused on large stores to the online domain and small shops.
Besides Master Kong, cosmetics company Lin Qingxuan also did the same thing. The company closed 40% of its stores during the Covid-19 crisis. Then, they recruited about 100 beauty experts who acted as online influencers so they could focus on selling online through platforms such as WeChat. Based on Martin’s data, this strategy was able to grow sales to 200% of Lin Qingxuan’s revenue last year.
2. Work from home, utilizing social media to communicate
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses have been forced to close their businesses to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. However, this does not indicate that business in China has stopped, because some companies continue to operate remotely. So, the staff work from their homes and coordinate through social media. One example of a Chinese company that implements this system is Cosmo Lady, which is the biggest lingerie sales there. They create programs that maximize sales through WeChat. Therefore, Cosmo Lady employees are asked to promote Cosmo Lady products through their social media.
3. Switch roles for a while
It is undeniable, businesses that rely on customer visits such as restaurants, theme parks, hotels and cinemas will certainly be severely affected due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Their employees cannot work as usual because of the implementation of physical distancing. So to reduce losses, the staff can switch roles for a while. They can carry out other responsibilities, such as being a courier who delivers ordered goods from online stores. Moreover, the number of online purchases at the time of the Corona virus outbreak has greatly increased.
4. Determine a long-term business plan
There are several companies that use the Covid-19 isolation period to develop their business plans for the long term. One of them is a premium travel agency company in China that needs to stop for a while. Even if it has to stop, it doesn’t mean that the company is firing their employees, but rather asking those employees to improve their capabilities, design their products, and plan their service system when things have recovered.
Not all of the four methods above can be applied to every entrepreneur. However, these lessons can be a reference for business owners like us. In addition, we can also learn ways to sustain business from other countries affected by Covid-19.