For some entrepreneurial companies, the COVID-19 pandemic is sparking a wave of innovation that is leading to unexpected business improvements and enhanced efficiencies.
One venture-backed company offers some anecdotal learning with important ramifications for both income and expenses. The company’s technology allows customers to gauge consumer behavior and measure reaction and reception to messaging.
As the pandemic grew last spring, the tech firm’s revenue stream slowed, specifically from its mid-sized corporate clients, but larger Fortune-500 companies found the service an invaluable replacement for incumbent practices. Overall, the tech firm’s business remained steady by the numbers, but its overall client base was upgraded to large enterprises. The new clients tend to be stickier, long-term relationships.
Expenses also have been impacted as the tech company in March sent employees home to work and realized its team was still extremely efficient. Executives were so impressed they did not renew their expiring office lease, which significantly cut costs for the year.
Long-term, such remote-working strategies are unsustainable for many firms, and most companies will probably return to the workplace when the pandemic ends. However, COVID-19 has prompted many businesses to reassess their office needs, which raises a number of vexing issues:
- How will the pandemic ultimately affect real-estate values?
- If employees can work from anywhere, can’t businesses hire people anywhere?
- How do you manage corporate culture in a virtual world?
- What are the hidden costs of remote work?