Local businesses reshape to 2020

Executive Outlook is presented exclusively by Top Office Group, and is known as the “most comprehensive and insightful study of our region” (for our 12th year running). We’ve interviewed 65 business leaders so far – thank you for your ideas on reshaping our businesses, in response to these unusual trading conditions.

Reshaping local businesses

40% of business leaders we talked to have reshaped their business model (post Covid-19). We’ve had TOP for 32 years, and worked through a recession, floods and the GFC, but this felt scarier, because there’s no end date.

It’s called on high levels of operational, financial and emotional resilience.  Ideas from our conversations focus on return on investment, new revenue streams, the bigger picture and short-term planning.

“It’s meant rethinking our plan in 3 month sprints, rather than too far ahead, because no one has a crystal ball”.

The focus is to build relationships, share ideas and connect with clients to understand their needs, then build solutions to match demand.  In fact, a number of leaders told us they’ve “got better at this”. It’s a time to connect and find opportunities, with a compelling narrative that will leave clients with new ideas. This was reflected by leaders in Executive Outlook.

“Know where your value lies, then build a pipeline of solutions to match demand”.

“We’ve trained our whole team to engage in sales activities and connect with our clients”.

“We’ve reworked the skills and technology needed to meet rapid change; this need has intensified”.

Australia Post is a shining example of transformation, moving from mail services into parcel deliveries to match a surge in e-commerce.  The WHO reports show national growth in ecommerce since the pandemic is over 78% year-on-year” (153% for Victoria).

 Australia Post had little time to ramp up capability.  Take-aways are the importance of agility, transparency with shipments and communicating with customers.  We’ve gone 24/7 to keep up with volume, in a Covid safe workplace. This translates to more jobs locally”.  Ashley Marshall, Australia Post

The need to create on-line delivery platforms for customers has reshaped local restaurants. The lifelines of takeaway and delivery are here to stay (Deliveroo and Uber Eats are on a sure thing).

“This is more sustainable. There’s less running and labour costs, no wait staff and contactless payments”.

Local cafes are catering for as many customers as possible, to comply with available space and social distancing rules.

“We stay up to date Covid plans and restrictions to make sure we’re doing the right thing”. 

Safety still hangs in the balance, and the reputational damage from an outbreak is huge. Arts, theatres and performances are down 30% locally.

Find out more about what’s keeping business leaders in Executive Outlook awake at night (and confidence levels).

Compiled by Jan Gadsden, Founder/Director of Top Office Group Pty Ltd.