The significance of COVID-19 on global business and economy is not lost on anyone. And everyone is looking to get this unfortunate situation behind the world as soon as possible and focus on what the future holds.

This is a time of tough decisions and the most important question right now is ‘what will the post-pandemic world look like?’ But beyond the pandemic is the larger question of how to navigate moments of crisis and disruption.

As a business leader, the three aspects that you must focus on as you steer your company through market changes and disruptions are the following, explained in detail below:

  1. The immediate consequences of the change(s), with the focus being stabilization,
  2. The opportunities the disruption presents with the focus being leverage, and
  3. The possible future challenges with the focus being resilience.

Immediate Consequences

Take a step back and examine how your business is affected. An early report put the number of vulnerable workers in immediate-risk industries at about 37 million, making up 23% of the American workforce.

The impact of the change(s) for your company and the market situation must inform your initial decisions, which should be geared towards stabilizing your business short-term. It is a mistake to start focusing on the new normal and future potentials before figuring out where you stand currently.

Analyze the key changes in the industry pertaining to customer demands and behavior, supply chain management, regulations and policies, enterprise tools, etc. Then subsequently, aim to strike a balance between the current and emerging circumstances.

Growth Opportunities

Once you establish your business in a good position, the obvious next step is to look beyond the initial glitches. This means identifying potentials going forward and adjusting your strategy towards future prospects. This goes beyond throwing investment money at an opportunity; you must plan to adapt to a new way of doing business.

This stage requires the boldest decisions. You must be able to recognize that your current efforts are obsolete and tow a new trajectory. The important question at this point is ‘what exactly is the new normal?’ And of course, you must be able to differentiate between actual opportunities and hype.

This requires a deep understanding of the key variables and the peculiarities of your business, market, industry, customers, outlook, operations, etc.

Future Risks

A company might survive the moment of crisis but fail afterward due to the lack of a resilient business strategy. That is why it is important to stay vigilant. The new normal would certainly not be an utopia. So you must map out possible challenges and be prepared to forestall them.

This includes a possible plan to quickly withdraw from an approach or tool once it becomes clear that it wouldn’t pay off in the long run. The path of the new normal might not be completely clear yet, but remember that change is constant. So you must be prepared for the unexpected.

How does one prepare for challenges that come out of the blue? It is by building a flexible and adaptable business strategy, which allows for tinkering if the need arises.

Important Considerations in Decision-Making

While going through these stages, there are certain factors you must always consider because they are huge determinants of success and failure.

  • Audience

This is about the needs of your audience. Research by Kantar details how the behaviors and choices of US consumers are changing in various aspects during the pandemic as they adapted to lockdown restrictions. For instance, 20% of beverages were consumed out of home pre-COVID-19 compared to 10% during the pandemic. In the face of disruption, a smart business strives to understand what is changing about its customers and fills needed gaps.

  • Communication

Nothing tests a company’s communication structure as a period of intense crises. Crises communication is important because the company could be one misinformation away from failure. As a business leader in a time of uncertainty, it is your utmost responsibility to keep up the morale of other employees by winning their trust. The principles of simple and clear communication still hold true in a time of crisis.

  • Brand Image

Another key aspect to consider when making decisions during crises is to ensure that you don’t lose touch with your brand personality. Unless the decision is to revamp your brand image. Take note of how decisions you make would affect the outlook of your brand among the audience and act appropriately. Reiterate the values your business upholds in order to come out strong.


Some of the best ideas come during moments of crisis. On the back of the Great Recession in 2008 emerged some of the biggest startups presently: WhatsApp, Uber, Slack, Square, Venmo, and the list goes on.

How a business handles disruption and jolting market changes determines a lot of its strategy going forward. Approaching the new normal, be prepared to adapt quickly and effectively in order to make your business stand the test of time.