This is an excerpt from our live podcast called The New Normal Business Show with Joey Gurango & Wilson Chua.
There are three major disruptions SME business owners can be aware of and gain ideas on how to navigate through these disruptions and maintain it.
It is no doubt that businesses have to be aware of the legal framework that comes along with running a business especially now that we're experiencing a pandemic. This new normal affects companies in every industry.
With the new normal business owners having to adapt and strive under these unique circumstances. And as business owners, you have to ask yourself, are you aware of the new policies or bills that the Philippine government is mandating? What changes can you do to implement these legal frameworks? How will you approach the application of these new policies on your business?
Congressman Joey Salcedo has proposed a work-life balance bill and the concept of this bill includes reducing the working hours from 40 to 35 hours. Employees will get the full payment for the working hours, and if they render working hours beyond 8 hours, they get premium payment.
Most developed countries that reduced the annual working hours of the workers has increased GDP. Two of the countries that do not belong to the same pattern, which are China and India but both countries have been able to increased GDP continuously without having to reduce the working hours.
Yelp shows us that about 176,822 businesses in America have filed for bankruptcy. This reminds us of the unprecedented times in US history during the Great Depression. These statistics show how greatly the pandemic has affected businesses not just in America, but throughout the world. How much more for a country like the Philippines?
There will be a lot of closure for businesses in our country, but then the Department of Labor has recognized the real possibilities; therefore, DOLE has created an advisory. This advisory is called advisory no. Seven and under section 3 it says that instead of closing shops or businesses, then cutting the working hours is doable. Business owners need to be aware of these changes that are working against their business survival and the legal changes that come with it.
For businesses that are dependent on socialization or social spaces to thrive, they are the ones that can feel the effect of the pandemic firsthand. Companies such as restaurants, service providers, schools, and malls are one of the examples. Two important socializing areas are also greatly affected, and that is the school and the malls.
The mall is where people meet up and socialize, and for a mall, owner closing of malls means terrible for business. Often, the trends are coming from the US, and they arrive in the Philippines.
We all know that malls have been closed for a while and now that we're under General Community Quarantine, mall owners can finally reopen and start a business but strictly following the new policies of the government for public safety.
For over ten years, department store sales have been declining, while online stores sales have been rising. They need to have a digital strategy to complement their brick and mortar stores. There's a relationship between the rise of the e-commerce industry and internet connectivity.
For people ages, 18-25 schools are the place where they can socialize with people. Schools are currently doing online classes to continue the education of many students, but the majority of students prefer face-to-face interactions than pure online learning. But with the pandemic, it is advisable not to do face-face communication for the safety of the students. Ralph Rector is now the champion of the open-access bill in the Philippines.
For online learning, internet connectivity is essential for students to be able to keep up with their online classes. According to statistics, about 57 percent of the country has access to Facebook. But the internet connection cost in the Philippines is the highest in the Asia Pacific.
For businesses such as SME's to be able to survive the disruptions that the pandemic has brought, they have to take a closer look at their business models and pivot. Try to look for something new.
We recommend SME's to use leanstack.com which is a free service that will map out your business and model, and you can use it as a way to pivot your direction to more on a digital framework and eventually to digital transformation.
Statistics show that 77 percent of IT leaders believe that the speed of IT is important to their ability to enter new markets and launch new products quickly. And this time of pandemic pivot is a great way to do a change and stay relevant in the industry despite the disruptions in the business industry worldwide.
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