The economy as we know it will become a distant memory in just a few short months due to the pandemic. Business owners will soon look to hire people who can work remotely. Those that don’t need to travel to work, can work from home, are not only cheaper to hire and pay, but they may turn out to be more productive.
However, the world of commerce is changing in more than just one profound way. In fact, people are wondering why physical shops are still needed. If people don’t turn up to work, why on earth would there be a need for a brick and mortar office or coffee shop?
So should you abandon how you do business, even though something new hasn’t come along just recently? No, but this is what you need to do, in order to adapt.
Office Square Feet
The future of office space is hotly being contested in two parts. One side says that things should stay as they are, and the other says that the amount of office space that businesses see as ‘normal’ will change by decreasing. It’s true, so far, estimates show that in just a few years, up to 30% of the workforce could be based at home. This means you don’t need to rent as much office space as before. But does this mean you should decrease your office space?
What if you could afford to hire more people since you no longer need to have so many working in the office? Could you take that extra money you saved to hire more remote workers? Could you pay your workers more and thus hire the best? Therefore both your workforce and office space would decrease but your effectiveness could in theory stay the same. This is why you should stay abreast of the latest talk regarding office space and remote working. Your profit margin could go higher but not having the same or great effectiveness is counterproductive.
If Not China, Then Where?
Experts have debated that, as China grows and grows, it will eventually have to stop being an industrial hub for the world. This is because as every economy becomes more advanced, it no longer relies on things that it can make, but things that it can do, such as financial services. So, even though making things in China is cheap, in a few decades it would be the opposite.
However, China is also no longer being deemed safe to work in, as greater government control increases year by year. It’s also a risk, healthwise. Which is why so many companies are moving their supply chains out of China. But if not China then where could you have your Asian stores and shops? Well, Singapore is the next best thing and they have plenty of a shophouse for rent. You can choose to set up shop in Race Course Road for just 3,900SD a month which works out to $2,945 a month. Considering that this is for between 1,200 and 2,000 square feet, that is pretty amazing. You’re also in a wealthier country per capita, so you have a richer clientele.
If so many people are working from home, then why does your local coffee shop need to exist? Go to any of your local coffee holes at lunchtime and you will see every walk of life and profession, sipping on their favorite brew. But now that up to 30% of workers will be, some types of business will be automatically put out of business. Coffee shops, sandwich shops, noodle bars, and even some bars that open early.
So what should you do? The only way to stay in business it seems is to start offering home deliveries. Essentially, you’re doing workplace deliveries as the home has become the new office. So market your business for home deliveries and find a way that is most economical for you to make this happen. Can you do the deliveries by yourself or will you need to partner with a third party, such as Just Eat, Ocado, Deliveroo, Uber Eats, etc?
You will also need to increase your local SEO marketing content. Show customers that you are the best local brand. It really is back to basics stuff, as the international market may not matter more but equally as much as the local consumer.
The world of physical commerce may have just changed forever, in front of our very eyes. It’s vital that you don’t get caught out and make these changes too late.