The new normal refers to the current lifestyle of minimised human interactions. The new normal fad has been effected as a means of preventing the spread of the novel Covid-19. It has also led to the deaths of many business enterprises, especially within the leisure and tourism industry, which involves direct human interactions and larger human gatherings. However, the new normal fad is also reintroducing the world to newer business enterprises.
The traditional way of conducting business involved human interactions, which favored unlimited gatherings of human/customer interactions in marketplaces. However, the market places today are constricted to limited customers, which has led to some businesses losing relevance to operate in this new normal era.
The study titled Unemployment rates during the Covid-19 Pandemic conducted by the congressional research service in the United States of America revealed that in April 2020, the unemployment rate reached 14.8% - the highest rate observed since data-collection began in 1948. The highest loss of jobs has been recorded in the leisure and hospitability sectors, followed by the education sector. America is one of the largest economies, which is also being affected by the new normal.
However, despite the level of the economic growth of a country, countries can still manage to control their economies through realising the opportunity of solving new problems with new solutions.
In Namibia in 2020, the unemployment rate amounted to approximately 20.35%, as reported by the world statistics website Statistica. The highest loss of jobs has been recorded in the tourism sector.
It is my routine to keep up with the feeds on one of the WhatsApp groups, also known as Elyambala Africa, an organisation that intends to create employment through the creation of business enterprises as a remedy to the existing predicament of high unemployment in the world caused by the new normal phenomenon. Elyambala Africa targets young Africans, intending to coach and mentor African youngsters into creating their business enterprises.
This was a statement by Sebulon David, one of the executive owners of Elyambala Africa:
“Make money by solving new problems. The old problems are not making money. We need to solve new problems. You need to think of the current challenges like serving people while they are seated in their cars because people are scared of mixing with other people as they will spread Covid-19.”
I believe that the new normal is a scapegoat for the current closure of businesses. That is true, but it depends. Because business is about seeing opportunities where there are problems. The universal language of business is that, for a business to exist, there should be a problem.
Currently, there is a mass of problems in economies. Economies are recording the highest unemployment rates and seeing the closing of businesses more than ever before. However, the business world needs to shift from a traditional business that involves physical human interaction to business enterprises that involve less human interaction.
Engaging in business enterprises that involve less human interaction is suitable for the new normal. If the current operating businesses still operate from a point of view of targeting to serve a large number of customers in a concealed area such as a shop, then they are already doing it wrong.
Business is, therefore, all about following the trends. The new normal fad compulsorily encourages businesses to operate based on less human interactions. Businesses should take note of that, and follow the trend. This now includes newer business opportunities of the new normal era of serving customers while they are seated in their cars. The surviving business opportunities are mostly those that can operate with interacting with fewer customers, and which serve customers on the internet online platforms.
The old problems
The old problems in this article refer to the older ways of conducting business before the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes everyday business activities, for example shops, which housed an unlimited number of customers.
Some businesses genetically just operate within a huge gathering of people. This includes the tourism sector. The tourism sector grows as more tourists visit the tourist destination country. I believe there is no such things as virtual tourism at the moment. Although there could be anything like virtual tourism, it would provide less satisfaction for tourists. Therefore, this proves that some business and economic industries will deadly suffer in this new normal.
Musicians can still make money through online platforms such as YouTube. I believe that an online performance show and the live show partially provide almost the same satisfaction to audiences. Therefore, for any industry that can shift its operations to online platforms and still generate revenue, such an industry is likely to cruise within the new normal era.
The new problems
The new problems in this article refer to problems that have been introduced by the new normal fad. The new normal has probed the need for organisations to operate on a basis of involving less human interactions. The new normal problems include the need for online education, online shopping and serving customers in the comfort of their houses.
During this new normal fad, businesses are, therefore, encouraged to focus on solving the new problems. Businesses should be able to realise the new problems that have been introduced by the new normal fad, such as the need for online education, online shopping and serving customers in the comfort of their homes.
At the moment, some old problems do not even exist anymore.
* David Junias holds a Bachelor of Business Management honours degree from NUST.