More than 50% EMEA private business respondents expect revenue to decline in the coming months
Private businesses are seeing major impacts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just 9% of respondents surveyed in February and March 2020 expected revenues to decline; in June 2020 that number jumped to 51%. Some private businesses are weathering the storm better, though. A new PwC survey shows that agility is paying off in improved performance.
The latest EMEA Private Business Survey, covering 53 countries, shows that some private businesses are standing out and performing better under pressure. The survey identified companies who combine a number of traits – who are customer-focused, people-driven, tech-enabled, and flexible – as ‛agility champions’. These agility champions are taking a strategic approach to resilience and making tough choices around workforces and cost reduction, while continuing to invest in the key areas that will keep their businesses competitive, including training and upskilling and new technologies.
Getting the workforce ready for the future
Given the impact of stay-at-home orders in some regions and the need to protect staff from the risk of infection more than 60% of the private businesses respondents said they are enabling remote work. But agility champions are doing more to prepare their workforce for the future at the same time – 57% of agility champions say they are training and upskilling workers, compared to just 40% of laggards.
Improving the bottom line without compromising competitiveness
Agility champions are also more skilled at taking action to improve their cash position. Two-thirds (66%) of agility champions say they are enhancing their working capital management as part of their response to the recent crisis, compared with just 45% of laggards.
Flexible strategies, driven by a strong customer focus and collaborative approach
One of the keys to success in a challenging environment is to understand the overall market landscape. The survey shows that agility champions are looking to understand their markets and the customer segments they serve as a way to position their companies and emerge stronger. The majority of agility champions see both expanding into new markets or client segments (58%) and exiting markets that don’t prove profitable (57%) as critical to success in the future. Some will use mergers and acquisitions as a way to jump-start growth. Private businesses respondents are also introducing new products and services designed to meet customers’ needs.
Getting tomorrow’s leaders involved today
Survey results suggest that for agility champions, this kind of tone is also coming from the next generation of leaders (Next Gen), whether they be family members or up-and-coming young managers.
Read the full findings at www.pwc.com/epbs2020