I think it is safe to say that the future is here already and it arguably belongs to the fast and strategic decision-maker. With the rise and speed of technological advancement and the more connected the world is getting, every smart business owner should commit to moving at the same speed and in the same direction the world is going or risk being left behind or out of business. Simply put, if you fail to evolve, you and your business are going to extinction and as a smart entrepreneur, thinking ahead should be your core or principal trait. Questions like ‘what will be the most profitable business now and in the nearest future’? or ’how can I better position my business to meet the need of the future’? should be recurring in your mind with necessary actions in tow.
The impact of the global pandemic is not all round negative as businesses in certain industries are actually thriving amidst the COVID-19-induced economic downturn and much more businesses will come up post pandemic and regardless of the business and industry, strategic business owners need to use standards, especially those of the international organization for standardization (ISO) Body, to position themselves for growth and sustainability. Let’s explore some examples of such businesses in these categories and how standards can help them below;
- Healthcare due to the spike in demand for hospital and medical products and services. It is currently a boom for companies in this value chain as there is a high demand for medical products like supplements, surgical masks, syringes, hand sanitizers, disinfectants and vitamins. There are specific standards that can help businesses in this industry thrive beyond the pandemic like the ISO/IEC 17025 Laboratory Management System Standard, Good Laboratory Practice, Good Clinical Practice, ISO 9001 Quality Management System Standard, ISO 15189 Medical/Clinical Laboratory Quality Management System Standard, ISO 13485 Medical Devices Quality Management System standard among others. These standards provide the framework and specifications for the standardization of medical laboratories for the consistent production of quality products, examination results, and services. Medical personnel in this industry can also get personal certification in any of these standards to improve competence and position for career growth.
- E-learning and educational delivery as many people and students are making use of several online platforms for self-improvement and online academic programs. This has made many educational institutions and training organization to modernize and digitize their teachings making this a massive investment for the educational industry. The ISO 21001 Educational Organizations Management System Standard comes through for businesses and practioners in this industry. This standard is based on ISO 9001 – Quality Management Systems, that provides a specific framework for educational organizations that aim to enhance the satisfaction of their learners by improving the educational processes and ensuring conformity to learners’ requirements. It can be applicable to all organizations that provide a curriculum for the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes by different methods, onsite or remote means.
- IT service providers and consultants: with the astronomic rise in the use of online platforms for business and pleasure, IT service providers, information security and IT security practioners are and will continue to be in high demand to provide fast and reliable services, keep hackers and security breaches away thereby making the Information Technology space a very lucrative one. Here, standards like the ISO/IEC 27001 information security management system, ISO/IEC 20000 IT service management system, ISO/IEC 27032 Cyberspace security, ISO/IEC 27701 Privacy Information Management System among several others, are perfect for structuring your IT focused business. These standards contain specifications and a framework that will enable organizations to assess, treat, and reduce risks associate with the collection, protection, maintenance and processing of personal and business information of clients online. IT Consultants can also arm themselves with individual certifications in these standards to provide balanced solutions to their clients.
- Baby products: a boom in baby products and services due to the projected increase in demand for baby products and services as the lockdown and new sedentary lifestyle of most families has led to more pregnancies and babies to be born later this year and early next year. This will make businesses in this space boom, especially manufacturers of infant meals. With the use of standards like ISO 20633:2015, ISO 20636:2018, ISO 23443:2020 and others that specify the level of nutritional quality infant formulas should have, makers of these important aspect of a baby’s growth will be in good business for a long time.
There is a standard I classify as the ‘general standard’ because it is relevant to every business regardless of industry which is the ISO 9001 Quality Management System. The above are some out of the many businesses that are thriving and will thrive post pandemic and apart from the specific standard discussed in relation to them, they can also go ahead and apply the philosophy of the quality management system in standardizing their operations. The purpose of this ‘General Standard’ is to allow an organization to consistently reach higher levels of customer satisfaction and retention, along with consistently supplying products or services that meet customer requirements. It will also help these businesses to achieve set goals and targets and to maximize profitability.
In conclusion, both existing and emerging businesses need to reimagine their model in order to remain relevant during and post pandemic and with the use of global standards like the ones discussed above and a strategic focus on rebuilding operations, rapidly adopting digital solutions and recovering of revenue, we can safely say that they are rightly positioning for the businesses of the future.