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    This is How Costa Rican Businesses Must Transform If They Wish to Survive the “New Normal”

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    The COVID-19 Pandemic without a doubt came to change the way we work and do business, not only in Costa Rica but globally. Changes in consumer behavior and the appearance of new opportunities and needs to be solved in the market are just two aspects that force companies to transform themselves if they want to survive the “new normal” that this crisis will leave behind.

    For Ana Alfaro, business expert, and director of the “You Pura Vida”, at this moment we are facing historical changes and a new way of living. “Technology is ruling and the processes of change have accelerated exponentially. What was going to happen in years, now happens in a few months and continues to develop. It is not over, and we still have a lot to see, only by transforming or reinventing ourselves on a personal and business level will we be able to face it,” said Alfaro.

    She added that reinventing oneself in these moments becomes the most important skill of every entrepreneur. But how to transform and reinvent business in a complicated moment like the current one? For Alfaro, the first thing is to be able to have a change of mentality, openness, clear objectives, and an unstoppable vision.

    The business expert explained that in addition to this, you must follow and define the following 10 steps to achieve a reinvention of a company or entrepreneurship that allows to overcome the crisis generated by the Pandemic much faster:

    1. Decide not to quit:
      Many quit easily. Decide not to give up what you have already been building, your goals, and your dreams. Choose to continue and your mind will find the ideas to achieve it.
    2. Learn from the experience you already have:
      Diagnose your current condition with a SWOT analysis. Analyze the strengths you have and will have Post-COVID, establish what your opportunities will be if your competition abandons the market, which weaknesses you must handle today, which threats (not only COVID) you must manage.
    3. Establish your starting point:
      Where are you starting from; what advantages do you have? Which ones you do not have? Review your environment, with what can you leverage (for example: hire what you need with professional services, alliances, or barter: WIN = WIN). Review your numbers and create a new budget and income goals.
    4. Make quick but thoughtful decisions:
      Avoid making decisions out of impulse or desperation. Use pro/con analysis, categorize things quickly and take decisions, putting into account the pros and cons. Drawing it on paper is the best strategy and your mind opens up to other ideas and possibilities.
    5. Design your reinvention strategy:
      It should include:
      1) Visibility: develop a visibility plan, adapted to your new budget and income goals.
      2) Attraction: once you are visible to your potential client, you attract them and start the process of successful relationships.
      3) Excellence: when your potential client has the first contact with you, show them why you are their best option with super powerful customer service.
    6. Your plan must be clear:
      If you have collaborators, let them see what the new plan will be like and so they can internalize it. If you work alone, you must be very organized. Use a mandatory agenda, make a daily calendar and divide the activities into: strategic (everything related to sales and customer attraction), generic (answering emails, messages, calls, others not related to sales) and relaxation (eating, family time, fun).
    7. Be unusual:
      You have to leave anonymity and attract attention. Prepare to receive the market that will be discovered.
    8. Get together with other people:
      1) Teamwork: Become a teacher to delegate. Stop believing that only you can do everything. Make your team valuable.
      2) Family: If you work alone, lean on your family. It will go well for them too. Let them know that and let them support you in one way or another.
      3) People who are unemployed: Especially for sales, calls, among others. There are people who have it rough with the Pandemic since they lost their jobs. They may be interested in supporting you with sales for a commission payment.
    9. Lean on a mentor with results:
      It gives you a vision of fresh experience from the outside, it keeps you up when you fall, you have no chance of wasting time and money through trial and error.
    10. Reinvent yourself while still being you:
      Your identity must remain. Your goal is to improve and come out with a “new look”, but keeping the same essential being.

    Accelerate business transformation
    For Alfaro, all companies, whatever the sector they belong to, must bear in mind that if they are not transformed or reinvented, they will disappear in the short term and this is already happening.

    “Reinventing oneself means having the ability to unlearn, to re-learn a new way of doing things. It is not superficial. It has a deep foundation that goes from how we operate, how we use resources, perhaps what used to be a plant now must be outsourced, reorganize the processes, focus resources on products and services that better adapt to the new conditions and needs of the customers. It is a radical change to operate”.

    In addition, businesses must be ready to reinvent themselves when required, as having the flexibility to respond quickly to expected and unexpected situations, and this way ensure the survival of the business.

    “The world we live in today is neither predictable nor slow. It is a fast-paced, changing, and dynamic world. This is how companies should be. Just like the chameleon, but with the difference that they must not only transform their colors but the functional essence of the company”.

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