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Sustainable Business Models: A Guide To Dealing With Uncertain Times

Every decade or so, businesses big or small, are hit by a ruthless wave of economic distress caused by a recession or in the case of 2020, a pandemic. Folks with knowledge of economics and business cycles will show you a graph with a wave-like pattern that shows that ups and downs in economic activity are an inherent part of the system we operate in, and some even consider the dramatic dips to be healthy for financial markets.

So why then, each time the world faces an economic downturn, are businesses caught off-guard? Why is everyone engulfed in agonizing uncertainty which often leads some businesses to exit from their markets altogether?

However, small businesses and humble ventures do not have the resources to sense the oncoming of a downturn (most certainly not a pandemic), nor are they in a position to control any such events. What founders and business owners are capable of though is implementing a sustainable business model that will help them survive through times when revenues are hard to generate. Gaper’s business model played a significant role in not only strengthening the company during the pandemic but also introducing the need to grow its teams.

Let Go of “Legacy Systems”

This is a concept in computing but applies neatly to business models as well. Many company leaders, extremely skilled and talented in their own right, fall short when it comes to growing out of old, outdated business models. Their management concepts were suitable for a different time. Unlike a few decades back, current business environments are characterized by low barriers to entry, lower transaction costs owing to the digital nature of work and, a fast-paced innovative culture where any new firm can dethrone corporate giants. Information is widespread and symmetries are no longer the same as before.


However, these aspects also introduce an element of uncertainty in modern markets. They are more volatile and unpredictable. You have web and mobile applications in place but a new disruptive company comes and introduces a new, more innovative way of doing things. All of a sudden, you, a more experienced business, need to overhaul things at your end too. In more serious events lies a pandemic, your system may render you permanently discharged from the market.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Just like sailors that keep an eye out for winds, tides, and weather developments and adjust their journey and direction accordingly, businesses also need to have systems that allow timely adjustment.

You are restricted if the only developers you have are those you hired in-house. It is high time companies started to consider remote options for employees especially for positions that require diverse skill sets. A lot of companies saw the importance of hiring distributed developer teams and managed to keep their work going in 2020.

Those that did not look into more flexible hiring options fell behind. Others had to operate with decreased cost efficiency and sometimes compromise on productivity.

Bottom line is, it is obviously business owners and managers that are the best judges of what their companies need. The need of the hour, however, does not conform to practices that have been in place for five years. The pandemic has catalyzed our transition to different working methods.

Flexibility is important not just to deal with things on your client/customer end. Your employees and aspiring professionals are also changing their expectations and standards which they evaluate potential employers against. Perhaps the problem for you is not the demand for your work, but the supply you can manage.

Remote Developers

Letting another firm provide you with a team of remote developers may bring up a lot of question marks and even an outright dismissal of the idea for many managers. But the kind of ease and agility this approach provides without compromising on quality (unlike traditional outsourcing) is something that a lot of small and medium businesses are greatly benefiting from. It is a good idea to try out a fresh approach to work than fall prey to ideas of self-sufficiency.

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